The NLL and Teams

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is the largest and most attended men’s professional box lacrosse league in the world. Founded in 1986, the NLL was first introduced as the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League and made up of just four teams including the Washington Waves, the Baltimore Thunder, the Philadelphia Wings, and the New Jersey Saints. 34 years later, the League is currently comprised of 14 franchises across the United States and Canada: Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Fort Worth (to begin play in 2021-22), Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, New England Black Wolves, New York Riptide, Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.

The NLL’s current commissioner is Nick Sakiewicz. Sakiewicz joined the NLL in 2016 after more than two decades at Major League Soccer (MLS).

Formed in 1986, the NLL was originally known as the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League (EPBLL). The EPBLL consisted of four teams: Baltimore Thunder, New Jersey Saints, Philadelphia Wings, and Washington Wave. In its second season, the league became known as the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL). Following the conclusion of the 1997 season, it adopted its current NLL name.

The first-ever NLL game was played on Jan. 10, 1987 between the New Jersey Saints and Philadelphia Wings, with the Saints winning the first game in NLL history, 11-8.

The Teams

  • Buffalo Bandits

    Buffalo Bandits

    The Buffalo Bandits were founded in 1991. Playing out of KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York, the Bandits are owned by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which also owns the Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bills, and Rochester Knighthawks as of 2019. The Bandits are part of the four-team North Division.

    The Bandits are the longest tenured franchise, having spent 30 years in one location. They have won the NLL Championship four times (1992, 1993, 1996, 2008) – including their first year of operation – and are the only team to ever have a perfect season.

    Following the completion of the 2019-20 season, the Bandits and Georgia Swarm have met 11 times. The Swarm are 6-5 in those contests and have a -5 goal differential against the North Division team.

    General Manager: Steve Dietrich

    Head Coach: John Tavares

  • Calgary Roughnecks

    Calgary Roughnecks

    The Calgary Roughnecks were founded in 2001. Playing out of Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, the Roughnecks are owned by principal owner Brad Banister. The Roughnecks are part of the five-team West Division.

    Also known by the moniker “Riggers,” the Roughnecks have won the NLL Championship three times (2004, 2009, 2019).

    Following the completion of the 2019-20 season, the Roughnecks and Georgia Swarm have met 7 times. The Swarm are 2-5 in those contests and have a -2 goal differential against the West Division team.

    General Manager: Mike Board

    Head Coach: Curt Malawsky

  • Colorado Mammoth

    Colorado Mammoth

    The Colorado Mammoth were founded in 2003. Playing out of Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, the Mammoth are owned by Stan Kroenke, who also owns the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and Colorado Rapids. The Mammoth are part of the five-team West Division.

    The Mammoth franchise originally operated as the Baltimore Thunder – one of the original EPBLL franchises – from 1987-99. They then became the Pittsburgh CrosseFire in 2000, then the Washington Power from 2001-02. In 2003, the team moved one last time to Denver and became the Colorado Mammoth.

    The Mammoth have won the NLL Championship once in franchise history (2006).

    Following the completion of the 2019-20 season, the Mammoth and Georgia Swarm have met 8 times. The Swarm are 2-6 in those contests and have a +2 goal differential against the West Division team.

    General Manager: Brad Self

    Head Coach: Pat Coyle

  • Georgia Swarm

    Georgia Swarm

    The Georgia Swarm were founded in 2016. Playing out of Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Georgia, the Swarm are owned by John and Andy Arlotta. The Swarm are part of the four-team East Division.

    The Swarm franchise originally operated in St. Paul, Minnesota as the Minnesota Swarm from 2004-15. Created by the Minnesota Wild, the Arlottas purchased the Swarm in 2008 and moved the franchise to Georgia following the completion of the 2015 NLL season.

    The Swarm have won the NLL Championship once in franchise history (2017).

    From 2016-20, the Swarm have played in 84 games. The team sports a 51-33 record and a +105 goal differential.

    General Manager: John Arlotta

    Head Coach: Ed Comeau

  • Halifax Thunderbirds

    Halifax Thunderbirds

    The Halifax Thunderbirds were founded in 2019, and their inaugural season will be the 2019-20 NLL season. Playing out of Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Thunderbirds are owned by Curt Styres. They are part of the four-team North Division.

    The Thunderbirds originally operated as the Rochester Knighthawks from 1995-2019. Styres moved the Knighthawks’ roster to Halifax following the conclusion of the 2018-19 NLL season. The franchise will also retain all of its records from its Knighthawks days.

    As the Rochester Knighthawks, the franchise won the NLL Championship five times (1997, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014).

    Following the completion of the 2018-19 season, the Knighthawks and Georgia Swarm met 12 times. The Swarm are 8-4 in those contests and have a +15 goal differential against the original Knighthawks franchise.

    General Manager: Curt Styres

    Head Coach: Mike Accursi

  • New England Black Wolves

    New England Black Wolves

    The New England Black Wolves were founded in 2014. Playing out of Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, the Black Wolves are partially owned by the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut and Brad Brewster. The Black Wolves are part of the four-team East Division.

    The Black Wolves franchise originally operated as the Philadelphia Wings – one of the original EPBLL franchises – from 1986-2014. The franchise retained all of its records from its Wings days.

    As the Philadelphia Wings, the franchise won the NLL Championship six times (1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2001).

    Following the completion of the 2019-20 season, the Black Wolves and Georgia Swarm have met 15 times. The Swarm are 9-6 in those contests and have a +16 goal differential against the East Division team.

    General Manager: Glenn Clark

    Head Coach: Glenn Clark

  • New York Riptide

    New York Riptide

    The New York Riptide were founded in 2019, and their inaugural season will be the 2019-20 NLL season. Playing out of Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, the Riptide are owned by GF Sports. They are part of the four-team East Division.

    The Riptide are the third New York-based team in NLL history, following the New York Saints (1989-2003) and New York Titans (2006-09).

    Following the completion of the 2019-20 season, the Riptide and Georgia Swarm have met 3 times. The Swarm are 2-1 in those contests and have a +8 goal differential against the East Division team.

    General Manager: Jim Veltman

    Head Coach: Dan Ladouceur

  • Philadelphia Wings

    Philadelphia Wings

    The Philadelphia Wings were founded in 2017. Playing out of Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Wings are owned by Comcast Spectacor. The Wings are part of the four-team East Division.

    The Philadelphia Wings were one of the original EPBLL teams. They operated for 28 years in Philadelphia before moving to Connecticut and becoming the New England Black Wolves. The Black Wolves retained all records from those 28 years as the Wings.

    Following the completion of the 2019-20 season, the Wings and Georgia Swarm have met 5 times. The Swarm are 3-2 in those contests and have a +3 goal differential against the East Division team.

    General Manager: Paul Day

    Head Coach: Paul Day

  • Rochester Knighthawks

    Rochester Knighthawks

    The Rochester Knighthawks are an expansion team formed in 2019. Playing out of Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York, the Knighthawks are owned by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which also owns the Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bills, and Buffalo Bandits. They are part of the four-team North Division.

    Pegula Sports and Entertainment purchased the franchise in 2019 from Curt Styres, who moved his Knighthawks team to Halifax to become the Halifax Thunderbirds. The Knighthawks remained in Rochester and will be treated as an expansion team, playing their first season in 2019-20.

    Following the completion of the 2019-20 season, the Knighthawks and Georgia Swarm have met once. The Swarm won this lone contest 14-4 against the North Division team.

    General Manager: Dan Carey

    Head Coach: Mike Hasen

  • San Diego Seals

    San Diego Seals

    The San Diego Seals were founded in 2017. Playing out of Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California, the Seals are owned by Joseph Tsai, co-founder of Alibaba Group. The Seals are part of the five-team West Division.

    Following the completion of the 2019-20 season, the Seals and Georgia Swarm have met once. The Swarm won that home game 17-10 against the West Division team.

    General Manager: Patrick Merrill

    Head Coach: Patrick Merrill

  • Saskatchewan Rush

    Saskatchewan Rush

    The Saskatchewan Rush were founded in 2015. Playing out of SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the Rush are owned by Bruce Urban. The Rush are part of the five-team West Division.

    The Rush franchise originally operated as the Edmonton Rush from 2006-2015.

    The Rush have won the NLL Championship three times in franchise history (2015, 2016, 2018).

    Following the completion of the 2019-20 season, the Rush and Georgia Swarm have met 5 times. The Swarm are 3-2 in those contests and have a +7 goal differential against the West Division team.

    General Manager: Derek Keenan

    Head Coach: Jeff McComb

  • Toronto Rock

    Toronto Rock

    The Toronto Rock were founded in 1998. Playing out of Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, the Rock are owned by Jamie Dawick. The Rock are part of the four-team North Division.

    The Rock originally were founded ahead of the 1998 season as the Ontario Raiders, playing at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario. They moved to then-Maple Leaf Gardens after their inaugural season and rebranded as the Toronto Rock.

    The Rock have won the NLL Championship six times (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2011).

    Following the completion of the 2019-20 season, the Rock and Georgia Swarm have met 10 times. The Swarm are 8-2 in those contests and have a +20 goal differential against the North Division team.

    General Manager: Jamie Dawick

    Head Coach: Matt Sawyer

  • Vancouver Warriors

    Vancouver Warriors

    The Vancouver Warriors were founded in 2018. Playing out of Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Warriors are owned by Canucks Sports & Entertainment, which also owns the Vancouver Canucks and Utica Comets. The Warriors are part of the five-team West Division.

    The Warriors franchise originally operated as the Albany Attack from 2000-03. Adopting the Stealth moniker, the franchise moved to San Jose to become the San Jose Stealth in 2004. After staying in the southwest from 2004-09, the franchise moved again and operated as the Washington Stealth from 2010-2013. Following the 2013 NLL season, the franchise crossed the border and became the Vancouver Stealth. After five years at Langley Events Centre, the franchise was sold to Canucks Sports & Entertainment, re-branded as the Warriors, and began playing out of Rogers Arena in 2019.

    The franchise won the NLL Championship once (2010 as the Washington Stealth).

    Following the completion of the 2019-20 season, the Warriors and Georgia Swarm have met twice. The Swarm are 2-0 in those contests and have a +9 goal differential against the West Division team. When the franchise still operated as the Stealth, the Stealth and Georgia Swarm met four times. The Swarm won all of those meetings and had a +15 goal differential.

    General Manager: Dan Richardson

    Head Coach: Chris Gill