The Toronto Rock To Move To Hamilton
National Lacrosse League team the Toronto Rock has announced having signed a five-year deal that will see it return to Hamilton, the city where the franchise was first launched. The team made the announcement via an online news conference on Tuesday.
The five-year agreement will see the team playing its home games at the FirstOntario Centre from the beginning of this coming December. The possibility of a multi-year extension is also part of the deal, team owner Jamie Dawick has said.
Dawick expressed excitement about the team moving back to the scene of its origins, saying the opportunities for growth are enormous and multiple, and practically a shot booster shot in the arm during current times.
No Changes To Name
The move will however not have any bearing on the team’s name, stressed Dawick. Despite the long and well-known rivalry between Toronto and Hamilton, the team’s name will remain unchanged. Dawick said the team returning home is about much more than a Toronto/Hamilton rivalry, and much bigger when looking at the overall picture.
Since the Toronto Rock is the only professional lacrosse team in Ontario, the team represents the province in its entirety – and especially the GTHA.
Dawick on Tuesday said it like it is when explaining that even he, when travelling outside the area, tells people he’s from Toronto, instead of trying to explain where Hamilton is. The team owner said telling people you’re from Hamilton is just the same as telling them you’re from a place like Bermuda – with no disrespect meant to either Hamilton or Bermuda. It’s just the way things are when you’re travelling in North America and you have a brand, said he.
A Move With Many Benefits
Dawick issued a special invitation to anyone who happens to feel worried or concerned about the team’s name to travel to Hamilton and see what it is the team will be doing in the community. Toronto Rock is more than just a team name, he said, and instead, is an integral part of the franchise’s identity.
The move is very much a business decision, and one that will benefit the community, the players, the franchise, and also the fans. It will mean a much better selection of games played at home, with the plan being to play most of the home-games set for 2021-22 on the weekend, on Saturday nights. This means fans will be able to travel to Hamilton where they’ll get to benefit from considerably lower prices in terms of concession and parking.
What’s more, the lower operation costs will allow the team to grow its fan base by a considerable measure.