The team will be called the New England Black Wolves.
“In ancient times, the Mohegan Tribe was part of the ‘Wolf Clan’ of the Delaware Indian Nation, making its way down through New York State in pursuit of the resources of the Connecticut shoreline,” Mohegan Tribal Council Chairman Kevin Brown said, explaining the choice of nickname. “Now, over 400 years later, the wolves are back in a new way on that shoreline – giving a team name and a new team spirit to Mohegan territory.”
Mohegan Sun and the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority entered into a partnership with the owners of the Philadelphia Wings on August 6. The team relocated and will play its home games at Mohegan Sun Arena.
“This is a franchise rich in history that was looking for a new injection of energy and opportunity,” said Chris Sienko, vice president of the team. “We were a perfect fit. We have the ability to play in our own arena, and we play in a state that is growing by leaps and bounds with lacrosse players, both boys and girls, young and old, who enjoy watching and playing the sport.”
According to Black Wolves’ co-owner Brad Brewster, the popularity of lacrosse in this part of the country makes it a perfect host market.
“New England lacrosse is steadily catching New York and Maryland, traditional lacrosse hotbeds,” he said. “It’s a community that has produced some of the best players in the United States, and is an emerging lacrosse region, with growth in youth and high school programs across the area.”
The 18-week NLL regular season concludes on Sunday, May 3, before the 2015 NLL Playoffs begin the weekend of May 8-10. This is the NLL’s 29th season. The league is comprised of nine franchises across the United States and Canada. The Rochester Knighthawks are the defending league champions. New England went 6-12 last winter and missed the league playoffs.
New England will play in the Eastern Division along with the Buffalo Bandits, Minnesota Swarm, Rochester Knighthawks and Toronto Rock. Teams in the NLL West Division are the Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Edmonton Rush and Vancouver Stealth.
Philadelphia was a charter member of the league that began in 1987 but had only four playoff appearances since 2001. From 1989 through 2001, the Wings won six NLL championships, which is still a league record today.
The Black Wolves open the season January 2, hosting Buffalo at 7 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.blackwolves.com or call 844.LAX.WOLF (529.9653). Deposits are currently being taken for season tickets, groups and mini-plans.
This is the third professional team to be housed at the casino. The first was the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. The Sun also owned an Arena Football League 2 team called the Mohegan Wolves in 2002 and 2003. That team went 3-13 in 2002 and 10-6 in 2003, earning a spot in the league playoffs. The Wolves moved to Manchester, N.H., the following season and played there for six years before the Arena 2 league folded in 2009.
New England’s 2015 schedule
Fri. Jan. 2: BUFFALO, 7 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 10: ROCHESTER, 7 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 24: MINNESOTA, 7 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 30: at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 15: ROCHESTER, 6 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 20: at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 22: COLORADO, 1 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 14: at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Fri. Mar. 20: at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 28: MINNESOTA, 7 p.m.
Fri. April 3: at Minnesota, 8:30 p.m.
Sat. April 4: at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Sun. April 12: VANCOUVER, 1 p.m.
Fri. April 17: at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Sat. April 25: at Rochester, 7:30 p.m.
Sun. April 26: BUFFALO, 6 p.m.
Sat. May 2: at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Sun. May 3: TORONTO, 6 p.m.