After twice hosting National Lacrosse League pre-season games, the Langley Events Centre will now be the site of the league’s ultimate game: the 2013 NLL Champions Cup.
The game, which will be played Saturday, May 11 at 4 p.m. — and broadcast live on the CBS Sports Network — will pit the East Division champion Rochester Knighthawks against the West Division champion Washington Stealth.
The Stealth, who are based out of Everett, Wash., were scheduled to host the game, but their home arena, Comcast Arena, was already booked.
And after team officials were unable to find open weekend dates at other arenas in the Puget Sound area — and not wanting to defer the game to Rochester — the decision was made to come across the border and into Canada.
“Keeping the (championship) game in our region is the best outcome for our fans and will maintain our home-floor advantage,” said David Takata, the Stealth president, in a press release.
“The Langley Events Centre is one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier facilities and has hosted NLL exhibition games during the past two seasons,” he added.
“Getting the fans this close to the action for a championship game will be special.
“The mid-afternoon game will help our fans make the trip to Langley and back in one exciting day.”
The LEC holds 5,500 spectators for lacrosse.
“They had talked to us awhile back,” said Jared Harman, the LEC’s director of business development.
“And early to middle of last week, they called us and said Washington wasn’t going to be a possibility.”
The LEC has previously hosted pre-season action in both 2011 and 2012, including the Stealth playing the Toronto Rock in the first game.
“We took a lot of pride in hosting those games,” Harman said.
“It is exciting that they chose us and it is also exciting that the league approved us as a suitable replacement venue for them.”
“We have a lot of work to do; it is a big event, and once again the facility will be on display,” he added.
“We want to make the community proud and make them want to come back again.”
The two respective rosters feature some members of the Western Lacrosse Association Langley Thunder.
Playing for the Stealth are Lewis Ratcliff and Athan Iannucci, while Brett Hickey is on the team’s practice roster.
The Knighthawks have Thunder player Joel McCready on their roster.