BankAtlantic Seduced by Lingerie, Not Lacrosse
|Flickr User: misterand3rson|
|For the attention of sports fans, lacrosse must compete with her.|
Specifically, Kevin Finneran, the former professional lacrosse star who has been tirelessly marketing the sport in South Florida in hopes of launching a National Lacrosse League franchise. I had not spoken with Finneran since shortly after he'd staged the first professional lacrosse match in Florida history, January 3 at the BankAtlantic.
|Flickr User: Forget Me Knott Photography|
Finneran had reason to hope this might create momentum for the franchise he envisioned, but when I spoke to him yesterday, he sounded considerably less hopeful than he had a few months ago. "There's nothing concrete," he sighed. Yes, he'd caught wind of the new sport that had earned a berth in the South Florida sports scene. "It's obviously disappointing to see something like the lingerie football team in there," says Finneran, whose sport offers raw competition but lacks a libido lure. "You have a great sport being played by guys who do it for the love of the game."
Usually, the stumbling block for the slightly less traditional American sports is funding, but Finneran said that's not the obstacle for him. "I have people who want to do it," he says. "It's a question of whether things fall in correctly with the BankAtlantic Center."
Yes, the same BankAtlantic that found room for the lingerie league. Admittedly, the lacrosse team would need more dates than that league, which will have only two games -- one in November and one in January. Plus, the BankAtlantic has to work around the Panthers' schedule, as well as concerts and other nonsporting events. But Finneran was flexible.
At the moment, there are no plans for another showcase match between out-of-town teams. Finneran made it clear that was a means to an end, which is now in doubt. It's both reassuring and frustrating for him to see the sport continue to grow in popularity on the high school campuses of South Florida. Why can't that enthusiasm be the impetus for a local pro team?
"Our sport speaks for itself," says Finneran. "The people who went to the [January] game had an amazing experience and loved every minute of it."