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NLL Notebook: Calgary in trouble

There is bad news out of Calgary: owner/general manager Brad Banister of the Roughnecks painted a bleak picture of the future of the team.

"If immediate help is not given, it is unlikely we will be able to complete the current season," Banister wrote in a statement.

Banister held a news conference today asking for support from fans (tickets) or sponsors in order to keep the team going. He also has missed a payroll.

Calgary is in the middle of the league in terms of attendance at just under 10,000 per game. The most obvious source of help would be the Calgary Flames, but they are not interested in purchasing the franchise.

The National Lacrosse League has had some ups and downs over the years in terms of franchises -- and that's putting it kindly -- but it has never had a franchise go under in midseason.

Meanwhile, Rochester is fighting rumors that it is headed elsewhere, as the Knighthawks are only averaging 5,225 fans per game this season. A five-game homestand isn't helping in that sense. Washington, the defending champion, is at the bottom of the league in attendance at around 4,000 fans per game.

This ought to be an interesting All-Star break at Turning Stone Casino in Verona this weekend.

Meanwhile, John Tavares of Buffalo and John Grant of Colorado will be the captains of the All-Star teams on Sunday afternoon. The league also announced that Bandits' announcer John Gurtler will do the play-by-play on Versus, while Chris Swenson will serve as public address announcer.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.