Columbus Loses Major League Lacrosse Team
Major League Lacrosse announced today that its Columbus team will not play its 2019 season.
The Ohio Machine is one of three teams impacted by a new Major League Lacrosse policy limiting ownership to one person, one team. The suspended teams, which also include the Florida Launch and the Charlotte Hounds, were all owned by Jim Davis, who opted to keep a team in Dallas.
This season’s active teams will decrease from nine to six.
Commissioner Sandy Brown says the policy will encourage owners to invest more heavily in their teams, which will help grow Major League Lacrosse.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about having as many people come to your games as possible and obviously we wanted to create avenues to be able to do that," Brown said.
The Ohio Machine said in a statement that the announcement was a "terrible surprise."
"We share in the incredible disappointment in this upsetting news with all those that have supported us over the years," the statement said. "As shocking as this news is, it should not be seen as a reflection of the tremendous success that the Machine, and the game of lacrosse in Ohio, has experienced in recent years."
Players on the team will participate in a draft at the end of April, and this season's ticketholders will receive full refunds. Brown says he hopes to bring the Ohio Machine back to Columbus in the near future.
The team won the 2017 Major League Lacrosse championship, and its stadium in Obetz was the first stadium designated for the MLL.