After four years away from the sport, Philadelphia will be welcoming another franchise to the National Lacrosse League in the 2018-19 season. The team's nickname will be chosen by fan vote.
On Thursday, the league held a press conference in Wells Fargo Center to introduce their partnership with Comcast Spectacor on bringing a club back to Philly. League commissioner Nick Sakiewicz and Comcast Spectacor President/CEO Dave Scott were excited about the move.
"Well, Philly, here we go again," Sakiewicz said. "You spoke, and we heard you."
Philadelphia was home to the Wings for 28 seasons before that franchise moved to Uncasville, Conn., as the New England Black Wolves.
"When I took over as commissioner, I studied the history," said Sakiewicz, the former CEO of the MLS' Union. "The history and the memories created in Philadelphia around the Wings over 25 years is spectacular. How could that be missing? How could a league not have that anymore? And it was sad, it was really sad, so it was one of the first things on the agenda when the new business plan came."
Shortly after hearing that Sakiewicz had taken over as commissioner of the league, Scott thought that reviving a franchise in Philadelphia became a real possibility.
"For a lot of us, it was in the back of our minds," Scott said. "For me, it was really Nick coming in as commissioner. Having a personal relationship meant a lot, so when we started to chat, it started to become pretty clear, like 'Wow, this is really getting there. It's real, it's going to happen.' "
Shawn Tilger, the Flyers COO who will be governor of the new franchise, said Philly's team will emphasize a "fan-first experience." Games, he said.