Provincial rivalry may grow

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:39 PM ET

National Lacrosse League commissioner Jim Jennings is wary of saying the E-word. Edmonton, that is.

Since the Calgary Roughnecks joined the league four years ago, multiple groups have tried to secure an expansion franchise for the provincial capital but each attempt has fallen through.

At an all-star press conference yesterday at the Saddledome, Jennings admitted there is a new group interested in bringing a team to Edmonton.

He said it could happen as early as next year.

"I always get snakebit when I say Edmonton," said Jennings.

"But these guys seem pretty good. We're hoping to get an official application in from them so we can review their financials. We've been to the dance with owners from Edmonton before, we've just never been able to close it up."

Jennings has always maintained the league would love to see a team in Edmonton to add another facet to the Battle of Alberta.

The NLL has already received formal expansion applications from groups in Hartford, Conn., and New York City, where the team would play out of Madison Square Garden.

Jennings said they've also been in contact with a group in Dallas.

The deadline to approve expansion teams is June 1, although that date has been flexible in the past.

The commissioner added he would like to limit expansion to two teams next season, although if a Canadian city was coming on board, he'd be OK with three new clubs.

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FAIR SHARE: The NLL is hoping for a one share in today's live broadcast of the all-star game by NBC in North American, Europe and Asia.

Commissioner Jim Jennings said a one share -- which works out to one-million viewers -- is a realistic mark. The NLL is hoping if things go well with the all-star game and Champion's Cup final, which NBC will also broadcast, it could lead to a game-of-the-week deal with the network in the future.

"If it does an unbelievable rating, it's an easy decision," said Jennings with a grin.

"But that's not realistic. A one share would be realistic and we'll go from there and see what we can work out with NBC."


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