Barring a stunning turn of events, the National Lacrosse League will award its 2006 all-star game to Toronto within a month. NLL commissioner Jim Jennings, who attended the Toronto Rock-Buffalo Bandits game last night at the Air Canada Centre, said he recommended Toronto to the board of governors on Wednesday.
"My choice is Toronto," Jennings said. "I've pitched Toronto and now the board has to approve it."
NBC, which showed the all-star game from Calgary last week in the NLL's network television debut and also will broadcast the championship game, received a 0.8 rating (800,000 homes) for the mid-season showcase, which Jennings felt was a pretty good number.
"We feel we will (at least) have our all-star game and championship game on network television from now on," he said.
Meanwhile, Jennings is in negotiations with groups in New York City and Hartford for possible expansion teams next season. One-time United Parcel Service chairman John Rogers is the main financial man for the New York entry, which would play at Madison Square Garden. Jennings said the league will only go to New York if MSG is a part-owner or a marketing partner. MSG, which is sending executives to a NLL game in Philadelphia March 18, also operates the Hartford Civic Center.
As for Canada, Jennings has talked to groups in Montreal and Edmonton. Winnipeg also is on his radar screen.