Lacrosse books examined

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

Creditors should get a better idea next week whether they will recoup any money from the cash-strapped 2006 world field lacrosse championships held in London last summer.

The tournament's books have been turned over to a trustee in an effort to collect outstanding funds and whittle away at a debt of more than $200,000 among what's estimated to be up to 50 creditors.

The tournament's financial struggles have sullied what culminated in a crowning on-field achievement for Canadian lacrosse -- this country's first gold medal over juggernaut United States in 28 years.

"It's been overshadowed," Canadian Lacrosse Association general manager David Miriguay said. "It's unfortunate what happened and it's in the hands of the trustees now. There are definitely negatives to this, but people shouldn't forget there were positives, too."

Many of those positives, however, are intangibles for the city, such as television exposure, international visitors and increased traffic in bars, restaurants and shops. There is no immediate way to gauge local and national impact exposure to lacrosse had on potential players.

"The fall marks the end of our season so the numbers of new players that would've been attracted to the sport from the world championships won't be counted until this coming year," Miriguay said.

The CLA will also play host to the world indoor lacrosse championships in Halifax and the under-19 women's world field championships in Peterborough this year, as well as the 2008 under-19 men's world field championships in Coquitlam, B.C., next year.

Muriguay said the national sport body has learned some valuable lessons from the London experience. In addition to managing the event, the local organizing committee led by Tim Hobbs agreed to assume all expenses for the Canadian team (estimated by one source to be well above $100,000) and to help boost marketing and advertising revenue potential.

"It's a lot of responsibility because if you figure out what it costs to put a team on the field, then you're starting the tournament (that much) in the hole," Miriguay said. "Then, you have to sell a lot of tickets to make up for it or have someone bail you out and that didn't happen. Other events that came to London were bailed out. But not this one."


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