BOSTON – David Gross, the first Commissioner in the history of Major League Lacrosse (MLL), announced Dec. 23 he will step down as Commissioner following the 2017 season.
“It has been such an incredible honor to serve as Commissioner of Major League Lacrosse for all these years,” Commissioner Gross said. “To be a part of building a league from the ground up has been rewarding and has given meaning to my professional working career.”
“In my almost 40 years of business I have never met anyone who defines the words honest, hardworking and reliable more than Dave,” MLL Founder Jake Steinfeld said. “He is truly a man of his word. Thanks to Dave’s tireless efforts on behalf of the league for the past 13 years, MLL is on a course for growth and prosperity. The league will miss Dave and all he has brought to the position.”
Gross assumed the Commissioner’s role in 2004. Prior to that, he was the Vice President and General Manager of the Boston Cannons from 2001 to 2003, the first three years in the history of the franchise. He then became the COO of MLL before being named Commissioner.
In 13 seasons at MLL, Commissioner Gross has expanded the visibility of the sport through national television agreements with ESPN, CBS Sports Network and a multitude of regional cable partners. He also oversaw the launch of the Lax Sports Network in January 2016, the first digital video network solely dedicated to covering all things lacrosse.
“I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge three individuals who I will always owe a debt of gratitude,” Commissioner Gross said. “Matt Dwyer, the founding owner of the Cannons, brought me into MLL in November 2000. Without his faith in me, I never would have had this opportunity. Next, MLL Founder Jake Steinfeld had the vision, along with Dave Morrow and Tim Robertson, to create MLL when a professional field lacrosse league did not exist. Over the past 13 years, Jake has been my biggest supporter, my closest confidant, and most importantly, a great friend.
“Lastly, I need to thank New Balance Chairman Jim Davis for what he has done for me personally, for the league and the sport of lacrosse. There are countless other individuals that I need to thank, and fortunately, I will have the next eight months to let them know how important they have been to me during my term as Commissioner.”
The MLL brand grew under Commissioner Gross by aligning with the most recognized brands in lacrosse, such as New Balance, Warrior, Brine, Cascade, STX, Maverick, and StringKing. He also guided the league to the national forefront through partnerships with iconic brands such as Coca-Cola and Powerade.
“I decided to announce my decision now so the league has ample time to hire a new Commissioner and allow for a smooth transition,” Commissioner Gross said.
“I believe in MLL and will do everything I can to make my final season as Commissioner the best one in league history,” Commissioner Gross said. “We have an amazing product with the greatest players in the world.”
2017 MLL Championship game in Texas
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) announced Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, TX will host the 2017 MLL Championship Game on Saturday, August 19. It will mark the first ever MLL Championship Game in the state of Texas.
“We are extremely proud to announce a partnership with the city of Frisco and The Star,” MLL Commissioner David Gross said. “Ford Center is a premier venue that will be instrumental in showcasing our Championship Game this August and we look forward to growing the sport of lacrosse in Texas.”
Ford Center is a 12,000-seat indoor facility on the campus of The Star that hosts the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and serves as the team’s practice venue. It opened in August 2016 with a slate of local high school football games. The facility serves as a focal point to the sports and entertainment district that offers fans the ultimate experience with over 15 restaurants, the Dallas Cowboys ring of honor, an Omni Hotel and the Tostitos Championship Plaza.
“We’re beyond thrilled to host the 2017 Major League Lacrosse Championship Game at our state-of-the-art facility here at Ford Center at The Star,” said Dallas Cowboys Chief Operating Officer Stephen Jones. “With lacrosse being one of the fastest growing sports in North Texas, we’re looking forward to providing an incredible environment for all fans of MLL and the sport of lacrosse.”
This year’s MLL Championship Game will mark the second MLL game of any kind in the state of Texas, along with the 2015 MLL All-Star Game at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
Each of the previous three MLL Championship Games was held in Kennesaw, GA at Fifth Third Bank Stadium. The Denver Outlaws won the Steinfeld Trophy last season with a 19-18 win over the Ohio Machine, for the franchise’s second ever league title.
Tickets for the 2017 MLL Championship Game will go on sale to the public on February 18.
About The Star
The Star is the 91-acre campus of the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and practice facility in Frisco, Texas. Developed as a first-of-its-kind partnership between the City of Frisco and Frisco ISD, The Star features Ford Center, a 12,000-seat stadium that hosts Frisco ISD football games and other events; Cowboys Fit, a 60,000 square-foot gym developed in partnership with leading fitness developer, Mark Mastrov; and Cowboys Club, a members-only club where the country club meets the NFL. Throughout 2017, The Star will welcome The Omni Frisco Hotel, a 16-floor, 300-room luxury hotel; Baylor Scott & White Sports Therapy & Research at The Star, a 300,000 square-foot center of excellence for sports medicine; as well as a variety of shopping, dining and nightlife options. For more information on The Star, visit: http://thestarinfrisco.com/.
MLL announces rule changes
Faceoffs will follow similar style to NCAA rules
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) announced two adjustments to the league’s rule book that will take effect immediately.
At the faceoff, referees will call “set” after the players are properly positioned and prior to stepping away from the faceoff X. They will then blow the whistle one to two seconds after stepping clear of the area. The rule previously stated that referees would call “set” and blow the whistle simultaneously after clearing the faceoff area.
Any player who accrues five separate personal fouls or 10 minutes of penalty time in a single game will be ejected from that game. The player will be subject to possible suspension from future games.
“Both of these changes were made with the intention of improving our product on the field,” MLL Lacrosse Operations Manager Colin Keane said. “We work with our faceoff specialists at the end of each season to determine how we can make the faceoff better, and the cadence was the one area that was continuously mentioned, which is where that change stemmed from. We also wanted to maximize player safety by adding an extra deterrent for piling up penalty minutes.”
Both changes were voted on and approved by team general managers.
Information for these stories was provided by MLL.