The owners of the Philadelphia Wings, one of nine teams in the indoor National Lacrosse League, plan to move the franchise for the 2015 season. The organization is taking part in discussions with a new strategic partner for relocation, pending NLL Board of Governors approval.
Fans that have placed deposits or paid in full for the 2015 season will be issued a full refund, in the same manner in which they paid, within seven days.
Inside Lacrosse has speculated that the team will move to Connecticut, but has no confirmation.
“My love for the Wings and my connection with the city has made this move all the more difficult,” said Wings owner and team president Michael French, a former Cornell All-American and member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of our Philadelphia supporters over the past 28 years.
“The financial model in a market with so many sport and entertainment alternatives has proven to be unsustainable,” added French, a former Wings player. “Finding a new venue with new strategic partners was the only way to ensure financial stability.”
The Wings have several ties to the Baltimore area: defender John Ranagan was an All-American midfielder at Johns Hopkins, where he was a teammate of defender Mike Poppleton, who is a Wings practice squad player. Megastar Paul Rabil (Johns Hopkins) had 17 goals and 21 assists for the Wings in 2013 but opted not to play this season; he had surgery in September on torn hip muscles, and it seemed likely he skipped the NLL season to prepare for the Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships, in which he led the U.S. to an opening-game win Friday.
In last fall's draft, the Wings selected defender Tucker Durkin from Johns Hopkins at No. 19 overall, but he didn't play.
Also, assistant coach Chris Collins played for the Washington Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse. Friends coach Tom Marechek starred for the Wings from 1994 to 2005, winning four championships in the league, which was renamed in 1998 as the National Lacrosse League from the Major Indoor Lacrosse League.
Baltimore Sun reporter Jon Fogg contributed.