After weeks of speculation that Major League Lacrosse would be bringing a team back to the Philadelphia area and plenty of campaigning from Pro Lacrosse Talk’s resident Philadelphia Barrage fan Adam Moore, the Philadelphia Barrage are officially back.
The MLL announced today that a new incarnation of the Philadelphia Barrage will be returning to the league and making their 2020 season debut in Philadelphia on June 6.
The team will operate under Mark Burdett and Spencer Ford will make his head coaching debut for the Barrage. The Barrage moved from Bridgeport to Philadelphia for the 2004 MLL season. The Philadelphia Barrage dominated the MLL during these years, making the playoffs four of their five years and winning the MLL Championship three times.
The Philadelphia Barrage featured some of the most storied names in MLL history, including Greg Cattrano, Matt Striebel, Brian Spallina, Ryan Boyle, Roy Colsey, Brian Reese, Brian Dougherty and Kyle Sweeney.
“We are proud that the Barrage are Back in Philadelphia,” said MLL Commissioner, Alexander Brown.
“Rooting ourselves in Philadelphia allows MLL to tap into one of the largest youth lacrosse markets in the country and offer these young fans the opportunity to see the highest level of play in lacrosse all summer long. Mark Burdett is a seasoned veteran in the professional sports landscape, and he will create a great experience for partners, players and fans to enjoy some of the best talent Major League Lacrosse has to offer.”
Mark Burdett has more than thirty-five years of experience. As a top sports and media executive, Burdett served in senior roles for the Baltimore Ravens, the Washington Redskins and several major market television stations. Burdett has also served as the President of MLL’s Chesapeake Bayhawks and will continue acting as the Chief Revenue officer of MLL.
“We are thrilled to be bringing the Barrage back to Philadelphia,” said Mark Burdett, President of the Philadelphia Barrage.
“The history of success for this franchise paired with the development of the market over the last decade, makes this a perfect match. We’re excited to proactively work with community leaders, businesses, and local non-profit organizations to bring a positive impact to the entire Philadelphia community.”
The Philadelphia Barrage will be led by Spencer Ford. Ford began with the MLL in the league’s inaugural year, playing one game in 2001. After four years of not playing, Ford made his return in 2006 for the LA Riptide. His career ended in 2009 due to injury, but his value in the league had become known and he was immediately brought into the Chesapeake Bayhawks’ front office as the team’s General Manager.
Since 2009, Ford has served in General Manager and Offensive Coordinator positions for the Bayhawks and the Atlanta Blaze. After developing the most successful team in Blaze history in 2019, Ford is ready to step forward and lead the Philadelphia Barrage.
“I could not be more excited to reintroduce the Barrage to the fans in Philadelphia,” said Ford.
“Fans will see the best talent lacrosse has to offer in the men wearing the Barrage blue and orange. The tradition of success built in ’04 to ’08 is not lost on me. We look forward to bringing the trophy home to Philadelphia at the end of the season.”
The news comes a day after the announcement that the league will not operate the Atlanta Blaze for the 2020 season. Players on the Atlanta Blaze roster that are still under contract with the MLL will join the new Philadelphia franchise. The MLL will maintain the Atlanta Blaze’s trademarks and colors for a potential return to the Atlanta market.
At the time publication, a home venue for the Philadelphia Barrage had not yet been announced. For more information on the Barrage and how to purchase season tickets, please email [email protected] Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, March 11.
Let us know your thoughts on the recently announced return of the Philadelphia Barrage using the #TheBarrageAreBack and check out our recent discussion about the Philadelphia Barrage dynasty on Episode 59 of Pro Lacrosse Talk.