OLA Approves MSL move to Owen Sound
On Wednesday evening, the Ontario Lacrosse Association approved the move of the Major Series Lacrosse Brampton Excelsiors to Owen Sound. The franchise, owned by Joe Norton, will play out of the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre when the 2021 MSL season hopes to begin play.
“At last night’s Board of Governors meeting, the move of Brampton to Owen Sound finally has been resolved,” MSL commissioner Doug Luey said. “I couldn’t be happier to have this situation put behind us. It has been an issue for quite some time, without any action from the OLA. This, despite our league trying have some sort of resolution, so we can move forward as a league.”
The MSL Board of Governors approved the move at their Annual General Meeting in November 2020, so Norton’s team could be based in Owen Sound for the 2021 season. Weeks after the move was given the thumbs up by MSL and not approved yet by the OLA, a group from Brampton contested the transfer. That group of Major Excelsiors alumni recently launched a petition requesting the OLA investigate the actions of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club (BELC), the sale of the club, and dissolve the BELC board of directors. In its petition, the Excelsiors alumni explained they don’t believe the deal it signed with Norton in 2018 was the best deal the BELC could have agreed to.
A week later, a story by Anna Taylor in In Lacrosse We Trust (ILWT), said the BELC will not contest the move to Owen Sound.
Since then, the OLA has been silent on the topic, and did not have it on any of its agendas until Luey did what he could to bring the situation to light for Wednesday’s meeting, despite some pushback.
“I’m excited for our players,” Luey said. “Owen Sound is a sports hotbed. The Ontario Series Lacrosse (Senior B Owen Sound North Stars) draw very well. It will be great for our players to have an engaed crowd to play in front of.”
With the move to One Sound finally in the books, MSL can now move forward with its annual draft, slated for March 18. The league has also been working on its various scenarios for the 2021 season. Both the draft and 2021 schedule scenarios have been at a standstill until the OLA approved the move to Owen Sound.