A letter to the lacrosse community...
For over 30 years, we have been working hard to build the game of lacrosse, nd specifically box lacrosse in the Northern Virginia area. The primary issue has always been facilities. Even in nearby Baltimore, he existence of public/private partnerships have allowed box lacrosse to flourish. Here is Northern Virginia, we have very few options.
Don West brought the MABLL to Sports Network in Manassas in 1982 which is now out of business. In 2006, we played our last game at Sports Network due to a change in ownership and a redesign of the facility. We briefly went to Dulles Sportsplex in 2006 and then in 2007, we discovered The BOX and forged a strong partnership with them. The BOX was primarily an inline hockey facility but was absolutely perfect for box lacrosse. In April of 2012, The BOX shuttered ts doors and the facility has been converted back into warehouse space.
The MABLL quickly shifted to Dulles Sportsplex in the summer of 2012. This was our home until 2016 when costs and availability prevented us from continuing. Since Dulles was the only place to play indoor sports, they dominated the market and still do today. In 2017, we briefly went to Wheaton Sports Pavilion.
Box lacrosse will always be dependent on facilities. In Canada, where box lacrosse thrives, the have plentiful ice rinks that are thawed in the summer. That doesn't happen around here. In warmer areas of the country like California and Florida, inline rinks are everywhere. We have them here too in Alexandria and Loudoun Counties but we have not been allowed to play lacrosse on them, but we continue to try.
The bottom line is WE NEED OUR OWN FACILITY that we can manage and be the primary occupant. Box lacrosse is such a wonderful sport and may never be the primary sport, but partner with an inline hockey group or the like, we could create a wonderful, two rink facility that would benefit this area for many "niche" sports.
Scott and I are both career public servants as a firefighter, teacher and coaches. We do not have the means to build or finance a facility. Box lacrosse is a low-margin endeavor which is why you never see any group do it for very long. We do it for the love of the game that has brought so much to our lives. We personally put up our own money for facility deposits, new shotclocks, goalie equipment, etc. to restart the MABLL.
If you have the means, know of some property or have some ideas on how to create a facility, please reach out and start the discussion.
Marty & Scott Joyner