So the Sabres are sold out for the rest of the season, and you need an arena sports fix to get you through the “less warm nights” of this years “winter”?
Well one of the fastest growing sports in North America is Lacrosse, and the NLL Professional Indoor Box variation is featured quite prominently here in Buffalo at HSBC Arena. The Buffalo Bandits kick off their 14th season this Friday. The Bandits got their start back in 1992 to sold out crowds at The Aud. They have 3 Pro Championships to their name, and have been back to the finals twice in the past 3 years. Veteran John Tavares set the National Lacrosse League,Aeos All-Time scoring mark last season, and is set to continue distancing himself anyone attempting to gain ground.
(ABOVE: David Moore of Jackdaw “The Bandits Piper”)
The live game experience is more family friendly than ever, while at the same time having the atmosphere of a concert event. It all starts when the lights go down as we hear David Moore of Jackdaw,Aeos Bagpipes. Moore enters the field — kilt and all — from the stands filled with loyal fans sporting the orange of the Bandits, including orange wigs and giant orange cowboy hats. The crowd is loud… a volume similar to a Bills game when the opponent comes up to the line on 3rd and 10.
(ABOVE: The Bandits “Faithful”)
Then the team makes their entrance, sometimes from the stands, sometimes from the Zamboni entrance emerging from a giant backdrop full of fog and dramatic lights. It,Aeos an experience not to be missed. Like a European soccer match, Bandit,Aeos fans have their own signature chants and cheers, which makes the crowd participation part all the more fun. Bandit,Aeos Game Director Jen Dunford has some special surprises up her sleeve this year, so expect what I describe above,AeP and more.
(ABOVE: The Bandettes)
Take all of this and throw in the Bandette,Aeos Cheerleaders, and Team Mascot “Rax” The Raccoon, and you have an amazing night of entertainment and athleticism that rarely gets the media coverage that 14,000 fans and a Championship Buffalo team certainly deserve.
Pro Lacrosse players are a special breed, many work other jobs during the week and fly from various parts of North America to play games in the NLL’s weekend-focused schedule. The Bandits are no exception and boast a variety of professionals, from teachers to policemen, general contractors and more. But the one thing that certainly has gained the Bandits a following has been their work ethic on the field.
(ABOVE: Bandits FORWARD- Mark Steenhuis)
Along with John Tavares, fan favorite known for his hair and scoring ability, Mark Steenhuis will make his return. Bandit,Aeos PR Director Rob “Clips” Crean describes rookie Brett Bucktooth as one to watch, coming off of three semifinal NCAA appearances with Syracuse Orange as well as being a two-time All American. Defenseman Kyle Couling is back from Vancouver to live in Buffalo during the season. The team chemistry is certainly there for GM/Coach Darris Kilgour to take his team back to the Champions Cup, and finally bring the Championship back.
The tickets are family affordable starting at 19 dollars each per game, with Season Tickets starting as low as 12 dollars each per game(96 Bucks for a season!).
The expansion New York Titans will be making their Buffalo debut against the Bandits this Friday at HSBC Arena in the Home Opener starting at 7:30pm. For more info go to www.bandits.com.