The New York Riptide, in coordination with the National Lacrosse League — the longest running and most successful professional lacrosse league in the world, announced recently that the franchise’s second season is targeted to begin the weekend of April 9th to 11th, 2021 at Nassau Coliseum. A detailed schedule will follow at an appropriate time.
“I would first like to thank NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz and the league office for their leadership and guidance through this process. The health and safety of our players, staff, fans and entire community have remained at the forefront of all our decision making,” said Rich Lisk, Executive Vice President of GF Sports & Entertainment. “After much careful consideration and discussion, we are excited to announce that the Riptide will return to Nassau Coliseum for the 2021 NLL season and we will work with the League to target the April 9-11, 2021 weekend to open the season. We can’t wait to get back to the floor and will continue to strictly follow Federal, State and County guidelines to ensure the safest environment possible, and hope to have the opportunity to play in front of our amazing fans as soon as possible.”
“We have been continuously working with our teams, Players’ Association, arenas, and health and government officials to prepare to play our 35th season. An April start date will give us sufficient time to have our protocols in place for players, coaches, staff as well as fans,” NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said. “We are working with all teams to provide the safest environment and an acceptable level of fans in the stands. We understand that current circumstances will dictate whether this plan is achievable and we will be prepared to remain flexible and pivot as needed. We want to thank all our players, fans and partners who have supported our efforts to stay connected and engaged during this prolonged offseason and are looking forward to returning to play in April.”
Under the current plan, teams would report to individual training camps – some virtual and some in-person – under strict guidelines in mid-March, with all teams beginning game play in April. The league is in the process of continuing to build out several scenarios which factor in current and longer-term restrictions in municipalities in both the United States and Canada with regard to immigration and facility use. The NLL’s plans will remain fluid with options for best case scenarios for teams, officials, players, fans and coaches as April approaches.
The 2019-20 NLL season ended March 12 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
This offseason, the Riptide hired NLL Hall of Famer Jim Veltman as general manager and five-time NLL champion Dan Ladouceur as head coach. The team also signed four-time NLL All-Pro Callum Crawford to a two-year deal and selected two-time Tewaaraton Trophy nominee Jeff Teat with the first overall pick in the NLL draft. The team also launched The Riptide Training Academy, which provides exclusive box lacrosse instruction through camps, clinics and tournaments across Long Island.
The Riptide have given fans two great ways to ensure their tickets to the home opener. The first is a risk-free $50 per seat deposit for season memberships that can be placed by calling Director of Ticket Sales Marc Gerstein at 516-331-4290. The second is by registering their child for the six-session Riptide Training Academy Fall Clinics, where Novice, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget aged players will have the opportunity to learn from current Riptide players and staff at Sportime Bethpage. The program will include box specific lacrosse instruction tailored to each age group and skill level throughout the sessions. The sessions will be held on November 7, 14, 21 and December 5, 12, 19 and are $300 per child. Each registration includes six weeks of instruction, exclusive Riptide Training Academy branded gear, an additional clinic on the turf at Nassau Coliseum at a Riptide home game with Riptide players, ticket vouchers to Riptide games and other exclusive player events with the players and coaches throughout the 2020-21 National Lacrosse League season. These clinics will also be used as a series of training and part of the evaluations for building the organization’s Jr. Riptide teams.