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Univ of Michigan adds lacrosse


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#41 Guest_slapshot_*

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 12:40 PM

I think if Michigan football gets back on track, and the money train that football generates continues to flow...the lax program(s) will be fine. But, if Michigan football continues to flounder for the foreseeable future, then the hand that feeds all the other programs (football), will begin to close.

Trust me when I say - there is no strong, grass-roots love for lax in Michigan. The lax start-up was all made possible by a grant from the pizza mogul. But in general, it's football #1, then hockey and/or basketball #2 and #3.

#42 Zack80

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 01:13 PM

I think if Michigan football gets back on track, and the money train that football generates continues to flow...the lax program(s) will be fine. But, if Michigan football continues to flounder for the foreseeable future, then the hand that feeds all the other programs (football), will begin to close.

Trust me when I say - there is no strong, grass-roots love for lax in Michigan. The lax start-up was all made possible by a grant from the pizza mogul. But in general, it's football #1, then hockey and/or basketball #2 and #3.


No one would deny the truth of your post. Although, lacrosse does seem to be a growth sport in Michigan with 94 high schools having teams according to laxpower. Also, the niche lacrosse occupies of being popular amongst the upper middle class, probably makes it a nice addition for Michigan. Also, many of the schools Michigan likes to compete against have teams: OSU, ND, PSU, the Ivy league, ACC, service academies, ...

#43 Guest_slapshot_*

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 02:07 PM

No one would deny the truth of your post. Although, lacrosse does seem to be a growth sport in Michigan with 94 high schools having teams according to laxpower. Also, the niche lacrosse occupies of being popular amongst the upper middle class, probably makes it a nice addition for Michigan. Also, many of the schools Michigan likes to compete against have teams: OSU, ND, PSU, the Ivy league, ACC, service academies, ...


Inorder to sustain, the issue will be revenue. Even in a state such as Md, where there has long been both high school and college lax traditions, it's hard to get more than a few thousand butts in the seats for many college games. Heck, I was surprised at the rather enemic crowd at the NCAA championship game bvetween Md and another area lax team. Now, take a state like Michigan, with no strong roots/tradition for lax, and attendance figures will (ultimately) be an important factor regarding the longevity of the program...UNLESS...football can continue to support. The ONLY game I can see that will pull any interest will be the OSU game....and that has nothing to do with the game of lax, itself. Also, keep in mind that classes END at Michigan in late April (unlike many universities that go until the end of may). The students will all be gone by April 30th..and if Michigan gets back to March Madness, the month of March will be focused on basketball, not lax.

Don't get me wrong, I hope their program makes it. My son just graduated from Blue. But, without the big donation from the pizza man, and continued support from the football program...Michigan lax would be still born because it is not a revenue generating sport, and is not likely to ever be one. I was told by an AD I know that sports like lax, soccer, etc take about $2-$3 million per year, per gender/sport (ie male and female) to keep running. Hockey is much, much more than this. Many schools have 15-25 NCAA sports. That's a BOAT LOAD of money that has to come from someplace? Everything is easy when the school gets big donations (as did PSU to start hockey - $80mil)...but the issue will be...how will they balance their books 10 years from now? Answer: gotta come from football revenue. Many schools charge every student an activity fee to help make up the difference. For some family's, that's a tax that they don't want to pay. A few schools, like Purdue University, doesn't charge their students a dime....but is one reason why they have fewer NCAA sports than most school's their size. The Republican in me (I'm an Independent) says - if a sport can't pay it's own way, why bother? If the students wanted and supported, then they would go to the games. But when attendance, for some NCAA events is only a few 100...then clearly nobody cares, so why sponsor?

Edited by slapshot, 23 June 2011 - 12:59 PM.


#44 Zack80

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 05:40 PM

I don't know that attendance is the only means of profit for a lacrosse at a DI school like Michigan. More games are appearing on TV than before and this seems to be increasing which brings in TV revenue. Then there is the summer camp thing; 94 high schools in Michigan playing lacrosse now and it will probably be increasing - that is quite a lot of kids for a lax camp at Michigan. Then there is merchandising - Michigan lacrosse shirts, ...

Notre Dame could also be a big game for Michigan.

I think the big thing for Michigan is to get competitive fairly quickly. If they could get into the top 20 regularly after 5 years, it would make it much harder to cut lacrosse. If they could make it into the top 10 in 10 years, the popularity of lacrosse might carry them a long way - much as it has done at Notre Dame.

#45 Guest_slapshot_*

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 06:36 PM

I don't know that attendance is the only means of profit for a lacrosse at a DI school like Michigan. More games are appearing on TV than before and this seems to be increasing which brings in TV revenue. Then there is the summer camp thing; 94 high schools in Michigan playing lacrosse now and it will probably be increasing - that is quite a lot of kids for a lax camp at Michigan. Then there is merchandising - Michigan lacrosse shirts, ...

Notre Dame could also be a big game for Michigan.

I think the big thing for Michigan is to get competitive fairly quickly. If they could get into the top 20 regularly after 5 years, it would make it much harder to cut lacrosse. If they could make it into the top 10 in 10 years, the popularity of lacrosse might carry them a long way - much as it has done at Notre Dame.


Here's the bottom line - I'm not aware of ANY lax program that is profitable, so it is highly unlikely that Mich lax will be profitable...even with some love from the BTN.

There is not a strong rivalry between Mich and ND. The rivalries are with OSU and MSU. That said, nobody in the BT likes ND so that game might draw some.

Mich football is a huge cash cow, so, for the immediate future, I don't see them cutting lax. But I doubt lax will ever be profitable, and as long as they can drink from the football well, there's nothing to worry about.

#46 Zack80

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 08:37 PM

Here's the bottom line - I'm not aware of ANY lax program that is profitable, so it is highly unlikely that Mich lax will be profitable...even with some love from the BTN.

There is not a strong rivalry between Mich and ND. The rivalries are with OSU and MSU. That said, nobody in the BT likes ND so that game might draw some.

Mich football is a huge cash cow, so, for the immediate future, I don't see them cutting lax. But I doubt lax will ever be profitable, and as long as they can drink from the football well, there's nothing to worry about.


Someone on thesabre.com said the UVa program was breaking even.

I think there is a good chance that sometime in the future lacrosse will be profitable for many schools. Lacrosse is growing. I think TV might push it over the break even mark eventually.

#47 Guest_slapshot_*

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 08:51 PM

Someone on thesabre.com said the UVa program was breaking even.


Doubtful. 2009 attendance figures:

1. Syracuse 5,832
2. Ohio State 5,762
3. Navy 5,263
4. Johns Hopkins 3,036
5. Massachusetts 2,930
6. Virginia 2,712
7. Hofstra 2,455
8. Cornell 2,317
9. Towson 2,187
10. Loyola 2,084
11. North Carolina 1,769
12. Maryland 1,653
13. Princeton 1,599
14. Stony Brook 1,554
15. Duke 1,527
16. Georgetown 1,517
17. UMBC 1,333
18. Harvard 1,271
19. Brown 1,038
20. Rutgers 1,034