Connecticut Hammerheads Host Kick-Off Press Conference at Fairfield University, Feb. 28

Connecticut Hammerheads Host Kick-Off Press Conference at Fairfield University, Feb. 28

Connecticut Hammerheads President Ian Frenette, Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, Major League Lacrosse Commissioner Sandy Brown, Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, and Fairfield University Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann spoke at a kick-off press conference on February 28 to welcome the new MLL franchise to Fairfield.

The lacrosse franchise announced earlier in February that they will call Fairfield University their home, and the team is slated to play all five of its home games on Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium.

Major League Lacrosse (MLL) and the Connecticut Hammerheads hosted a press conference at Fairfield University on Friday, February 28, for media, fans, and the public to meet the newest MLL franchise’s team leaders, coaches, and players. Speaking at the press conference was Connecticut Hammerheads President Ian Frenette, Major League Lacrosse Commissioner Sandy Brown, Fairfield University Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann, University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, and Town of Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick.

The Hammerheads announced earlier in February that they will call Fairfield University their home, and will be the league’s first team based in Connecticut since the Bridgeport Barrage relocated to Philadelphia, Pa. in 2003.

Connecticut Hammerheads midfielder Landon Kramer posing with local youth lacrosse players

Connecticut Hammerheads midfielder Landon Kramer poses with local youth lacrosse players following the Hammerheads' Feb. 28 press conference.

The new partnership created between the University and the Hammerheads, Frenette said, poses a unique opportunity to create a new brand that is community-focused.

“It’s not often that you get to create a brand-new brand or brand-new team. It’s one of the areas that when you look at this type of opportunity, you think about how important it is to build a program and work with a community and make sure that if we’re going to build an organization that is successful, it’s all about the community,” said Frenette. “It’s one thing to put players on the field and put coaches in place and have an impact on the field and get wins and losses which is really important, but from our perspective, you can’t build a professional sports franchise without the support of the people around you.”

The Hammerheads open their season at home on May 30 at Rafferty Stadium, which was built in 2015. The season opener will be the second-ever MLL game played in the stadium, as Fairfield University hosted a 2016 MLL semifinals matchup between the Denver Outlaws and the New York Lizards.

Though the season opener will be just one of several MLL games to come to Fairfield, Commissioner Brown said Connecticut has a history of strong youth and school programs providing quality lacrosse players — something that he expects to continue, as he noted the 20 young athletes in attendance at the press conference.

“There are 31,000 participants in the sport of lacrosse in the state of Connecticut, and you would not be surprised to know that there are a number of MLL all-stars that hail from the state,” Brown said. “Since 2001, there have been 61 Division I All-Americans that come from the state of Connecticut. So all these participants in the sport, all these great success stories in MLL and in the NCAA have come out of these youth programs here in the state of Connecticut, and it’s something that this town in particular should be very proud of.”

The next generation of lacrosse players even had a chance to run practice drills with Hammerheads midfielder Landon Kramer on Conway Field, following the press conference.

For Fairfield's Schlickmann, the opportunity to host the Connecticut Hammerheads is the fulfillment of a vision created by Lawrence C. Rafferty ‘64, for whom Rafferty Stadium is named, and Timothy Conway ’76, for whom the field is named.

“Part of their vision was certainly to enhance our infrastructure and give Fairfield a great recruitable asset and enhance our programs,” he said. “But also, they had a vision that went beyond that. And that was to build a venue that could do just this.”

With their inaugural season on the horizon, Commissioner Brown offered that the team is looking forward not just to playing quality lacrosse, but also to becoming part of the Fairfield — and state — communities.

“A critical component for any professional franchise is the passion of its fanbase. And we believe that the Connecticut Hammerheads are going to provide fans young and old the opportunity to see the very best the sport of lacrosse has to offer and the MLL has demonstrated for the last 20 years,” said Brown. “And we’ve prided ourselves on being engrained in the communities in which we reside, and you can be certain that our players are going to be loyal and enthusiastic ambassadors for the town of Fairfield and for the state of Connecticut, and we look forward to being a part of this town and this state for many years to come.”

The team is slated to play all five of its home games on Conway Field at Rafferty Stadium. For more information on Hammerheads season tickets, please email tickets@cthammerheads.com. Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, March 11. 

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Last modified: 02-28-20 2:50 PM

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