Nov 24, 2020
The Board of Directors of the Brampton Excelsior Lacrosse Club (BELC) would like to take this opportunity to respond to some of the misinformation and assumptions which have sadly played out on social media recently.
As any supporter of Major Series Lacrosse is aware, there is a substantial cost to be able to field a championship quality team. In the years leading up to 2012, the Brampton Major Excelsiors were financially viable and competitive, in large part through the financial support of a major Corporate sponsor, several smaller local sponsors, and a very generous annual contribution from the City of Brampton, under Mayor Susan Fennell. Unfortunately, after several years of backing our program, the Corporate sponsor elected to not return. This was a turning point in our program and forced us to examine how we could proceed with our on-floor product. We did everything necessary to continue to gather local sponsors, and keep the team on the floor annually. In late 2014 the City of Brampton elected a new leader. Subsequently the Major Excelsiors historical designation grant of $30,000.00 per year was eliminated from the City of Brampton budget and after 2016 funding was no longer available to us.
With the enormous loss of sponsorship and grant monies which we had suffered, and with other programs in the BELC requiring funding for their teams, it became apparent to our Board that despite our best efforts, we could no longer keep the Major program viable, without having to sell players and relying on our Junior and Senior B affiliates to loan us players to ensure we had a roster available on game nights. These struggles were no secret within lacrosse circles, but no major corporate sponsors were coming forward with offers to bail out our storied program.
Between 2012 and 2017 our sponsorship and grants decreased by $80,000.00 year over year. We faced the decision of folding the team or continuing to struggle fiscally, and in the win column, while selling top quality talent to make ends meet. At the end of 2017 a former Coach introduced us to someone who had an interest in acquiring a Major Series Lacrosse team in Ontario, and it appeared to address the challenges in keeping the team going.
In February 2018, the BELC Executive authorized our President, the Board member responsible for the Majors, and our legal counsel to enter into discussions with the interested party. In April 2018, the board voted to give approval for them to negotiate and complete the transfer of the team to Joe Norton, the owner of Bug Juice. It is critical to note that the Majors were not sold for $1,500 as was indicated. The Majors were a financially insolvent team that was legally transferred to an independent owner who would keep the team from folding.
While we are all disappointed at the relocation of a storied team, which many of us have been part of for generations, we hope everyone can recognize the difficulty in realizing we could no longer sustain our Major program, given the economic realities in fielding a competitive MSL team.
The BELC Board are open to exploring options to continue the tradition of Major Lacrosse in Brampton under the Excelsior banner, but this will only be done if a new entity comes forward to apply for a new franchise in MSL with the sustainable funding to do so.
BELC Board of Directors
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