Comcast Spectacor

Comcast Spectacor bringing professional lacrosse back to Philadelphia

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Comcast Spectacor bringing professional lacrosse back to Philadelphia

Professional lacrosse is coming back to Philadelphia.

Comcast Spectacor is set to acquire a National Lacrosse League franchise, as a team name and further details will be announced during a press conference Thursday at 11 a.m. in the Wells Fargo Center. The new franchise will become the 10th team in the NLL.

Philadelphia's previous team, the Wings, played in the NLL before relocating to New England in 2014 to become the Black Wolves. The Wings were established in 1986.

Comcast Spectacor president and CEO Dave Scott, as well as NLL commissioner Nick Sakiewicz and other key figures, will be on hand Thursday for the formal announcement.

Comcast Spectacor also owns the Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center.

Danny Briere to run day-to-day operations of Comcast Spectacor's Alaska Aces

Danny Briere to run day-to-day operations of Comcast Spectacor's Alaska Aces

The Alaska Aces of the ECHL has been purchased by Comcast Spectacor and will relocate to Portland, Maine.

They’ll start playing in 2018-19 at the Cross Insurance Arena under a new name.

The Flyers will oversee the franchise with club president Paul Holmgren as the team’s governor while former player Danny Briere will oversee the day-to-day operations of the team.

"I am very excited about this," Briere said. "We don't start until the following season, so it gives us time to get things in order."

Asked whether this was something he wanted to do after working with the Flyers in the sales department since his retirement or whether this was merely a new opportunity that came along, Briere said, "Both I guess."

"We are excited to reignite the hockey tradition in Portland," Holmgren said. "The Flyers organization has a strong commitment to winning and developing future stars, and we intend to bring that same culture to this franchise.

"We’re also happy to have an opportunity to assist Spectra in its commitment to the Portland region and the Cross Insurance Arena, a great facility that has recently benefited from a major renovation."

There’s a bit of history here to Maine.

In 1977, Spectacor purchased an AHL expansion franchise — the Maine Mariners — to play at Cumberland County Civic Center.

They were a Flyers affiliate until 1983 and played in Portland through 1992, before being replaced by the Portland Pirates.

The Mariners won the Calder Cup in each of their first two seasons, and added a third in 1983-84.  

The Reading Royals will remain the Flyers' ECHL affiliate.

Comcast Spectacor will soon begin hiring staff, establishing a team website, and naming the club.