The Ohio Machine are packing up and moving to new quarters.
Ohio’s Major League Lacrosse team announced at a press conference on Tuesday that a multi-year has been struck and the team is making their new home at Ohio Dominican’s Panther Stadium beginning this year.
“We are extremely thrilled to join Ohio Dominican University in this partnership and to call Panther Stadium home,” said Gregg Klein, the Machine’s Vice President of Business Operations.
Since entering the league as an expansion team in 2012, the Machine has played all four of their seasons at Ohio Wesleyan’s Selby Stadium in Delaware, Ohio.
Per the Columbus Dispatch, Klein said the move was made due to attendance issues.
“We’re taking a look at where our fan base is and really finding out how we seem to be plateauing a little bit in attendance.”
The Machine had their highest attendance in their first year, averaging 3,553 fans per game.
Last season they averaged 2,730 despite having their best season when they went 9-5 and secured the No. 2 seed in the playoffs.
Those numbers were well below the MLL’s average attendance of 4,384 per game and Klein said proximity has seemed to be an issue for a lot of fans.
“Continually the feedback from fans has been the distance to get there for a game (and) that kind of prohibits them from getting there regularly.”
Per the Dispatch, Klein said the move will help draw more interest from the growing amount of club and high school teams within the central Ohio area and also hopes to draw more interest from the Cincinnati area.
“Our players are really looking forward to taking the field at Panther Stadium for the first time,” said Machine head coach and vice president Bear Davis. “The facilities and staff at Ohio Dominican are first rate and our team looks forward to having a lot of success at Panther Stadium starting this April.”
Machine midfielder and captain Kyle Harrison said the team enjoyed their time at Selby Stadium but are excited for the change.
“What I love about a couple venues in the MLL is you have that atmosphere where the fans are almost right on the field,” said Harrison per the Dispatch. “We enjoyed our time at Selby but are excited for this new step and this new facility.”