Ohio Machine Ohio Machine get the axe from MLL
Former Machine attackman Marcus Holman celebrates with teammates after one of his team record-setting goals in last year’s season opener against the New York Lizards. Photo by Ralph Schudel/Columbus Wired.
Major League Lacrosse is calling it quits on the Ohio Machine.
And this is no April Fool’s joke.
On a day normally reserved for silly pranks and knee-slapping “gotchas”, Ohio’s only professional lacrosse team sent out a statement early Monday morning announcing their liquidation.
“Earlier this morning, Major League Lacrosse announced that the league would be contracting from nine teams to six for the coming 2019 season. Ohio was one of the teams selected for contraction. At this time, the Ohio Machine is not scheduled to compete this season. Business partners and ticket purchasers for the 2019 season will be contacted to receive a full refund.”
The team’s communications and content manager, Brett Malamud, confirmed in an email with Columbus Wired that indeed this is no cruel joke.
“I wish it was but unfortunately it is true,” he said.
When our publication asked for something official from head coach Bear Davis, who is also the team’s general manager, Malamud said that Davis helped craft the team’s statement so it’s essentially his official statement, too.
“This announcement comes as a terrible surprise to all of us at the Machine,” the statement went on to say. “We share in the incredible disappointment in this upsetting news with all those that have supported us over the years. As shocking as this news is, it should not be seen as a reflection of the tremendous success that the Machine, and the game of lacrosse in Ohio, has experienced in recent years.”
The MLL also sent out a statement saying in part: “MLL ownership unanimously agreed on a strategy which limits one team per owner and will restructure the organization to focus on expansion in strategic markets with the goal of establishing Eastern and Western conferences. As a result, Major League Lacrosse will not be operating the Ohio Machine.”
But they’re not the only team to get the axe. The Florida Launch are out, too. As are the Charlotte Hounds, however their dismissal is temporary. The league said in the statement that they will return in 2021 under new ownership when their new stadium has been completed.
“When we announced our MLL strategic plan in August, 2018, our owners were resolute in taking meaningful steps to position the league for success,” said Alexander Brown, MLL commissioner. “Today’s news of the league restructuring and the reacquisition of our media rights, are central to our growth.”
For both the Machine and the league’s full statements, visit our Facebook page by clicking here.