As first reported by Bill Wagner of the Capital Gazette, Chesapeake Bayhawks owner Brendan Kelly has ceded ownership of the team to Major League Lacrosse (MLL).
Kelly first purchased the franchise back in 2010, and since then has been at the head of what many would consider one of the most successful franchises in professional lacrosse.
According to Wagner, Kelly decided to cede ownership of the Bayhawks to the league after a meeting on Friday. The article states that his decision was in response to the league’s decision to move away from franchises and have all six teams be league operated, beginning in 2020.
Over the weekend, multiple sources indicated to Lacrosse Bucket that a major announcement concerning the future of the MLL was forthcoming.
During Kelly’s tenure as the owner of the Bayhawks, the franchise won four championships (2010, 2012, 2013, 2019). They lost in the semifinals in 2011 and 2018.
The article from Wagner also mentions that the ownership of the Boston Cannons and New York Lizards both supported the MLL’s new business model and that the majority vote essentially forced Kelly and Atlanta Blaze owner Andre Grudger to give in.
Dave Cottle is currently in discussions with the MLL to remain the general manager and head coach of the Bayhawks, according to the article.
Back in the fall, the Rochester Rattlers’ ownership was transferred back to MLL after former owner Jim Davis made the decision to get out of lacrosse.
2020 will mark the 20th season of the MLL. The league has announced that the 2020 season will begin on May 30th.