GF Sports is a live events and sports media entertainment company created by New York-based private equity firm GF Capital Management & Advisors, LLC. Formed in July 2015, GF Sports owns two of the ATP World Tour’s longest running American tournaments, the New York Open and the BB&T Atlanta Open, as well as the New York National Lacrosse League expansion team. In addition, GF Sports is the major shareholder in EEM World, a global leader in equestrian event production that owns and operates the Longines Masters Series. GF Sports also incubate new and emerging sport concepts utilizing their global expertise and network to help develop niche sports. Such concepts include Wolf Pack Ninjas, which operates ninja-focused events globally. Veteran sport, media and entertainment executive Hank Ratner is a co-investor with GF Capital across the company’s various sports properties.
GF Capital makes control-oriented, growth capital investments in branded consumer product and media companies, and its investments have included a number of sports and live entertainment companies. These include Repucom, a global leader in sports measurement, evaluation and intelligence, which was sold to Nielsen in 2016 and Blue Man Group, the world-renowned entertainment company which was sold to Cirque du Soleil in 2017.
The National Lacrosse League (“NLL”) is the largest and most attended men’s professional box lacrosse league in the world. The NLL 2018-2019 league season will mark its 33rd year in existence. With the latest announcement of our New York Franchise, there are 13 teams scheduled to play in the 2019-2020 league season. These teams include the Buffalo Bandits, Colorado Mammoth, Calgary Roughnecks, Georgia Swarm, New England Black Wolves, Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, Vancouver Warriors, and a to-be named team in Halifax.
Games are most frequently on Friday nights, Saturday nights, or Sunday afternoons. The regular season is 18 games long (9 home, 9 away) and runs from December through April. Eight teams make the playoffs with teams advancing through single elimination games until two reach the NLL Finals in June, which is a best-of-three series finale to determine the winner of the NLL Cup.
The Sport: Box Lacrosse
Box lacrosse was initially developed and played in Canada in the 1930s. A sport like no other, box lacrosse combines the fast-paced, non-stop action of basketball, the split-second decision making and stick handling of hockey, the physical strength and endurance of football, and the speed and athleticism of soccer.</p.
Box lacrosse is played inside the confines of an ice hockey rink (i.e. “the box”), with glass and rink boards intact. The enclosed area of play results in fast-paced game with minimal stoppage for out of bounds. The playing surface is a green dieter turf carpet material. NLL teams combine to score an average of 25 goals during each contest. Each team has five runners (forwards, transition players and defensemen) and a goaltender on the floor during the game. Each team dresses 19 players (17 runners and two goaltenders) per game, and the players rotate on and off the floor in shifts, similar to ice hockey. The game consists of four quarters, each fifteen minutes in length. A game that is tied at the end of regulation is decided in a sudden-death overtime – there are no tie games in box lacrosse.