“I’ve owned this team for 11 seasons and everything I do on a daily basis represents a commitment to winning, first and foremost, and running the Toronto Rock as the premier franchise in the league,” said Dawick. “I want to sincerely thank MLSE for playing a pivotal role in the Rock’s successful 20-year run at Scotiabank Arena and the two seasons before that at the Gardens, they’ve always been good to us.”
Four of the Rock’s six NLL championships were won while the team played out of Scotiabank Arena, with the 2005 and 2011 titles being won on the turf at 40 Bay Street.
“The Rock have been an important part of the Toronto sports fabric for the past 22 years and they will always hold a special place in the history of this venue,” said Nick Eaves, Chief Venues and Operations Officer at MLSE. “The team has always been a tremendous partner of MLSE’s and we wish them every success in this new chapter in the franchise’s history. As an organization, the Rock, and their fans, can know that we will always support them in any way we can moving forward.”
The team name will not change with the relocation of the team’s home games to Hamilton. Dawick states there was consideration put into changing the name, but in the end this team and this franchise is the Toronto Rock.
“We absolutely considered it,” explained Dawick. “That being said, we have always represented the GTHA and nothing’s changed in that regard, just the location of our home games. We’re the same team, the same franchise, playing our games in a different building and community. We are playing in Hamilton because it’s where we want to be for the long-term.”
The relocation of Rock home games has also been met with excitement from the league level.
“The Rock continue to consistently serve up the best lacrosse in the world and the fans throughout Ontario will now have them as a primary tenant at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. “The organization and the fan base can now have the best of all that the great City of Hamilton provides while maintaining the standard of excellence all of Ontario has come to know both on the field from the Rock and in the community.”
The Rock have been welcomed with open arms by City of Hamilton staff who have rolled out the red carpet and assisted the organization with forming strategic partnerships from the very beginning of the relocation process.
“We are very excited to welcome six time National Lacrosse League Champions, the Rock, to Hamilton,” said Frank Eisenberger, Mayor of the City of Hamilton. “Lacrosse is a great sport with great fans and I am certain they will receive a very big, very loud Hamilton welcome. We look forward to enjoying the energy, togetherness and opportunity to reconnect our close-knit community as The Rock prepares to kick off their 2021-22 season.”
The new home of Rock City will allow fans the opportunity to enjoy an enhanced game experience that will only increase in quality and value in the coming seasons with FirstOntario Centre playing a key role in Hamilton’s downtown revitalization project.
“Spectra is thrilled that the Rock have chosen Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre as their new home. The announcement of another professional team making their home in Hamilton, is an exciting moment for sports fans across South Western Ontario,“ said Andrew Nash, General Manager of the Spectra managed FirstOntario Centre. “Coming off this difficult time in the sports and entertainment industry makes us even more anxious to see FirstOntario Centre filled with Rock fans this upcoming season.”