Buzzkill: Pro lacrosse leaving Minnesota as Swarm plan to relocate

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After 11 years at the X, the Swarm are heading off to find a new hive.

Minnesota's team in the National Lacrosse League announced Friday it will no longer be a Minnesota team.

There's no word yet on where they're headed, but Swarm owner John Arlotta says in the statement that the team has applied to the league to relocate.

The Swarm's lease at St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center ended after they recently finished season. The arena is home to the Minnesota Wild and available dates are limited, making it unlikely the Swarm could stick to their preference for Saturday night home dates.

Apart from that, Arlotta says "...it became obvious that the economics would not lend themselves to a sustainable business model."

The Swarm were created in 2004 and helped fill a void that winter while the Wild and the rest of the NHL were idled by a lockout.

Minnesota Sports & Entertainment, which operates the Xcel Energy Center, owned the Swarm until 2008, when Arlotta and his son Andy bought the team.

The Star Tribune reports this season's average attendance of nearly 8,700 was the most since 2010. But John Arlotta tells the newspaper, the season ticket base and corporate sponsors have been shrinking.

The loss of Minnesota's pro team comes as lacrosse is gaining popularity, especially at the high school level where the number of teams has been growing and this year's state tournaments for boys and girls will soon get underway.

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