Pro sports team still on its way to Mississauga, but not just yet


Published February 16, 2024 at 11:01 am

Toronto Rock to play out of Mississauga starting in late 2024.

Mississauga is still getting a professional lacrosse team, sort of, but it won’t happen until much later this year.

The National Lacrosse League’s Toronto Rock, who’ve won six NLL titles since their inception in 1999 to tie them with the Philadelphia Wings for most league championships, were initially supposed to take up an extended temporary residence in Mississauga in January of this year and remain through the 2024-25 season as well.

NLL seasons run from December to early June each year.

However, with scheduled renovations at its home stadium in Hamilton now delayed, the box lacrosse team will remain there for the rest of this season and move into the much smaller Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga in time for the next campaign, which begins in December 2024.

The Mississauga venue will host Rock home games throughout December and the first six months of next year, including playoff dates, while the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton undergoes major renovations.

The Rock have played out of Hamilton for the past two-plus years.

Toronto Rock owner, president and GM Jamie Dawick said in an earlier news release he’s glad the club can play its entire 2023-24 home schedule, uninterrupted, in Hamilton.

He noted the team has enjoyed a rebirth of its “loyal fan base” and last season had its highest single-game attendance in over a decade with more than 13,000 fans packing the arena on one occasion.

Following the completion of renovations at FirstOntario Centre, the Rock will return to Hamilton. The plan is for the club to return there in time for the 2025-26 season.

The Rock franchise was founded in 1998 as the Ontario Raiders in Hamilton. Shortly thereafter, it was sold to a group of investors led by then-Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager Bill Watters, who relocated the franchise to Toronto, where it was renamed the Toronto Rock.

The Rock won their sixth NLL title in 2011 and continued playing in Toronto until May 2021 when the team announced its relocation to Hamilton.

The Rock have enjoyed a strong start to the current season with a 6-2 record to tie the Albany FireWolves for top spot in the 15-team league.

The NLL is headquartered in Philadelphia and comprised of 10 U.S.-based clubs and five in Canada.

The league ranks third in average attendance for indoor pro sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. Other box lacrosse leagues play during the summer while the NLL has opted for a December-to-June seasonal run.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising