By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Marlborough – For the last few years, the New England Sports Center (NESC) has been home to a variety of ice hockey and figure skating programs. Starting in January 2013, there will be another fast-paced sport for fans to follow there – the professional indoor lacrosse team, the Boston Rockhoppers.
Anthony Fitti, the team's general manager, said the organization is excited to bring pro lacrosse to local fans.
“We looked at a large amount of arenas and really felt this was the right fit – it's a perfect size venue, plus it has lots of available parking,” he said. “Working with everyone at NESC was great – their level of excitement about this matches ours.”
“Marlborough itself is great, too – there's a lot to do there and it's easy to get to from anywhere,” he added.
The Rockhoppers are one of the original teams in the North American Lacrosse League, which originated in 2012. The team is composed of post-collegiate players, all of whom are drafted after an evaluation period. (The 2013 draft will take place Saturday, Oct. 13, Fitti said.)
Fitti explained that the team will play on NESC's Rink 1; for each game they will bring their own turf to cover the ice and then remove it when the game is over.
The team will be playing six home games in 2013. Tickets will be priced based on three levels, Fitti noted, student, premiere and general.
“Every seat will be a good one,” he said. “Lacrosse is so popular now with kids; we want to make this a fun, affordable outing for families.”
Fitti stressed that it was important to the organization to actively give back to the community, especially kids. One way they plan to do that is to hold a free clinic Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Marlborough High School, 431 Bolton St. The clinic will be open to boys and girls ages 7 to 18 from Marlborough and surrounding towns. Kids who have played lacrosse as well as those who have not are all welcome to attend. Fitti said the event will staffed by the Rockhoppers players and coaching staff, as well as coaches and players from other organizations.
“We'se really excited about this clinic,” Fitti said. “We not only want to get kids excited about the team, but about lacrosse itself. We'se got lots of fun things planned and hope to see lots of kids come to the clinic that day.”
The team requests that players sign up prior to the clinic on the Rockhoppers” website, http://www.bostonrockhoppers.com.