Two of Canada’s most prominent athletes are part of the ownership group of the National Lacrosse League’s new Las Vegas franchise.
The NLL says Wayne Gretzky and Steve Nash will join golf star Dustin Johnson and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai in the ownership group for the expansion team.
The league’s 15th team will start play in the fall of 2022.
Johnson is engaged to Gretzky’s daughter, Paulina.
Tsai also owns the NLL’s San Diego Seals.
The Las Vegas team will play at MGM Resorts International’s Michelob Ultra Arena, which is inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. It also is home to the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces.
Gretzky played lacrosse while growing up in Brantford, Ont.
The hockey legend recently took a job as a television studio analyst for NHL coverage for American-based Turner Sports. Gretzky also accepted a role as brand ambassador for BetMGM, a sports betting and digital gaming company.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have one of the most iconic Canadians ever, Wayne Gretzky, joining an ownership group in our league,” said Jamie Dawick, owner of the Toronto Rock. “The NLL’s newest franchise in Las Vegas has put together a great ownership group and I’m sure they will hit it out of the park.”
Nash, now the coach of the Nets, grew up in Victoria, a lacrosse hotbed.
Gretzky and Nash both have experience as sports team owners.
Nash is a co-owner of Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps, while Gretzky was a co-owner of the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts in the early 1990s.
The Rock, Halifax Thunderbirds, Calgary Roughnecks, Saskatchewan Rush and Vancouver Warriors are the five Canadian teams in the NLL.