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Pegulas to launch expansion National Lacrosse League team in Rochester


Rochester, N.Y. -- Terry and Kim Pegula are continuing to expand to their Upstate New York sports empire with the addition of a new lacrosse team in Rochester.

The National Lacrosse League announced Thursday that it awarded an expansion franchise to the Pegulas, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. Rochester already has an NLL team, the Knighthawks, but it's relocating to Halifax, Nova Scotia next season.

The Pegulas' new team will retain the Knighthawks name. The Pegulas also own the NLL Buffalo Bandits, the NFL's Buffalo Bills, the Buffalo Sabres NHL team and the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans.

The NLL, founded in 1986, is growing for the first time in 10 years, the D&C said. The league will also add franchises in Philadelphia and San Diego this season.

The Knighthawks are the second oldest franchise in the NLL, behind only the Buffalo Bandits, according to The Buffalo News.

"This is what we consider a good day in the city of Rochester," Terry Pegula said, according to the News. "It will have the Knighthawks legacy. We're very proud to contribute again to the Western New York and Rochester community by keeping the team here."

Kim Pegula grew up in Fairport, outside Rochester.

Pegula Sports and Entertainment took over management of Rochester's Blue Cross Arena on Aug. 1. It's home to both the Knighthawks and Americans.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced $18 million in improvements to the aging facility at the news conference about the Knighthawks' future, according to the D&C. Upgrades will include a new video scoreboard, improved locker rooms, better concession areas and new lighting and other technology.

The Pegulas are contributing to the overhaul. PSE will spend $1.5 million, according to WHAM in Rochester. Another $16 million will come from state and local sources.

The War Memorial in Syracuse, home of the AHL's Syracuse Crunch, is currently in the midst of an $8.5 million renovation project. The county approved $4.5 million in bonds for the project with the rest of the money coming from the state and new surcharges on tickets.

Upgrades include a new scoreboard, marquees, video screens and suites.

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