Wayne Gretzky Explains How He Became an Owner of a Lacrosse Team

He has a long history with the sport

Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky records his podcast, "The Great One on 1," at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday, May 15, 2019
John Russell/NHLI

What happens when someone inexorably associated with one sport takes a financial interest in another one? That’s not all that strange in 2021 — for example, plenty of celebrities — athletes included — have secured stakes in soccer teams, with Patrick Mahomes being the latest example. But that’s not the only sport athletes are looking to invest in. In the fall of 2022, a National Lacrosse League team based in Las Vegas will make its debut. Among its owners? One Wayne Gretzky.

He’s not the only former athlete with a stake in the team; Steve Nash and Dustin Johnson are also part of the ownership group. But for a time, Gretzky was also the face of a sport in a way that few athletes are. So what led him to making a foray into something different?

In a new article for Sportico, Gretzky explained his rationale. Part of it came from an attachment to the sport that he’s had since he was young. “[T]here was another sport that I loved and enjoyed playing: lacrosse, and box-lacrosse in particular,” he writes, referring to his childhood.

He also addressed his cohorts in the ownership group, noting that the presence of Nash piqued his interest. It’s worth mentioning here that the NLL team isn’t the only team either are involved with on an ownership level — Gretzky is a partner in Oilers Entertainment Group, while Nash is one of the owners of Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps.

Will an ownership group abounding with big names help spark an interest in Las Vegas’s latest pro sports franchise? We’ll have an idea when next fall comes around.

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