On this day, in 2015 Major League Lacrosse granted an expansion franchise to Atlanta, Georgia, for the 2016 MLL season
August 7, 2015
The Atlanta Blaze became the ninth team in Major League Lacrosse on Aug. 7, 2015. The league had previously held several games in Atlanta before, including the 2014 and 2015 championships which each drew more than 8,000 people. Hoping to capitalize on that fan interest, MLL added Atlanta as an expansion team for the 2016 season.
The Blaze averaged 2,333 fans for their home games between 2016 and 2018. Before the league disbanded the team for the 2020 season, they made the playoffs once — in 2019. It was the same season Blaze faceoff specialist Alex Woodall won the league’s Rookie of the Year honor while Liam Byrnes was named the Defensive Player of the Year. The Blaze ended operations in Atlanta and relocated to Philadelphia as the Barrage for the 2020 season, returning a team to the city and the league for the first time since 2009.