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Minneapolis, U.S.A. – Lacrosse, which has been the nation’s fastest growing sport for years, will be added to the product mix at the 15th annual Let’s Play Hockey International Expo in Las Vegas, October 16-17, 2012. According to the National Sporting Goods Association, lacrosse participation in 2011 was at 2.7 million players nationally.
Currently, US Lacrosse, the national governing body for the sport, has over 420,000 registered members, an increase of over 10 percent from the previous year. Numbers continue to grow at the youth, high school, college and post-college ages. The sport also continues to migrate to new markets, especially the western parts of the United States.
Over $75 million (wholesale) was spent on lacrosse equipment in 2011 in the United States, an amount that has increased in each of the last five years. From a buying cycle and product mix, this is a natural addition to the current format of the Let’s Play Hockey International Expo which includes ice and inline hockey, figure skating and broom ball.
“The synergy between lacrosse and the current makeup of exhibitors and buyers is perfect,” said Doug Johnson, President of the Let’s Play Hockey International Expo. “The buying cycles and demographics are a great fit for the Expo. With the recent purchase of Cascade Sports by Bauer Hockey, along with Easton, Warrior and Reebok who are already in the lacrosse market, the hockey industry is very much connected to lacrosse. Plus, a large percentage of hockey players play lacrosse.
“Many current hockey dealers carry lacrosse and vice versa. Dealers are always looking for additional revenue streams and with lacrosse growing substantially each and every year, it is a perfect addition to the Expo.”
The hundreds of lacrosse dealers across the United States and Canada will be invited to Las Vegas at no admission charge. In addition, lacrosse manufacturers will be invited to exhibit. A demo event and tournament is being planned.
With the addition of lacrosse, the new show name will be the Let’s Play Hockey and Lacrosse International Expo. The 2012 Expo will take place October 16-17 at the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.