A league source said late Tuesday night that the Arizona Sting will not play the 2008 National Lacrosse League season. Other sources echoed this news Wednesday, but neither the league or the Sting would confirm the news Wednesday. The Sting join the expansion Boston Blazers in going dark for â€™08, following a two-week period of uncertainty regarding a new collective bargaining agreement.
Arizona entered the league for the 2004 season, and it has been by an overwhelming success on the floor. After just missing the playoffs in their inaugural season, the Sting made it to the Championâ€™s Cup final in 2005, losing to host Toronto. In 2006, Arizona made it to the West Final, losing to eventual champion Colorado. Last season, they made yet another Championâ€™s Cup final, hosting Rochester because the higher-seeded Knighthawks couldnâ€™t host the game because of a scheduling conflict. Rochester beat Arizona at Jobing.com Arena 13-11.
Arizonaâ€™s issue, however, has always been fan support in Glendale Ariz., just outside of Phoenix. Their attendance has actually decreased over the last three seasons, going from 6,568 (8th out of 10 teams) in 2005 to 6,477 (10th out of 11) in â€™06 to 6,049 last year (11th out of 13).