The current US Lacrosse headquarters—constructed in 1991 and expanded in 1997—is functionally obsolete. The roof, key mechanical systems, and interior spaces require renovation or replacement. Even with those improvements, the leased facility from Johns Hopkins University remains too small to meet the organization’s needs. In addition, restrictions on the use of the property will not allow for expansion.
To keep pace with the growth of lacrosse, our staff has grown rapidly to nearly 80 employees. Unable to house more than 35 staff in the original facility, we have been forced to add an additional 6,000 square feet by leasing office space down the street—and inherently inefficient setup.
The lack of pace also has compromised the operation of our Lacrosse Museum and Hall of Fame. The truncated displays no longer appropriately reflect the rich history of lacrosse and the significant contributions made by our National Lacrosse Hall of Fame members.
After careful evaluation for more than eight years, the boards of directors of US Lacrosse and the US Lacrosse Foundation determined that a new 30,000 square foot facility, constructed and owned by US Lacrosse, is the most prudent solution to address both our current and future operational needs. Long-term flexibility for anticipated organization growth and asset ownership were two key factors in the unanimous decision.
Following their recommendation, we purchased a 12-acre parcel of land in Sparks, Maryland, in November 2012. The campus is large enough to accommodate the National Lacrosse Center that will house our office, the Lacrosse Museum and National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, and an outdoor exhibition and training facility that will serve as a home for the U.S. National Teams and a dynamic classroom for our coaching and officials education programs.
Our new National Lacrosse Center will be an incubator for the sport’s continued positive growth and development. It will enable US Lacrosse to increase operating efficiencies, attract and retain talented staff and expand the development and deployment of programs and services to meet a growing national demand. With the addition of a conference center for the more than 350 volunteers from more than 40 states that serve within the organization’s leadership structure, US Lacrosse will be better positioned to engage and deliver resources to lacrosse constituencies nationwide.
Adjacent to the center, an intimate exhibition field with seating, locker rooms and a workout facility will provide a dedicated training ground for the U.S. National Teams, serve as a nexus for educational programs, host regional and national clinics for coaches, officials and players, and provide a unique destination venue for teams at all levels of play.
An important goal of US Lacrosse is to preserve and promote the sport’s history. The center’s Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Game will celebrate the sport’s rich history through the stories, images and people of America’s first sport.