San Diego Legion and Seattle Seawolves set to square off in 2019 Major League Rugby Championship
Rugby going mainstream in the U.S.A. as league experiences solid growth
June 12, 2019 – Salt Lake City, UT – This week Major League Rugby (MLR) is set to crown a league champion. On Sunday, June 16th at 4:00 p.m. ET the San Diego Legion and defending MLR champion Seattle Seawolves will battle in Southern California to take home the MLR Championship Shield. After a thrilling semi-final playoff round, the two teams will compete in the second ever MLR Championship match.
“On behalf of the league, congratulations to the San Diego Legion and Seattle Seawolves for making it to the MLR Championship,” said Dean Howes, Commissioner of Major League Rugby. “Rugby fans are in for a great match. Each team has a tremendous amount of heart and talent and Seattle is out to win its second consecutive championship. We can’t wait until Sunday to watch what will surely be a fast-paced, memorable final.”
Launched in 2018, MLR continues to experience solid growth. This is due in large part to strategic expansion, fan-first decision-making, and the game being one of the fastest growing sports in the United States.
The proof is in the numbers:
- The Seattle Seawolves have sold out every single one of their home games thus far in 2018 & 2019
- Unique viewers of MLR games are up by 47% compared to the 2018 season
- The overall number of MLR games continues to rise:
- 31 in 2018
- 75 in 2019
- 101 in 2020
With the nine-team league set to expand to 12 as Boston, Atlanta, and Washington join for the 2020 season, MLR is bringing rugby into the mainstream.
“Professional rugby has officially arrived in North America,” said Nic Benson, Deputy Commissioner of Major League Rugby. “After a fantastic regular season and semi-final, we’re looking forward to Sunday’s Championship match. Both teams should be incredibly proud of their efforts to reach the final and we wish them luck.”
The Championship match is scheduled to kick off at 4 PM ET on Sunday, June 16 and will be broadcast on CBS.
For more information about MLR and the Championship match, please visit www.usmlr.com
MLR is a professional rugby league launched in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the North American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that North American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR will be the pinnacle of North American rugby, and provide a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for North American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes. There are already over 40 internationals and players from more than 15 countries playing in the MLR. Twenty-two MLR stars represented the USA Eagles and Canada national teams in the opening round of the 2019 Americas Rugby Championship, with more than 30 called up over the course of the tournament.
The teams competing in MLR Season 2 are Austin Elite, Glendale Raptors, Houston SaberCats, New Orleans Gold, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves, Utah Warriors plus new additions Rugby United New York and Toronto Arrows. In 2020, New England Free Jacks, Old Glory DC and Rugby ATL will bring the total to 12 teams for MLR Season 3.
Major League Rugby: Press Office, 323-476-0016, [email protected]
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