Pro Ultimate Frisbee Entering Third Year in Toronto
Open Tryout Saturday, January 10, 6:00 – 9:00 pm, Lamport Stadium
The Toronto Rush will be hosting their third open tryout on Saturday, January 10 from 6 – 9 pm at Lamport Stadium. Still new to the professional sport landscape in Toronto, the Rush have done a lot to stand out. After going unbeaten in the inaugural year in the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL), the Rush hosted the AUDL Championships in 2014, losing in the finals to the San Jose Spiders. The Championships were broadcast on TSN GO in Canada and ESPN 3 in the US.
Perhaps more impressive than the on field product, is the fact that the Rush average 1,000 fans per game and are backed by some major corporate partners.
The sport of Ultimate is exciting on its own and turning this participation sport into a spectator sport was a no brainer for the ownership group and management team of the Toronto Rush. The key to success, however, has not been a great on field product (as important as that is). It has been the Rush’s ability to create a pro sports atmosphere at games that has lead to their success and a strong fan base. The Rush have the sponsors, the contests, t-shirt tosses, music, concessions, merchandise, and yes the big plays that all make up a fun game day experience and professional atmosphere.
“We are humble. This will take time to grow, but we think this is similar to the MLS or NLL and that we can get there if we continue to do what we have done and keep getting better at it,” said Jim Lloyd, Managing Partner and COO of the Rush and two other AUDL franchises; the Ottawa Outlaws and the Vancouver Riptide. “We have great support from the ultimate community, which we value very highly and they are the reason we are growing and will continue to grow. We want everyone else to see how exciting the sport is and how fun a Rush game is.”
Mark Lloyd, considered one of the best players in the world, is the GM and captain of the Rush. When he started playing Ultimate as a kid he never thought he would be playing in front of 2,000+ fans at some of the higher attended games in Toronto and Montreal. “It’s a different feeling that’s for sure. Signing autographs and seeing how excited kids are about us and the sport is pretty surreal,” said Lloyd.
About Toronto Rush
The Toronto Rush are a professional ultimate team entering their third season in the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL). In their inaugural season the Rush went 18 wins and 0 loses to win the championship. The Rush also drew the highest number of fans in the league averaging over 1,000 fans per game for their 8 home games, including 2,300 fans at their Home Opener. The Rush are co-owned by brothers Rob and Jim Lloyd and Rob’s son Mark, who is the General Manger and team captain.