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Title run allows the Bandits — and their owners — to enjoy a profitable first post-Covid season

The team is a financial boon to owners Terry and Kim Pegula, but exactly how much of one is a bit fuzzy.
Credit: AP
Buffalo Bandits forward Dhane Smith, left, drives past Colorado Mammoth defenseman Robert Hope during the second half of Game 2 of the National Lacrosse League finals Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bandits have been the toast of the indoor lacrosse world this season, leading the National Lacrosse League in attendance and standing 60 minutes from a league title. That is a financial boon to owners Terry and Kim Pegula, but exactly how much of one is a bit fuzzy.

After Covid-19 halted one season early and canceled another entirely, the Bandits and the rest of the NLL returned in 2021-22 for a full 18-game schedule. Over nine games at KeyBank Center, the Buffalo team averaged 9,921 fans per game — which nearly paralleled the 9,997-person average that the Buffalo Sabres drew during another subpar season in 2021-22. For reference, the Bandits drew 12,089 fans per game over six games before then 2019-20 season was canceled.

The Bandits will host a deciding Game 3 in the NLL's championship series June 18 against the Colorado Mammoth. A team spokesman said the game is approaching a sellout. Not even the Bandits' last finals home game in 2019 sold out; that game drew 15,747 fans. The team has averaged 12,355 fans per game for its first three home playoff games this postseason, including 14,272 for Game 1 of the finals.

Read the full story from our partners at Buffalo Business First.

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