For the first time in over four decades, San Diego Seals President, Steve Govett faces his first lacrosse season without having a team to play for, root for, or manage.
The Seals will be the third franchise he’s helped build, with this being the first time in NLL history that an expansion team has had over a year to prepare for its inaugural season. Govett said the lead time, “was absolutely necessary to be successful.”
While for Govett the Seals are his first expansion team, he has assisted with the relocation of two teams in the past. Both relocated teams began play in their markets only a few months following their moves. In this iteration, he the sports executive has another chance to create something special.
“It’s an opportunity to hit the reset button” Govett said, but added, “it was a little weird not being involved [this past season].”
Compared with a relocation, an expansion team means added work. It’s important to understand the obstacles, like being in a market unfamiliar with the NLL, as the Seals are a start up company in a league that has been around for over three decades. There is the added effort of having to educate and introduce a new market to a league that many may not have been familiar with before.
“Laying the groundwork on the business side is highly important,” Govett said. That has been the key focus behind this season for the Seals since the announcement of the expansion team last August. It’s been about building up relations with the community, the fans and getting a solid foundation built in preparation for next season.
Govett’s competitive nature has changed direction because of a season without any games. “The competition side of me has shifted to other focuses. Shifting to the business side, the competitiveness of being successful at the box office, within ticket sales and with sponsorship.”
“It’s the same competitive spirit. It’s just measured in different ways.”