Lacrosse is coming home. For the first time ever, the FIL (Federation of International Lacrosse) will hold the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships (WILC) at the home of the game: The Onondaga Nation, capital of the Iroquois Confederacy. The start of the 2015 Games will commence at 7 PM EST at the War Memorial Arena in downtown Syracuse, with a spectacular Opening Ceremony and Iroquois vs. USA game on September 18th. NFL Hall-of-Famer and Syracuse Alum, Jim Brown will attend along with support from Bill Belichick and the Bill Belichick Foundation.
“The Bill Belichick Foundation is proud to support and be a major contributor to the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships in Central New York especially with the games being hosted at the home of the game, The Onondaga Nation,” said Bill Belichick.
The Opening Ceremony includes a memorizing display of visual and aural magic created by over 30,000 watts of intelligent lighting, 40,000 watts of digital array sound and over 320,000 lumens of projection devices on a variety of arena surfaces that will include the audience, donning over 2,500 white and purple wampum vests, and becoming an interactive part of the show. Through this display the arena will transform the War Memorial into a stage that will help tell the story of the evolution of the Nations, our Mother Earth and the ever growing game of lacrosse.
After this visual piece, Tadodaho Sid Hill, will then welcome everyone to the War Memorial and officially kick off the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. This includes having 46 Haudenosaunee Dancers entering the arena representing each of the Six Nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora, which is presented by Seneca Nation, followed by athletes from each of the thirteen nations participating in the World Games.
“We are looking forward to seeing a spectacular show on opening night,” said FIL President Stan Cockerton. “Not only will we see two of the premier teams in box lacrosse facing off with the Iroquois and USA but we also get to learn some of the history of lacrosse from the Haudenosaunee people through the opening ceremonies. It will definitely be a night that no one will want forget.”
“We are treating this opening ceremony with the pageantry and grandeur the fastest growing sport in the world deserves,” says Syracuse born executive producer Erick Weiss of Honeysweet Productions. “It will be a wonderful show for the whole family instilling enormous pride in the rich cultural history of this region.”
The FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships is a significant milestone for the Haudenosaunee as they will step onto the world stage and carry their flag, exercise the sovereignty of indigenous nations, share their culture, field their national team, welcome guest nations and proudly host the game of their ancestors. Thirteen Nations from around the world will journey to Onondaga to compete. The eyes of the world and all of Indian Country will descend on the Onondaga Nation in Upstate New York this September.
“It will be our pleasure and our honor to have the game come home. Lacrosse is coming home in 2015,” said Oren Lyons of the Onondaga Nation.
The FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship is an international tournament that is held every four years. The 2011 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships were held in Prague, Czech Republic. The defending World Champions are Canada, with the Iroquois Nationals finishing second and the United States finishing third. These nations will compete again in 2015 alongside Australia, Czech Republic, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey.
International visitors, dignitaries, lacrosse fans and all of Indian Country will travel to upstate New York to support their teams. The Iroquois Nationals will proudly carry their Nations’ flag, colors and sticks into International competition. Lacrosse…is coming home.
The FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships would also like to give a special thanks to our sponsors Nike, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse University, NBC Universal Sports, Rit, Seneca Nation, Bill Belichick Foundation, Traditional Lacrosse, Wegmans, Hank Parker’s Party & Tent Rentals, Quiet Storm Custom Wrapz, Onondaga County, City of Syracuse, Graph-tex, Destiny USA, Crowne Plaza, Visit Syracuse, Syracuse.com, Natural Tableware, Saranac Brewery, Shiftboard and Art of Lax.