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The New York Riptide exit the floor at the Nassau Coliseum.

Report: New York Riptide Relocating to Ottawa After 2023-24 Season

February 21, 2024
Matt DaSilva
Brandon Hill/NLL


NLL commissioner Brett Frood confirmed in a press conference Wednesday morning that the Riptide will relocate to Ottawa and be renamed the Ottawa Black Bears beginning in the 2024-25 season. The Black Bears will play at the Canadian Tire Centre and align with the Ottawa Senators of the NHL.


The National Lacrosse League’s New York Riptide are relocating to Ottawa after this season, an Ottawa sports radio host reported Tuesday.

According to TSN 1200’s John “JR” Rodenburg, the announcement will be made Wednesday at 11 a.m. Eastern at Canadian Tire Centre, home of the National Hockey League’s Ottawa Senators.

“The team isn’t drawing well and is losing its home at the Nassau Coliseum,” Rodenburg posted on X. “It’s believed to be a [five] year deal with the [Senators].”

Led by perennial NLL MVP candidate Jeff Teat, the league’s top scorer, the Riptide are currently 5-5 and in seventh place out of 15 teams in the unified standings. Their average home attendance of fewer than 4,500 fans per game, however, ranks above only the Albany FireWolves and the Panther City Lacrosse Club.

Founded in 2019 as an expansion team owned by GF Sports and Entertainment, the Riptide have produced a pair of NLL Rookies of the Year in Teat (2022) and Tyson Gibson (2020) but finished no better than 6-12 in any of their three previous seasons.

Three different NLL franchises have operated on Long Island with mixed results. The New York Saints (1989-2003) and New York Titans (2007-09) both played in NLL finals, but neither drew particularly large crowds. They also played the Nassau Coliseum. 

Ottawa had an NLL team from 2001-03. The Ottawa Rebel went 9-37 in three seasons, discontinued operations and eventually were purchased by Bruce Urban. He moved the team to Edmonton and started the Rush franchise, now located in Saskatchewan.