Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky poses for a photo in Toronto on Monday, October 17, 2016. Two of Canada’s most prominent athletes are part of the ownership group of a new Las Vegas National Lacrosse League franchise. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky poses for a photo in Toronto on Monday, October 17, 2016. Two of Canada’s most prominent athletes are part of the ownership group of a new Las Vegas National Lacrosse League franchise. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu

Wayne Gretzky, Steve Nash join forces with Las Vegas lacrosse team

League’s 15th team will start play in the fall of 2022

LAS VEGAS — Two of Canada’s most prominent athletes are part of the ownership group of the National Lacrosse League’s new Las Vegas franchise.

The NLL says Wayne Gretzky and Steve Nash will join golf star Dustin Johnson and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai in the ownership group for the expansion team.

The league’s 15th team will start play in the fall of 2022.

Johnson is engaged to Gretzky’s daughter, Paulina.

Tsai also owns the NLL’s San Diego Seals.

The Las Vegas team will play at MGM Resorts International’s Michelob Ultra Arena, which is inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. It also is home to the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces.

Gretzky also played lacrosse while growing up in Brantford, Ont.

The hockey legend recently took a job as a television studio analyst for NHL coverage for American-based Turner Sports. Gretzky also accepted a role as brand ambassador for BetMGM, a sports betting and digital gaming company.

Nash, now the coach of the Nets, grew up in Victoria, a lacrosse hotbed.

Nash and Gretzky both have experience as sports team owners.

Nash is a co-owner of Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps, while Gretzky was a co-owner of the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts in the early 1990s.

The Toronto Rock, Halifax Thunderbirds, Calgary Roughnecks, Saskatchewan Rush and Vancouver Warriors are the five Canadian teams in the NLL.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 21, 2021.

Lacrosse