National Lacrosse League (2000-2003)
Born: 2000 – NLL expansion franchise.
Died: August 28, 2003 – The Landsharks relocate to Phoenix, AZ.
Arena: Nationwide Arena
The Columbus Landsharks were a toothless entry in the indoor National Lacrosse League, playing three seasons of box lacrosse at Nationwide Arena from 2000 to 2003. The club was originally owned by John Livsey, the former Commissioner of the NLL. But Livsey bailed quickly after the Landsharks tanked at the box office (6,559 attendance in 2000-01, compared to league average of 8,117) and on the carpet (3-11 record) in their inaugural season. Livsey sold off the club to new owners in Montreal. The original Landsharks franchise became the Montreal Express, who lasted just one further season in Quebec before folding in 2002.
Meanwhile, the owners of the NLL’s New York Saints franchise stepped in to form a new expansion club in Columbus that adopted the Landsharks name and history (such as it was). The out-of-state owners stewarded the Landsharks through two more desultory seasons before giving up in August 2003, when the franchise moved to Phoenix and became the Arizona Sting.
The Landsharks’ three-year record was 16-30 and they never made the playoffs.