BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Bandits will raise a fifth championship banner at KeyBank Center on Dec. 16 prior to its home opener, a week after starting the National Lacrosse League season in Albany. [View full schedule below]
Banditland will host nine of the 18 games on the schedule released Tuesday. Buffalo faces off against Colorado, its opponent in the past two NLL Finals series, at home on Jan. 6, along with San Diego (Dec. 16), Georgia (Dec. 29), New York (Jan. 19), Rochester (Feb. 3), Albany (Feb. 24), Saskatchewan (March 8), Toronto (March 16), and Calgary (April 13).
When the postseason comes around, Buffalo’s NLL Cup title defense could take a different path. The NLL has eliminated the East and West divisions, putting all 15 teams together in the standings, with the top eight making the playoffs.
The Bandits will visit Las Vegas (April 20) and Forth Worth (March 22) for the first time in franchise history, as each NLL club will face every other team in the league at least once. Teams will play home-and-home series against four traditional rivals. Buffalo plays at Toronto Colorado (April 5), Toronto (Jan. 27), Rochester (Jan. 13) and Albany as part of the new format, which the NLL touts as the most impactful changes in league history.
“The revamped standings, schedule and playoff formats provide a streamlined, easy-to-follow, and fiercely competitive method of determining our playoff teams and, ultimately, our champion,” commissioner Brett Frood stated in a news release. “This also affords us flexibility in matching up teams to sustain lasting rivalries, create new ones, and maximize fan and partner engagement across the league.”
Bandits season tickets go on sale Nov. 1.
Buffalo Bandits ’23-24 schedule
Saturday, Dec. 9 at Albany – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 16 vs. San Diego – 7:30 p.m. (Banner Raising Ceremony)
Friday, Dec. 29 vs. Georgia – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 6 vs. Colorado – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 13 at Rochester – 7 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 19 vs. New York – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 27 at Toronto – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 3 vs. Rochester – 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 16 at Halifax – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 24 vs. Albany – 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 1 at Vancouver – 10 p.m.
Friday, March 8 vs. Saskatchewan – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 16 vs. Toronto – 7 p.m.
Friday, March 22 at Panther City – 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 30 at Philadelphia – 1 p.m.
Friday, April 5 at Colorado – 9 p.m.
Saturday, April 13 vs. Calgary – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 20 at Las Vegas – 10 p.m.
Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.