Blog: Dome Stories

The Lure of Lacrosse

“I just remember being kind of bored,” said Ryan McNamara about playing baseball at the ripe old age of ten. “You’re out there in the field just waiting for a play that might not happen.” So when he was introduced to the sport of lacrosse, that was it. McNamara was sold.

Ryan McNamara practicing lacrosse drills inside an air dome

Maybe it’s the sport’s lightning-fast pace. Or the vigorous body slams and checks reminiscent of hockey. Or the skill it takes to maneuver a little ball downfield. No matter. Lacrosse has stormed its way into school campuses and leagues and it keeps growing.

Practice space scores with players

At Marquette University, the school’s lacrosse program was relatively new when McNamara joined the team.  Along with his teammates, he was passionate about giving the school a respectable winning record. But consistent practice was a problem.

“During my freshman and sophomore years, we had to drive 45 minutes one way to get to a practice space. By the time we practiced and drove back to campus, six hours had gone by,” McNamara said. It wasn’t an ideal situation.

Practicing lacrosse inside an indoor lacrosse dome

But then the school built a seasonal dome. McNamara was familiar with how a dome could positively impact practices. “I grew up playing in the Rosemount, MN, dome. Having accessibility to the space was super-helpful.”

When the dome was completed at Marquette, McNamara and his teammates got busy. “We could stay late there. We could do more than just take practice shots.” In both 2016 and 2017 Marquette won the Big East championship.

More play lets player go pro

Practicing lacrosse inside an inflatable sports dome

A personal payoff for McNamara came soon after that. He was drafted his senior year to play professionally. “I was at dinner with my family the night of the draft. And I actually got a text from a friend who was following it more closely than I was that I’d been drafted.”

He currently plays for the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Dallas team and feels fortunate to be able to do what he loves professionally. “It’s pretty awesome.”