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NLL awards expansion team to San Diego and owner Joseph Tsai

Joseph 'Joe' Tsai, co-vice chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., speaks during the Rise conference in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, July 11, 2017.
Joseph 'Joe' Tsai, co-vice chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., speaks during the Rise conference in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Bloomberg / Getty Images

A tech billionaire who played lacrosse at Yale has been awarded a franchise in the National Lacrosse League (NLL).

The team, which will begin play in November 2018 at the former San Diego Sports Arena, will be owned by Joe Tsai, 53, vice chairman and co-founder of Alibaba Group.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Rush making off-season moves with eye to NLL expansion

Forbes estimated Tsai’s net worth at $8.7 billion.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Tsai was interested in buying the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.

Tsai also reportedly wants to build a downtown arena near Petco Park, home of baseball’s Padres.

Josh Gross, a spokesman for the new San Diego lacrosse team, downplayed talk of a new arena, but said: “I think that when you’re a person with his net worth, you get approached by a lot of business ventures.”

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San Diego has lost two NBA teams, the Rockets to Houston in 1971 and the Clippers to Los Angeles in 1984.

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