ORLADNO SEALS, JACKSONVILLE BARRACUDAS SALE STOPS

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ORLADNO SEALS, JACKSONVILLE BARRACUDAS SALE STOPS

Post by Geoff » Fri Jun 18, 2004 7:54 pm

For Immediate Release Contact: Steve McCall

June 18, 2004
SEALS, BARRACUDAS SALE STOPS

Waronker Terminates Negotiations

David Waronker, owner of the Orlando Seals has announced negotiations to transfer ownership of the Seals and the Jacksonville Barracudas to Star Leaf Sports, of Calgary, Alberta have ceased, and that Waronker will retain control of the two teams.

“My wife Ruth and I along with our other shareholders entered the negotiations with the hope that the transaction could be completed as the buyer had indicated in an original letter of intent. However, circumstances outside of our control have prevented the sale being closed. So in order to best move ahead, we will retain controlling interest of both franchises,” Waronker said.

“Along with both team’s other shareholders, we have been disappointed that certain aspects of the original letter of intent have not been met by the buyer. These include lack of the required deposit, and a request not to make any announcements about the pending sale or operational matters. The buyer had not placed the deposit in escrow, and has made media announcements of coaching decisions in both cities. They have also indicated in a story to the Orlando newspaper they plan to change the name. All of this has taken place without a signed deal. We will not jeopardize two strong championship franchises for a buyer who has failed to prove he is capable of finalizing the transaction,” Waronker said. “We feel bad for the fans, sponsors, and anyone affected by the unfounded speculation of the sale of the teams. We feel most sorry for our employees who had to endure a roller coaster ride for the past three weeks. That includes Jim Paek, Ron Duguay, Butch Groing, and Zac Boyer who were promised coaching positions by the potential buyer before the deal was consummated. We just had to put an end to the madness.”

The Seals and Barracudas will remain in the Southern Hockey League for the 2004-05 season. Waronker said ending the sale process will allow both teams to move ahead with the planning process for next season. “We expect that we will start the season with at least eight franchises. We have four months to promote and sell Seals and Barracudas hockey. Our coaching staffs also have four months to put together their championship teams.

“Naturally our fans and our corporate partners had legitimate questions about what was happening with the teams,” Waronker said. “By ending the speculation about the sale and ceasing negotiations it lets us proceed in a manner that is fair to our fans, partners, and other teams in the SHL. We also wish good luck to the WHA as it continues to locate suitable venues and legitimate ownership groups to start its first season. The Founders of the WHA are trying very hard to get their league off the ground, they have a very strong business plan and both the Seals and Barracudas anticipate working with the WHA in any reasonable way possible to help them get started in October, 2004.”

The Seals and Barracudas are currently accepting season ticket applications for the 2004-05 season. For more information call the Seals at (407) 447-PUCK (7825) or the Barracudas at (904) 367-1ICE (1423).

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Post by BCRantzilla » Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:12 pm

I can't say I'm suprised, the SEHL and SHL/WHA2/EHL are the big trainwreck leagues of 2004 so far. (The iihl being the trainwreck of 2003.) I wish they could get it together out there but there seem to be way too many used car salesmen trying to get into the sports business that it is killing pro sports in the south and southeast.
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Post by Geoff » Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:37 pm

They aren't a train wreck. They're keeping them in the SHL because the "good faith payment" was never sent, the WHA was supposed ot find two replacement cities for the SHL, and the SEHL & SHL are in a conference call right now trying to set up the merger that, if announced, could be as early as Monday. My source for the last little tid bit is Ruth Waronker

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Post by BCRantzilla » Sat Jun 19, 2004 12:07 am

I didn't mean the teams themselves, the WHA2/SEHL fiasco has been a trainwreck. The WHA2 hostile takeover of half of the SEHL's arena leases crushed those markets. Add this to the fact that the merger is still on/off and they have broken every self-imposed deadline and you have no legitimate A-Leagues as it stands going into next year.

When people with money and credibility can make things happen in those regions, A-League hockey can work. Right now that isn't happening out there. I wish people would stop admitting teams that only have enough money for the expansion fee into their leagues. It would prevent all of the embarassments over the last 5 years.
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Post by wncsport.com » Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:22 am

Four months isn't a lot of time for marketing for an INTRAMURAL league, let alone a professional minor league.

This has "disaster" written all over it, and that's IF there's a merger. If there isn't one, I have serious doubts on either league playing this year, even more doubts on the SEHL, though.
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Post by Pounder » Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:16 pm

:D

While the ACHL/WHA2/SEHL/EHL/SHL slugfest has never been short of entertaining- off the ice- is anyone really surprised that the WHA landed in this quagmire? Heck, if nothing else, it was having to deal with David Waronker again that put them here.

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