The league has released a new schedule omitting Chicago and held a dispersal draft of Shamrox players. They have NOT released a statement regarding the details of the Shamrox situation.
Is this more a league issue, a team issue, a site issue, or an economy issue?
http://chicagoshamrox.com/news/newsrele ... icle_id=10
"The Chicago Shamrox Indoor Lacrosse Team announced today that the team has suspended operations for the 2009 season due to the current economic downturn."
National Lacrosse League team folds, leaves some fans out hundreds of dollars
By Jon Yates
June 14, 2009
As a team, the Chicago Shamrox didnt exactly light up the lacrosse nets.
In its two years of existence, the Shamrox finished last in their division one year, and second-to-last the other.
But as bad as the fledgling National Lacrosse League team was on the field, its performance since shutting operations in December might be worse.
Over the past several weeks, two Whats Your Problem? readers have written to complain that their season ticket money was not refunded after the team folded.
Former team officials say almost two dozen fans are still awaiting reimbursement.
Were extremely frustrated, said Bill Densmore of Hoffman Estates, who paid the Shamrox $720 for five season tickets and now cannot get his money back. It really stinks. Were just kind of stuck in limbo. Is $700 enough to go out and hire a lawyer? I really doubt it.
The other reader who wrote to the Problem Solver, Howard Ben-Asher, said he lost $288.
Ben-Asher said the Shamrox used to pick him up along with other season ticket-holders in his subdivision, then drive them to games at the nearby Sears Centre Arena in an old school bus.
We thought it was fun. We really did, he said. We never thought it would go the way it did.
According to interviews and court papers, the teams owners paid the National Lacrosse League almost $3 million to establish an expansion franchise in Chicago.
In a lawsuit filed against the league earlier this year, one of the owners, Donald Sallee, said the teams inaugural season in 2007 was a financial disaster.
Sallee later withdrew the lawsuit, but the filing shows the team was on shaky ground when the owners pulled the plug in December.
When the Shamrox folded, there was no money in the account, said former team President Phil Ryan.
He said the team had about 250 season ticket-holders. Those who paid by credit card got a refund. Those who paid by check, including Densmore and Ben-Asher, did not.
In its inaugural season the team drew about 5,000 fans per game, Ryan said. Last year, the turnout dipped to about 4,000, he said. Ryan estimates the teams owners lost $6 million to $7 million.
It was a complete mess from the beginning, Ryan said. The Shamrox just bled money.
Ryan said Sallee and other owners blamed the league for not returning the season ticket-holders money. The league told the Problem Solver refunds are the teams responsibility.
We are very disappointed and outraged that they have not refunded the money, said Doug Fritts, spokesman for the 10-team league. The National Lacrosse League is a separate company from the Shamrox. We do not condone their actions.
The Problem Solver called Sallee at his Florida home, but before a single question was asked, Sallee hung up. Minutes later, the Problem Solver left a message on Sallees answering machine. Sallee did not return that call.
The Problem Solver left several messages for another Shamrox owner, former pro basketball player and coach Kevin Loughery. He, too, did not return calls.
Ryan said he tried to help former season ticket-holders but was unable to coax the league or owners to pay.
I really want to help these people, Ryan said. I just dont know where to go.
Tony Infusio, the teams former ticket manager, said he also has unsuccessfully tried to get refunds for season ticket-holders.
I know all of them and I just wish I had something to tell them, said Infusio, whose parents are awaiting a refund.
So is Densmore.
What really ticks me off is these guys knew the risk they were taking starting a team, he said. How low is it to take advantage of the fan base to absorb your bad business decision?
http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2009 ... 0614-jun14