Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs to Cease Operations
BOSSIER CITY, LA - The Presidents' Cup Champion Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs of the Central Hockey League regret to announce tonight that due to severe economic conditions and the limited timeline imposed to secure sufficient revenue for the upcoming season, the team will be forced to cease operations after 14 remarkably successful seasons in Bossier-Shreveport.
Despite tonight's unfortunate announcement, the Mudbugs will remain open for business throughout the month of June while season ticket deposits and playoff rollover money is refunded to fans in full.
"The first thing Leslie and I want to do is thank all the fans for the outpouring of support we have received over the past week," said Owner Tommy Scott on behalf of his family. "It's been amazing how those people have stepped up to try and save Mudbugs Hockey. Unfortunately, time was our biggest enemy as we were forced to decide tonight about continuing and just were not able to get all the pieces put together quickly enough."
"We're in a position where we cannot continue to lose large sums of money like we did this year," Scott continued. "The reason for our goal of 2,500 season tickets was not meant to be unrealistic; it was a number we had to come close to hitting in order to give us a fighting chance at making it work without significant and damaging losses. It's basically impossible for us to continue under the current financial circumstances without the guarantee of significantly increased revenue.
"It was disappointing that the league's deadline could not be extended and that we could not secure a meeting with SMG Management this week to discuss updating our lease. We all hoped and believed that we could get there and I can't possibly express enough our gratitude for the support from our loyal fans. We just ran out of time."
The entire Mudbugs organization, including staff, players, and ownership would like to extend its sincere thanks to a passionate, loyal and exuberant fan base that allowed the team to exist for 14 unforgettable years in Shreveport and Bossier City.
Thanks largely to that support, the Mudbugs created one of the most impressive winning traditions in all of minor professional hockey, beginning in 1997 and continuing all the way until the team's final Championship triumph in Game 7 of this year's Presidents' Cup Finals. In their 14-year existence, the Bugs compiled a record of 565-269-83 (.661%) in 917 regular season games.
In another 152 playoff games, the club cemented its excellence with 93 wins and four Presidents' Cup Championships. The Mudbugs also won two other conference titles, three Governors' Cup Regular Season Championships and appeared in the playoffs in 13 of their 14 seasons of competition.
During that time the club also made community involvement a top priority, with players, staff members and fans donating countless hours to charity work at local schools, hospitals and other non-profit organizations. Monetary donations, memorabilia auctions and charitable drives all became integral parts of the team's identity throughout the area.
"We are so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this franchise for the past two years. During that time we accomplished some incredible things: building a Championship team, donating tens of thousands of dollars to charity, volunteering our time to work with kids, and entertaining over 200,000 people in the Ark-La-Tex," said Scott.
"We want to thank Dr. Mike Plaman for bringing the team here and John Madden for his years of ownership and allowing us to buy the team, as well as the other owners in the CHL for their support. We also want to recognize our hard-working staff members, players and corporate partners for all that they've done. Most of all we appreciate the thousands of hard-core Mudbugs fans who have made everything worth while and helped make the last two years some of the best of our lives."
"I think everyone is sad about this, and it will be very difficult to walk away. I hope that everyone will remember the good times they enjoyed with the Mudbugs, and who knows, maybe Mudbugs Hockey will be back some day."
Again, the Mudbugs office inside the CenturyTel Center will be open for the remainder of the month. Starting early next week, refund checks will be available at the team office for all ticket holders who paid deposits toward 2011-2012 season tickets, including rollover from 2011 playoff ticket packages.
For more information, call 752-BUGS or log on to www.mudbugshockey.com.
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