Falcons Costing Tax Payer Money

December 23, 2008 7:08:46 PM PST
The Fresno Falcons signed a 20-year deal with the city to rent space at Selland Arena, but the team's failure means taxpayers are losing money. The City of Fresno is considering filing a lawsuit against the Falcons. Nothing has been finalized, but the city attorney said the team broke several contracts by shutting down Monday night. Selland Arena's marquee still advertises future Falcon games even though the team shut down. The hockey team signed a 20-year lease with the city to play at the arena. For every game, they paid the city $5,000. With the hockey team gone so are their payments. James Sanchez is Fresno City Attorney. Sanchez said, "They're not operating any longer. We don't have the lease revenues. That in my mind is a material breach."

Sanchez said the Falcons broke the lease. His office is now formulating a range of options including a lawsuit for city council members to consider, but suing the hockey team could back fire-scaring away potential investors who may want to revive the Falcons. Sanchez said, "It has the potential to be viewed as anti-business. On the other side of the coin, the council will look at we're dealing with tough economic times."

Monday afternoon, The Falcons owner said it is too early to discuss a potential lawsuit. Council Member Blong Xiong said he wants to proceed with caution calling the situation very delicate. Cynthia Sterling is also not rushing to judgment. The arena is in her district, and she's confident more concerts and athletic events could fill the dates that were scheduled to go to the Falcons. Sterling said, "But the economy is in a downturn for everybody but not just in the City of Fresno, so maybe we'll go back to the table and relook at how we are going to move forward."

The city attorney will make recommendations to the council in late January. As for season ticket holders, the Falcons CEO plans to announce Wednesday morning how the owners will compensate people who spent hundreds, even thousands of dollars to purchase season tickets.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


abc30 News Links:
Links to other news sections on our website.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Breaking News Alerts:
Click Here to Sign-Up for Breaking News E-Mail Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts in your email inbox.


Click Here to Sign-Up for Text Message Alerts
Receive Breaking News alerts right on your cell phone.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Load Comments