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GOING TO HELL IN A BUCKET, AT LEAST CATS ENJOYED THE RIDE
Published January 31, 1995
"The end of a season generally is dictated by lack of performance. The Hartford Hellcats' season ended Monday because of a lack of money," according to Roy Hasty in this morning's HARTFORD COURANT. The Hellcats' ownership, the Hartford Sports and Entertainment Group Inc. (HSE), ended operations Monday, causing the CBA team to fold. The HSE ran out of money to operate the team and couldn't meet the payroll over the weekend. HSE was "hoping to get help from the Connecticut Development Authority (CDA), which was negotiating with three groups interested in buying" the team, but none of the offers were "firm enough" to reach a deal. HSE Spokesperson Tom Drohan said the group owes about $200,000 in addition to its loan commitments of $1.25M to the state, which guaranteed the loan package through the CDA. Although the CDA currently operates the Connecticut Coyotes of the Arena Football League, CDA spokesperson Joseph Cohen said the authority did not want to assume control of the Hellcats because the team "has been bleeding large amounts of money over an extended period of time." Cohen: "The Hellcats were just too far gone." The CBA also has a "provision to take over the operation" of a failing team, but refused to do so. CBA Commissioner Tom Valdiserri: "This situation does not and will not deter the CBA from continuing our efforts in moving the league in a positive direction" (Roy Hasty, HARTFORD COURANT, 1/31). Drohan on the Hellcats' failure: "We didn't sell enough tickets ... And we didn't get the corporate support we needed. ... We know how hard-pressed the corporations are in this community" (Owen Canfield, HARTFORD COURANT, 1/31). ESPN's Keith Olbermann reported the story last night, quoting a team official: "There is no money to go forward, there is no reason to go forward" ("SportsCenter," 1/30).