SBD/January 31, 2013/Franchises

Source: AFL Chicago Rush Players, Officials Have Gone Unpaid For Nearly Two Months

Arena Football League officials yesterday met to "discuss a series of problems that raise concerns" about the Chicago Rush's "immediate future," according to Danny Ecker of CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS. The team has "not yet signed a contract or put down a deposit to play at Allstate Arena, its home field, even though the season is scheduled to start in seven weeks." Phone lines at the team's office "haven't worked for weeks, and the Rush canceled a series of team and cheerleader tryouts." A source said that the Rush's four full-time employees have "not been paid in nearly two months." The Rush are "scheduled to open their 2013 season against the Iowa Barnstormers on March 23." Many Rush players and coaches, who are contract employees paid during the season, have "spent the last couple of weeks calling and emailing Scott Bailey, the team's director of player personnel, for updates on the team's status." The source added that Bailey also "hasn't been paid since Dec. 1 and hasn't been able to answer most of their questions." Fans "still trying to get tickets have contacted Rush representatives, who are working from home, through the team's Facebook page or their personal emails." Another source said that the league's officials are "considering reclaiming ownership of the team to salvage the 2013 season if the financial situation is not resolved soon." The Rush's ownership situation has been "turbulent since the league emerged from bankruptcy in 2010." The Rush are owned by Testarossa Entertainment Owner Julee White (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 1/31).
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