SBD/July 15, 2013/Franchises

Orlando Sues AFL Predators Over Advertising Rights At Amway Center; More Suits Ahead?

Predators execs take issue with the Magic's claim to advertising rights
The city of Orlando last Thursday "filed a lawsuit against" the AFL Orlando Predators, "asking a judge to settle a dispute over advertising rights in the Amway Center,” according to Mark Schlueb of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. Predators Managing Partner Brett Bouchy said that he “plans to file his own lawsuit" today against both the city and the Magic. The dispute centers on the “revenue generated at the Amway Center, and who gets to keep it.” The Predators “want to sell advertising and sponsorships at the arena, but when it was built, city officials gave most prime advertising rights to their main tenant: the Magic.” The NBA team has "exclusive rights to advertising in certain categories.” Bouchy said that this “makes it tough for his team to attract advertisers.” He added, “Why the Magic have to make money off the Orlando Predators is beyond me.” City lawyers in a complaint claimed that one of the Predators’ sponsors, Fairwinds Credit Union, “conflicts with the Magic's sponsor, JP Morgan Chase." The city wants the judge to "settle an argument over contract language." Bouchy cited a "string of operational problems and mismanagement at the arena that reflect badly on his team." His "biggest gripe is the mishandling of his sponsors' advertisements." Bouchy: "I believe there may be a conspiracy to hurt us" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 7/13).
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