Lynx ticket holders grow restless

Michelle Baldwin still comes close to tears when she thinks of the good times she and other former season ticket holders had at Augusta Lynx hockey games.

 

"It feels strange not having the Lynx in my life," she said.

She also thinks of what she sacrificed to follow the team.

"This past season I didn't think it was going to be possible (to renew my season tickets). With the gas prices, there was just no disposable income," she said. "But then I got the stimulus check from (former President) George W. (Bush) and that's where it went. I loved the team that much."

The going rate for season tickets in section 101 of James Brown Arena -- where Baldwin sat -- was $1,080 for two seats, according to the Lynx's Web site. Seven weeks after the team went under, she still hasn't heard anything about the possibility of a refund for the remaining 29 home games that won't be played.

"Are they going to give it back or not? That's all we want to know, but they seem to be hiding under a rock," Baldwin said of Lynx ownership. "And we really don't expect to see the money. We would like a little respect."

Former Lynx co-owner and general manager Dan Troutman declined to comment concerning a refund, other than to say he's still working on some type of compensation.

"We're still slugging. We're still exploring options, and we're trying to do something," he said. "If we had a pile of money sitting here to pay them, we'd still be playing."

Troutman wouldn't go into detail about what the team is working on, but owners of the Fresno Falcons, another ECHL team that folded three weeks after the Lynx, have offered cash refunds to season ticket holders or double the refund amount in the form of Fresno Grizzlies minor league baseball tickets.

GreenJackets general manager Nick Brown said a similar deal won't happen with Augusta's minor league baseball team.

Some former season ticket holders have managed to recover a portion of their investment. Linda Whitfield of Evans said she paid $776 for two Lynx season tickets and received $625 as a refund from her credit card company.

Whitfield said it was her only option.

"We would like to have some of it back, but we know it's just not going to happen," she said. "We've just sort of moved on."

Whitfield's solution won't work for all season ticket holders, however. Not all credit card companies have such a refund policy, and other season ticket holders paid by check.

Another option would be to take legal action, but Baldwin said lawyers she has spoken to have told her that route would cost more than the price of the season tickets.

"It's extremely frustrating," she said. "I budgeted that money so it's not that much of an issue. It's more a lack of respect. It's an issue of betrayal."

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

 

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