5 season ticket holders sue team

A group of Augusta Lynx season ticket holders has filed a lawsuit in Richmond County Magistrate Court against the defunct minor league hockey team for $3,308.32.


In the suit, the five season ticket holders, Michelle Baldwin, Thomas Yarbrough, Pamela Scrum, James Condon and Kelly Ayres, said the Group Operating the Augusta Lynx, LLC has ignored their pleas to refund their unused season tickets.

"We have tried since December 3, 2008 to contact the defendant in order to secure refunds, but were unable to reach them by phone or mail," they said in the suit. "They have since closed their offices and contact remains unavailable."

The suit had yet to be served to Lynx owners Dan Troutman, Robert Burch and Jan Hodges Burch as of Thursday afternoon. The three owners shut the doors on the team in December, two months into the 11th season of hockey in Augusta. The team had played only seven of 36 home games, and season ticket holders were left holding hundreds of dollars each in unused tickets.

Mr. Troutman said Jan. 20 the ownership group was working to secure some type of refund deal to season ticket holders but had no updates on Thursday afternoon.

"As of right now, nothing's changed," he said. "We've still been working, but if we tried to pay, we'd be in small claims court for bouncing checks."

At a news conference to announce the team's folding in December, Mr. Troutman said a monthlong search for investors had proven fruitless and the ownership group had run out of money after losing $2.4 million over the past three seasons.

The ownership group's plea to the ECHL to allow the team to finish the season under the league's direction was unanimously denied by the ECHL Board of Governors.

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