Lynx beg for financial rescue

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Retail stores slashed prices and held big sales hoping to lure shoppers Friday during the biggest shopping day of the year. In a sense, Augusta Lynx co-owners Dan Troutman and Jan Hodges Burch made a similar pitch at an afternoon news conference.

The bargain item was the team itself, and the pitch was close to a going-out-of-business sale.

"We want to find a solution or a way to keep hockey in Augusta, Ga. Unfortunately, we've run into a whole lot of roadblocks," Mr. Troutman said. "The time is now. If anyone has an interest, if you know anyone, they need to be talking to us, because we don't have months to sort this thing out. We've got a window of a few more days to continue to get one of these deals done."

The Lynx will play at home tonight, but the team's future beyond that is up in the air. Mrs. Burch, teary eyed and standing before a room full of cameras and Lynx fans, pleaded for help.

" 'Tis the season for giving, and Jan's all given out," she said. "At this point in time, I'm begging anyone who can come and help us with this. The urgency is at hand, no doubt."

Mr. Troutman said the team came into the season knowing money would be tight, and a series of backup financial plans fell through a little more than two weeks ago.

Mr. Troutman said that left the team and ownership group now seeking $200,000 to $300,000 from an investor or group of investors to keep the team running past this weekend. He said three such groups have shown interest, and the Lynx have shared financial information with two of them, but no one has made a commitment.

"We don't have a deal at this point, but we're working with them very feverishly to get that done," Mr. Troutman said.

The Lynx have been in talks with the ECHL.

Mr. Troutman said if the ownership group isn't able to find a new investor in "a matter of days," then the future of the team would be in the hands of the league.

Mr. Troutman said the ECHL has assured him that it will "look at all options" concerning the future of the team, but league commissioner Brian McKenna said Wednesday that an ECHL team has never folded in the middle of the season, and the league "was not set up" to handle such a situation.

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

LAST HURRAH?

WHO: Augusta Lynx vs. Charlotte Checkers


WHEN: 7 tonight

Comments (6) Add comment
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Dan Lehr
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Dan Lehr 11/29/08 - 10:24 am
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Lets see a losing coach,high

Lets see a losing coach,high ticket prices and changes to the team the fans hated.You say you want help! Where was your concern for the fans who hated the changes you made to the team? The fact that many fans did not buy tickets should show it was a bad decision on the owners part.Go back to BLACK & BLUE hockey , get rid of that thing you call a coach and lower ticket prices. You might just get back your fan support and the dollars they bring. If not Marks record of closing 2 teams in 3 seasons will stand as the greatest blunder of the Lynx management team.

concerned csra
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concerned csra 11/29/08 - 04:08 pm
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I sure wish that people did

I sure wish that people did there homework before opening there mouth and spitting out words that does not hold any facts!!!!!! I have looked into this and when he coached the Greenville Growl they shut down due to not coming to an agreement with the bilo center. When he coached Pensacola Ice Pilots according to the Pensacola news journal they shut down due to an absentee owner and Coach Marks was even blindsided in the mess there.I am not taking up for him by any means. He used to get under our skin when he coached Greenville.I didn't care for him then and i don't now. But he is not the reason we attend and he would not be the reason that we don't.

palomino9
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palomino9 11/30/08 - 09:58 am
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So now a hockey team, who

So now a hockey team, who can't even play hockey, wants to be bailed out. What next? Let's bail out the prostitutes downtown, because business is slow due to the economy.

eric stoner
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eric stoner 11/30/08 - 10:04 am
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I never understood why hockey

I never understood why hockey came here in the first place.

ugadawgbite
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ugadawgbite 11/30/08 - 10:37 am
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Let's contact the James Brown

Let's contact the James Brown family for money, since it's the James Brown arena now. That's what Al Sharpton would do if it was a basketball team that was going under...

reader54
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reader54 11/30/08 - 12:20 pm
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Sorry,bad investment.See Ya!!

Sorry,bad investment.See Ya!! That's the chance you took.Quit crying millionaires !

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