The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority went into closed session at Tuesday's special-called meeting, with Chairman Richard Isdell saying an issue with the defunct Augusta Lynx hockey team needed to be discussed.
Asked by reporters how that could legally be done -- state law allows closed meetings for issues of pending litigation, personnel and real estate -- authority attorney Ed Enoch said the Lynx had threatened to sue.
Mr. Isdell and authority member Keith Brown said later that the team wants $64,000 to compensate for two game delays caused by a corner of the ice floor not being properly frozen.
"We've made no threats to sue anyone," Lynx co-owner and general manager Dan Troutman said. "They may have interpreted it that way."
Mr. Isdell said the team owes the authority $120,000 to $130,000, part of it for advertising rights on signs within the James Brown Arena. The authority is about to draw $50,000 from SunTrust bank through a standby letter of credit, which will bring the balance down to $70,000 to $80,000.
After the closed session, the authority voted unanimously to have Mr. Enoch and civic center complex General Manager Monty Jones take inventory of televisions, signs, leather couches, refrigerators and other items left behind by the Lynx and try using them to negotiate down the balance. Some items have already been removed, Mr. Isdell said, and locks on arena doors have been changed to prevent anything else from being taken.
Mr. Troutman said he's open to giving up what's left if it will help settle the account.
"We're very much interested in ending on an amicable note," he said.