Lynx ticket holders grow restless

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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.

Comments (16) Add comment
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patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 01/21/09 - 06:07 am
0
0
The season ticket money isn't

The season ticket money isn't put into a trust fund where the team owners only draw enough to cover each game. The money goes into team operations. The investment failed to succeed financially. The money is spent. Invest more wisely next time or quit investing. Either way.....stop whining. There is no refund. Move on with your lives.

concerned csra
0
Points
concerned csra 01/21/09 - 07:44 am
0
0
I was a season ticket holder

I was a season ticket holder of four tickets for my family. At this point it's all about the respect.They have just swept us all under the rug and that's not right.If they wanted to make it right they could.

poke-check
0
Points
poke-check 01/21/09 - 11:30 am
0
0
Buying tickets to a sporting

Buying tickets to a sporting event is not an investment. An investment is buying something with the hope that purchase will in turn generate some sort of profit. An investment is something the corporate sponsors made. Not the ticket holders. The sponsors paid for advertising in the hopes that advertising would increase their business. If it did, great, if it didn't they get a tax write off. Purchasing season tickets for sports is entertainment. Plain and simple. Much like buying tickets to a concert. If the performers (in this case the Lynx) do not show up or cancel the event the purchaser of the ticket is entitled a refund. It is pretty cut and dry. Unfortunately GOAL LLC will likely file for bankruptcy which will leave the ticket holders holding the bag.

wheresthebeach
0
Points
wheresthebeach 01/21/09 - 11:52 am
0
0
Patriciathomass. Let me

Patriciathomass. Let me explain this to you again, please pay attention ~ INVEST: To commit (money or capital) in order to gain a financial return. ~ We as season ticket holders did not invest in the Lynx. We bought season tickets to attend hockey games not for a financial return. We paid for a product, service we did not receive. Are you following me Pat? Had we been 'investing' in the team we should have received financial statements from GOAL indicating to us, their investors, the financial situation of the company. With this information we would have been able to make a sound decision on whether to spend our money on this product. We, as STH's, weren't provided anything but lies. ST sales were up, sponsor sales were up, this is going to be the best season ever....blah, blah, blah. They took our money knowing they weren't going to be able to provide us what we paid for.

If someone takes $1000, $2000 and doesn't give you what you paid for and you're content with it, that's your business. This is a situation that obviously doesn't pertain to you so why don't you keep your uninformed thoughts to yourself and mind your own business.

topshelf
0
Points
topshelf 01/21/09 - 11:57 am
0
0
Well said poke-check! I

Well said poke-check!
I supported this franchise for 11 years. I'm willing to work with them on my refund ($940.00), all they have to do is call me,
between the 3 or GOAL LLC. just pick up the phone and show some pride.

wheresthebeach
0
Points
wheresthebeach 01/21/09 - 03:19 pm
0
0
"Troutman wouldn't go into

"Troutman wouldn't go into detail about what the team is working on" What team? There isn't a team. GOAL turned the team over to the ECHL.

"If we had a pile of money sitting here to pay them, we'd still be playing." Them? I can almost hear the disdain in his voice.

Johnny Chimpo
0
Points
Johnny Chimpo 01/21/09 - 05:57 pm
0
0
It's your own fault for

It's your own fault for buying tickets with the Lynx, that team was about to go under for the last 3 years. If Lynx tickets seemed like a good way to spend your money, I can also make you a good deal on the Golden Gate Bridge.

SlapShot2
0
Points
SlapShot2 01/21/09 - 06:13 pm
0
0
How much for the bridge?

How much for the bridge?

gnx
7
Points
gnx 01/21/09 - 06:15 pm
0
0
If you paid for tickets then

If you paid for tickets then you should be entitled to a refund, right? I'm surprised someone hasn't already gotten an attorney involved on behalf of all season ticket holders.

Astrea
0
Points
Astrea 01/21/09 - 07:11 pm
0
0
gnx, I don't disagree with

gnx, I don't disagree with you at all, but there's no point in a class action. That falls into the same category of it costing more to fight than we could get back if we did win. And if we did win, GOAL would have to have the funds to pay us, and our attorneys, and, as Troutman said himself, in that article, they *supposedly* do not. So, what would we win? GOAL is an LLC, so the owners cannot be personally sued, so that is out, too. Getting blood out of a turnip isn't going to work. Trust me, at least one group of season ticketholders have explored every avenue. I have done so personally. At this point, it's up to GOAL to give us as much respect as we gave them when we were, in good faith, giving them our money and supporting their organization. And they have NOT.

tlnvols
0
Points
tlnvols 01/22/09 - 10:43 am
0
0
It is not an investment..$

It is not an investment..$ need to be returned.

whycare
0
Points
whycare 01/22/09 - 10:40 pm
0
0
I think it is all a joke,

I think it is all a joke, they knew the team was not going to make the season i knew that for sure, I was there, Dan Troutman is a person who can not tell the truth, and the Burches did not take care of their investment at all, they left it in the hands of the wrong person. I feel sorry for the ticket holders, that was hard money to come by these days, The ECHL was a very expensive league and gave no support to the team, They are the ones who should be sued. The lynx was still cashing sponsorship checks 2 to 3 weeks after folding, lies lies lies, that is all that was told from all parties. Not 1 of 3 people have any pride they hid from ticket holders and investors and employee before they finally came out with it.

Cheech1
0
Points
Cheech1 01/24/09 - 05:29 am
0
0
Anybody want to contract with

Anybody want to contract with Dan Troutman to build a home for ya now? "Oh sorry, it's not gonna be finished, we spent all your money already."

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/24/09 - 08:05 am
0
0
"The ECHL was a very

"The ECHL was a very expensive league and gave no support to the team" ---- Especially for a sport in the area that looks at hockey like folks look at golf. It was a good idea, but Augusta isn't Atlanta with enough transplants to keep it going. It really came down to community interest, and the lack of it (except for folks who could afford spending $1,000+ on entertainment alone). Now if the Braves had a minor team locally, that would generate so much interest, the whole area would be involved. Otherwise, entertainment venues in the city is mainly for CC residents using up RC time and infrastructure, and treated as such. Sorry, but the whole community has to take interest, not a few.

blues550
349
Points
blues550 01/24/09 - 01:33 pm
0
0
There have been hints about
Unpublished

There have been hints about Troutman looking at a SOHL team. He has already done enough damage to minor sports in Augusta, enough already.

Dan Lehr
0
Points
Dan Lehr 01/25/09 - 11:29 am
0
0
Why don't you go to small

Why don't you go to small claims court and file a judgement against the owners. You pay the cost of filing and have your day in court with out an attorney. The judge rules on who is right and who is wrong for a small filing fee.

HuntsvilleHavocFan
0
Points
HuntsvilleHavocFan 02/04/09 - 04:45 am
0
0
I paid $225 per seat this

I paid $225 per seat this season in Huntsville. I will talk to Keith Jeffries, our owner here, he started the SPHL. I will advise him of this situation and make sure he puts a stipulation on Troutman that he will just be an investor to the team and not RUN it. Also, that he should give you season tickets for next year as well as refund the one game and difference in ticket prices. Here is our ticket prices in comparison:
Mezz- Both $12, $10 Seniors, Military,and Youth
Lower Level- Lynx $16 -Havoc $15, $13 S,M, & Y
Preferred- Lynx $19 -Havoc $17, $15 S, M, & Y
Hopefully you guys can work this out because our fans here will take a bus ride there next season for sure!!!!

Also, like the other guy said, go to small claims court. Heck, take their butts on Judge Judy!!!! LOL

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