Lynx plead for investors

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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 a Friday 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 road blocks,” 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 about their financial troubles. 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.

Comments (24) Add comment
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PTHS225
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PTHS225 11/28/08 - 08:56 pm
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Just to clarify, there is no

Just to clarify, there is no game "tonight". The next game is tomorrow, Saturday the 29th. It's kind of confusing with a dateline of Nov 28th on the story.

iletuknow
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iletuknow 11/28/08 - 11:47 pm
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Silly game that is not suited

Silly game that is not suited to the southern mentality.

HillGuy
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HillGuy 11/29/08 - 12:29 am
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Augusta doesn't support

Augusta doesn't support anything... unless it is free. Without a strong corporate presence to sponsor such teams and events, I just don't see hockey or much else surviving in Augusta. If the Lynx fold, then the civic center might as well close for good.

LBenedict
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LBenedict 11/29/08 - 12:31 am
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I stopped going to see this

I stopped going to see this "team" - I LOVE hockey, and when I go to a Lynx game, I want to see hockey...not a bunch of thugs on skates who bring shame upon the game. If they go belly up, it's their own fault!!!

ASU student
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ASU student 11/29/08 - 03:39 am
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I hope they can work this

I hope they can work this out... I would hate for Augusta to not have a pro hockey team. LBenedict... The ECHL is a developmental league where players of all skill levels try to "fight for a spot on the roster of an AHL or NHL team. North American hockey is a rough sport and when you have a league like the ECHL which is AA hockey there will be a great deal of fighting

Sk8tng_On_Thin_Ice
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Sk8tng_On_Thin_Ice 11/29/08 - 06:37 am
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OK. We (CSRA) need some last

OK. We (CSRA) need some last minute survival techniques to save our Augusata Lynx team: I support the Augusta Lynx 100%. Great entertainment, revenue for CSRA, and positive Community Service. But quick actions need to be made to save OUR team from extinction. To little, to late? Probably, but here are some suggestions anyway: 1) Cheerleaders. Nothing against these pretty ladies but times are tough. Use intermissions for pee-wee hockey…Guaranteed parental patronage! 2) Ask/Plead/Beg Coliseum Authority for free/reduced rent through season. (Lord knows Lynx ticket sales have helped them through bad times!) New management should listen, as their livelihood will be effected as well. 3) Seek reduced transport costs for away games. 4) Get rid of empty seats in James Brown Arena! Upper seats could be sold for $5.00 (Get the people in for goodness sakes! $$ WILL be made up in concessions.) 5) Make it known quickly through PA announcements, flyers, ect, the community involvement the Lynx have done for CSRA. (Does wonders for positive press). Do it tonight at game! I hate the thought of a hockey-less future in our town. Let's save our Lynx!

IncredibleGuy
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IncredibleGuy 11/29/08 - 08:39 am
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maybe Deke could build them a

maybe Deke could build them a rink on the river...

rdbike
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rdbike 11/29/08 - 10:41 am
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I have enjoyed the Lynx

I have enjoyed the Lynx throught the years, but like everything else that comes to Augusta, it comes in half done. Everyone likes a winner and the winning teams have stong financial backing...the Lynx don't and never will. Winning takes money, lots of money. Unfortunately the Lynx organization is a sinking ship and no amount of money is going to get it up and floating to a successful end.

LostYankee72
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LostYankee72 11/29/08 - 11:30 am
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I'd hate to see the Lynx go

I'd hate to see the Lynx go but is it our fault that the current and previous owners didn't know how to financially run the team properly. It's kind of lame that they are begging and pleading for anyone in the community to give them money to stay a float. usually these attempts to find financial backing are done in backroom discussions not throuhg the newspaper. LAME!! I guess this is what happens when season seat holders become owners of a sports team. They love the team soooo much they think they have the answers on how to fix it. Unfortunately they have no clue how the business of sports work. Oh well.

concerned csra
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concerned csra 11/29/08 - 11:55 am
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iletuknow maybe your

iletuknow maybe your ignorant mentality but not southern mentality my husband and i a true southerners and we LOVE IT

concerned csra
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concerned csra 11/29/08 - 12:00 pm
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lbenedict fighting is

lbenedict fighting is necessary sometime even a all out brawl you obviously don't know much about hockey

concerned csra
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concerned csra 11/29/08 - 12:12 pm
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Somebody please help fund our

Somebody please help fund our Lynx Life in Augusta will stink without our hockey Its the one place my family can go and have a good time without worry that a crowd may break out into a fight (like the augusta mall) We know alot of the staff for the Lynx and they treat us like FAMILY everytime we see them.

LBenedict
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LBenedict 11/29/08 - 01:55 pm
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ASU, I understand that...to

ASU, I understand that...to an extent. Yes, there will be more fighting in the lower leagues. But, it has been my observation that the Lynx would rather fight than sharpen hockey skills. Sure they have to show the bosses that they have passion and scrapiness, but how does it help the team when you are religiously sent to the sin-bin or ejected. Concerned CSRA: I know that fighting is "sometimes necessary"...but it seems like a way of life for the Lynx, so much so that many paying patrons have decided to no longer patronize it. And I do know a little bit about hockey...I mean, I played it for a while - does than count?

blues550
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blues550 11/29/08 - 02:03 pm
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The overwhelming number of
Unpublished

The overwhelming number of teams in the ECHL lose money each and every year. It is not a good business model. Want proof, just look throughout the south at the failed franchises. These guys would make General Sherman proud. Following the horrendous leadership of previous owner groups, the team should have closed down. GOAL needs to be congratulated for at least trying, they are truly committed to the community. Its just time to say good bye to the Lynx and the ECHL. Wait a season and bring in an SPHL team with lower operating costs and at least a reasonable shot at breaking even.

concerned csra
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concerned csra 11/29/08 - 02:56 pm
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it is obvious to me that

it is obvious to me that lbenedict has not been to too many of the hockey games. they do not fight as often as you make it seem like they do. if you went to more games you would see that.

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 11/29/08 - 03:02 pm
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Well Augusta politicians have

Well Augusta politicians have beem clamoring to run the Lynx out of town for years. The only sure source of revenue to the civic center I might add. Congrats Augusta you have accomplished it. Now that you have NO revenue for the civic center I see the Convocation center in Aiken making even more profits than before. Typical Augusta, can't accept anything if they cannot have a piece of the pie. At least the Groove's owners were smart enough not to get caught up in Augusta politics. It's sad what a laughing stock a city that was once great has become.

concerned csra
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concerned csra 11/29/08 - 03:35 pm
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the only reason we go to the

the only reason we go to the augusta civic center is for the hockey if they lose that we will not have any other reason to attend.all ice shows,concerts and etc. we go to the phillips arena and columbia's colonial center. nicer facility.

concerned csra
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concerned csra 11/29/08 - 03:43 pm
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in all honesty i think that

in all honesty i think that the civic center is way to big and that hurts a budget when you are not in need of all those seats and still have to pay for them to rent the facility. is there any way that moving the lynx to someplace like the aiken convecation center would help with there budget?or would it benfit them to move to the augusta ice forum with some adjustments?or could we move them to columbia's carolina colusium.its an hour away, so what most games are on weekends.

Jackson1960
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Jackson1960 11/29/08 - 03:55 pm
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Anyone notice that banks &

Anyone notice that banks & insurance institutions, auto makers, and a ka-zillion "Mom & Pop" businesses are also threatening to fold across the nation? If so, could it be that the Lynx operating costs have unexpectedly (& astronomically) risen while (at the same time) our local consumer spending has nose dived in an equal measure? Could it be that (for sports fans) buying gas & groceries have simply won out over buying tickets? Could it be that investors & sponsors are sitting on cash and "freezing" their advertisement budgets until the economy shows direction? Yes! In fact, even the best & brightest sports owners failed to project our national recession in time to adjust their business plans. Just ask Hank Steinbrenner about his six empty NY Yankee luxury boxes. Now do Augusta politics, the JB arena situation, a team's personnel changes, etc. help this situation? Of course not. Yet, before we toss Dan, Robert, & Jan under the bus; let's recognize that it is easier to second guess behind the anonymity of the internet than to make real $$ decisions to dump even more of one's own savings down the drain for the sake of our community's entertainment. J. Sisson, GM, Augusta Colts

concerned csra
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concerned csra 11/29/08 - 04:55 pm
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To jackson 1960, you guys

To jackson 1960, you guys won't be even being fielding a team this year. Where do you even have a say in this argument. You pulling your money from the civic center could have caused the Lynx prices to go up trying to make up for what the civic center is losing.

Jackson1960
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Jackson1960 11/29/08 - 05:27 pm
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My apologies. I wasn't aware

My apologies. I wasn't aware that this was an "argument" or that (if so) it was closed to other local minor league staffers who just might have some experience with the economic realities of this sports market. Yet, tell you what, I'll bow out of the debate and leave you to your theories about how the JBArena operates and whether or not playing in Aiken (their floor space wont hold the rink by 4 feet - I checked my options for indoor football) or else Columbia, SC (you might want to Google the Columbia Inferno of the ECHL; who likewise opted to sit out this year). Meanwhile, please know that the Augusta Lynx and the "Civic Center" each set their prices without consultation with the Augusta Colts; as they should. That is their business. Personally, I support them both and pray we ALL succeed. ~ J. Sisson, GM, Augusta Colts

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 11/29/08 - 06:03 pm
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Just pay Bubba.

Just pay Bubba.

GnipGnop1
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GnipGnop1 11/29/08 - 09:34 pm
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Yeah I figured you wouldn't

Yeah I figured you wouldn't comment back on that one.

Jackson1960
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Jackson1960 11/30/08 - 11:51 am
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GnipGnop: My apologies. I was

GnipGnop: My apologies. I was at the Lynx game when you posted last night; putting my money where my mouth was in an attempt to show the team some support. As for Mr. (Bubba) Diggs, I have said consistently that - upon the advice of my legal counsel - I will not comment upon Mr. Diggs' lawsuit. Diggs has the legal right to sue me if he feels that he has a case. He apparently does. Meanwhile, I, in turn, have the right to defend myself if I feel that his case lacks merit. I do. So when all of the depositions are taken, under oath, then I reckon we shall see... Nuff said. ~ JS

tiredofhearingit
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tiredofhearingit 11/30/08 - 07:36 pm
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Looks to me that GnipGnop

Looks to me that GnipGnop knows everything. Since when does an article about the LYNX get turned around about the Augusta Colts? Just because Jackson1960 made a comment to SUPPORT the Lynx and about the economy doesn't mean that the Augusta Colts need to be attacked. GnipGnop just because you think you know it all, my OPINION is you need to grow up and stop spending so much time online spreading your nonscense. Stay on the article and leave others alone.

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