Diamonds and Ice


3 more in line for RoughRiders’ purchase
March 14, 2009, 11:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Multiple sources have told us there are three groups who have made serious inquiries to purchase the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. This on the heels of news two weeks ago that an agreement to buy the USHL franchise was nixed by the league over financial concerns that potential new owner Gary Gelinas could successfully operate the team.

Word about who these three interested groups are and where they are from has not leaked out. Don’t expect them to for awhile, because the groups are sure to want anonymity.  The lawyer who represents current ownership group Mercantile Capital Partners of Chicago was in town earlier this week to talk with Five Seasons Facilities Commission president Patrick DePalma and Scott Schoenike, whose VenuWorks company runs the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena and U.S. Cellular Center for the city, sources said.

There’s also word that Sodexho, which runs concessions at the Ice Arena, and DePalma are to meet with members of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Fan Club, presumably about the prices of concessions and their quality – both of which have been questioned.

Three previous attempts by MCP to sell the club have failed, leaving its future in limbo. There is an extension of an expired lease that keeps the team here through next season, but no guarantees after that.

Stayed tuned.

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