League Could Control Team By Sept. 20

POSTED: 8:56 pm EST September 8, 2004

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Firebirds, whose owner has been trying to sell the team, said Wednesday it will cease operations at the end of this week but continue to seek a new owner until Sept. 20, RTV6's Wil Hampton reported.

If a new owner isn't found by Sept. 20, the Arena Football League -- to which the Firebirds belong -- will control the club. The AFL could then operate it in Indiana, move it, or shut it down, Hampton reported.

Ticket orders for the 2005 season will be refunded, the team said.

The Firebirds moved to Indianapolis from Albany, N.Y., before the 2001 season. In 2002, David Lageschulte bought the team from Glenn Mazula, who owned the franchise since its inception in 1990.

In July, Lageschulte said he either wanted to sell the team or move it closer to his Florida home.

Lageschulte, who lives in Fort Myers, Fla., and was a founder of the Hooters restaurant chain, also owned the AFL's former Miami team in the mid-1990s.

The Firebirds averaged 10,874 fans at home games in Conseco Fieldhouse this year, ranking 11th out of 19 teams. They went 8-8 and missed the eight-team playoffs.
Copyright 2004 by TheIndyChannel.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.