Cotton Kings Serious About Leaving Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/6/07

Cotton Kings Serious About Leaving Lubbock

NewsChannel 11 told you they had nowhere to play. Now, the Cotton Kings are not going to play in Lubbock at all, that's according to a letter sent to season ticket holders. This all comes after the hockey team and the City of Lubbock failed to come to terms on the lease of the City Bank Coliseum in central Lubbock.

Those who have already paid for the Cotton Kings' upcoming season tickets will soon be receiving a letter in their mailbox dated June 4th. It says the Kings are no longer going to take the ice at the City Bank Coliseum. However, the general manger tells NewsChannel 11 they are still trying to reach an agreement.

In the letter to Cotton Kings' season ticket holders, the Director of Community Relations and Game Operations writes, "It is with great regret that I announce the Cotton Kings will no longer be operating in Lubbock, Texas."

"It's meant to let them know they will be getting a refund on July 1st if things don't work out with the city and that's the direction things are going at this time," Lubbock Cotton Kings General Manager Todd Chisnell says.

Nevertheless, Chisnell says the Kings are still trying to work something out with the city.

We are, "always in the process of trying to reach them and be able to try and sit down and come up with an agreement. This is an ongoing on a daily basis, without any success," says Chisnell.

Lubbock Councilman John Leonard tells NewsChannel 11, "We offered them a contract and they rejected it. There's no Cotton Kings in the coliseum. That's a dead issue."

The City Bank Coliseum ice rink may also soon be something of the past. Currently, the ice plant or refrigeration system is not working. However, the city says it has no plans to fix it.

"We won't be repairing it because it's not in our budget. We currently own it and the new proposal effort for the upcoming season was to transfer the ownership of that to the Cotton Kings so that they could have it repaired," Assistant City Manager Scott Snider said.

Councilman Leonard adds, "The way that we structured the contract we offered the Cotton Kings, the city would lose approximately $62,000, which is the same amount as closing the doors for 6 months."

Leonard says the coliseum's ice rink is not profitable for the city. So after 8 years of the Cotton Kings taking the ice in Lubbock, the council now plans to hire a promoter to fill the calendar space.

Last week, members of the Kings' ownership visited San Angelo, exploring options of possibly moving the team somewhere. Chisnell says another meeting in San Angelo is set for the end of this week.

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