Rush owner, AFL split ways; Allstate says ‘impossible’ for team to play full schedule
BY SETH GRUEN Sun-Times Media January 31, 2013 5:52PM
Chicago Rush receiver Rob Mager celebrates his touchdown catch. 2007 Sun-Times File Photo by Tom Cruze
Updated: February 13, 2013 5:36PM
The Arena Football League has terminated its relationship with Rush owner Julee White less than three months after she purchased the team from the league.
According to a news release, the Rush will play a full schedule of games in 2013, though Pat Nagle, the general manager of Allstate Arena, where the Rush has played its home games since 2001, said that’s ‘‘impossible’’ because the arena has other events scheduled on the dates the Rush plans home games.
‘‘While the ownership was new to our league, we still have expectations that must be met,’’ AFL commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said in a league statement. ‘‘For the AFL to be as strong as it can be, we have to hold all teams accountable to a set of guidelines, and the Chicago Rush owners have unfortunately not met those guidelines.’’
White bought the team Nov. 12. The league ran the team during the 2012 season.
Nagle said neither White nor the league office had notified him of White’s purchase. He found out about it in the newspaper and proceeded to contact the league.
‘‘We had a couple meetings with her [White],’’ Nagle said. ‘‘It just didn’t seem like she was into the understanding of exactly how they ran. So we had sent out a contract, and the contract has to be sent back with the deposit and we never heard back.’’
Asked whether the league intended to retake control of the Rush, Kurz deferred to the league’s release, which did not provide clarity about the ownership situation.
Nagle said Allstate Arena had declined an offer from the AFL to join the league in running the team.
The Rush’s phone lines have been shut off since December, Nagle said.