Rush back in business with new owner
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media March 18, 2013 11:13PM
Updated: March 18, 2013 11:34PM
Having owned the Rush for only about five weeks, David Staral Jr. had little to do with the franchise’s turmoil this offseason.
But while he was looking forward when he addressed the media for the first time Monday, he acknowledged the challenges the Rush will face this season.
The Arena Football League had sold the franchise to Julee B. White this offseason, but White had her relationship with the league terminated less than three months into her ownership because of logistical and financial reasons. Staral became owner days later.
During White’s ownership, fans were unable to get in touch with any members of the franchise’s front office.
“There’s no doubt it had an effect on this season,” Staral Jr. said. “All this plays into and shows how much work and effort the front office has put into the last five weeks in getting the season off the ground and preparing for our first game. I said it wasn’t going to be easy.
“Honestly, I thought it would have a bigger effect than it has. Our season-ticket holders, our fan base, everyone told me they were diehard and they’re dedicated. I didn’t think they were that dedicated and diehard.”
The Rush begins its season Saturday against the Iowa Barnstomers at Allstate Arena. The team was able to retain coach Bob McMillen and re-sign wide receiver Reggie Gray, jack linebacker Kelvin Morris and defensive back Vic Hall.
Quarterback Russ Michna retired from the league, but the team remains in contact should he choose to return.