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updated: 11/10/2010 6:57 PM

Schaumburg sues Flyers over rent payments

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Schaumburg filed suit against the Flyers baseball team today, charging the club is more than $900,000 behind in overdue payments for rent on Alexian Field.

The suit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court by the village and the Schaumburg Park District, charged that "repeated demands have been made upon the defendant to make the payments due."

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According to the suit, the village was due $200,000 a year or 10 percent of gross revenues for "facility use" on the field. As of August, it claimed to be owed more than $920,000.

According to Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz, that includes $600,000 in pure rent and another $100,000 in interest, along with other fees. The Flyers stayed fairly current this year, but fell behind in 2007 and especially over the following two seasons.

"It's not a secret there's money owed them," said attorney Gregg Minkow, who represents the Flyers. "We're in very frequent contact with the village. They told us they were going to be filing."

Minkow said he feels the suit is just an attempt by the village to cover its legal bases, and that it "looks more adversarial than it is."

"We're just formally staking our claim to the money that's owed us," Fritz said.

Minkow said Flyer ownership, including managing partner Rich Ehrenreich, is working with the village to find a new owner for the team, and settle the debt in the process. "We obviously want the buyer to have a harmonious relationship with the landlord," Minkow said. "We think this is going to have a very happy ending."

"We'd rather see it work out through a sale in which the village gets paid," Fritz added.

The suit charges breach of contract and also seeks termination of the deal, originally set to expire at the end of the 2014 season, but Minkow said that too is intended to allow the village to address its legal rights.

The village broke ground on the stadium in 1998, and the Flyers moved in the following year, beginning play in the independent Northern League. Yet the franchise has struggled more financially in recent seasons.

• Daily Herald staff writer Eric Peterson contributed to this story.

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