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posted: 4/4/2012 9:59 PM

Previous owners left Chicago Rush, league controlling team

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The Chicago Rush has been under control of the Arena Football League since last fall, according to a published report.

Former Rush co-owner Bill Niro told Crain's Chicago Business the group that took over the franchisee in 2009 disbanded at the end of the 2011 season.

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The Allstate Arena-based Arena Football League franchise, which is 3-0 this season, was owned by Gridiron LLC, which included Dr. Ciro Cirrincione and Chicago-based lawyer Kathryn Hall.

Niro was one of the original pioneers of Arena football and had been involved with the sport for more than 25 years.

AFL Commissioner Jerry Kurz could not be reached Wednesday night for comment on the status of the franchise.

Chicago Bears icon Mike Ditka was also a minority owner of the team after buying a stake in 2010.

Chicago Gridiron LLC purchased the franchise in late 2009 after the league declared bankruptcy earlier that year. A new group of league owners banded together, started a new league and purchased the assets of the previous league such as logos and the rights to team names.

Niro estimated the value of the Rush at between $2 and $3 million, according to Crain's report.

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