Since taking over operations of the Chicago Rush in the fall of 2011, the Arena Football League has been desperately seeking a local ownership group to take over.
It sounds like they finally may have found one.
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Speaking to reporters on a national conference call Tuesday morning, AFL Commissioner Jerry Kurz indicated that an announcement, presumably to introduce a new ownership group, was on the horizon.
After initially giving a self-described "political non-answer" to a query on the status of Rush ownership, Kurz eventually gave a hint behind his slight evasiveness.
"I don't want to take away any of the thunder from a soon-to-be-scheduled news conference," he admitted.
And when might that be?
"It can't come soon enough for me," Kurz said. "It's up to them. I'm hoping before Thanksgiving."
According to a report by Crain's Chicago Business blogger Danny Ecker, a small group of Chicago-based investors that includes marketing and public relations firm Testarossa Entertainment owner Julee White has purchased the franchise. Ecker cites anonymous sources that also reported the deal was "substantially" less than $1 million, far below the $3 million estimated value a year ago.
With the new ownership in place the Rush, as Kurz pointed out, "are here and have been for a long time and are part of our 2013 schedule."
That schedule will, thanks to an agreement announced by the league Tuesday, most likely include some Rush games to be broadcast on CBS Sports Network, the new national television partner of the AFL..
CBS Sports Network will feature 19 regular-season games throughout the 2013 season, as well as two playoff games. ArenaBowl XXVI will be aired on CBS.
The AFL also sold naming rights earlier this year for its 15-team league and will be known as the NET10 Arena Football League. Two franchises from last season, the Kansas City Command and the Georgia Force, are not listed on the AFL's 2013 schedule.