The Chicago Rush franchise has new owner.
As first reported in Crain’s Chicago Business and confirmed by the Arena Football League, private-equity firm manager David Staral Jr. has agreed to buy the franchise.
You would think that after securing ownership for the team in its largest market, the league would be doing cartwheels and rushing to introduce him to the masses.
Other than a brief note on its website, the league commissioner was unavailable for comment and the new owner didn’t return a request for an interview.
Instead, other than a league source saying that they were indeed “excited” by the purchase, this all the league had to say publicly about Staral’s purchase:
“The Arena Football League and the Chicago Rush are pleased to announce that the organization has been acquired by Star Rush Football LLC. The Rush organization is looking forward to seeing you all on March 23 versus the Iowa Barnstormers.”
The real question is where is that game going to be played? It’s scheduled to be held at the Allstate Arena, the Rush’s home in Rosemont for years, but Pat Nagle isn’t holding his breath.
“On a scale of 1 to 10, my confidence level is about a 2 or 3,” said Nagle, general manager of Allstate Arena.
And who could blame him? After all, as of late Friday afternoon, Nagle hadn’t heard a word from the league. And the last time he talked to a league rep was a couple of weeks ago after the previous Rush ownership was terminated.
Nagle did hear from Staral on Friday and came away from the phone call impressed, but still without an agreement to host games at Allstate Arena.
“He called me about dates and I said I’m not talking to you about dates unless I have a signed contract and a deposit,” said Nagle, who added that if a concert offer were to come up in the meantime, one that might conflict with a scheduled Rush home game, he would take the concert in a heartbeat.
“He’s got about five weeks (to get things settled),” Nagle said of Staral. “If we just sat down and said no, it would screw up the entire league — we don’t want to do that.
“He said he would get back to me.”
It appears the saga will be continued.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.