05/31/02 Winston Salem Press Release
The following are the facts behind the Winston-Salem Energy’s request for action against the Ohio Valley Greyhounds of the National Indoor Football League. The Energy had previously decided not to release information on the issue until Ohio Valley had ample time to address our concerns, however based on the fact that Ohio Valley has made press statements we feel it is time to address the situation:
- Winston-Salem has always been sympathetic to Ohio Valley it’s players, coaches and fans for the events that happened on March 16th, 2002 . The Energy did hold discussions with Ohio Valley management about the possible rescheduling of the game contingent on Ohio Valley reimbursing Winston-Salem for financial losses of the game including but not limited to arena rent, officials pay, staffing.
- Winston-Salem contacted Ohio Valley regarding the financial losses and George Kellas, General Manager of Ohio Valley refused to negotiate, or even acknowledge that Ohio Valley was responsible for any losses from that game, and told Energy owners to just “Shut their doors now”. In addition Mr. Kellas wanted Winston-Salem to pay all new costs associated with a future make up game. This would have required Winston-Salem to be responsible for the costs of two games while only playing in only one . Energy management also suggested that Ohio Valley place a claim on its league mandated liability insurance and we were told by Mr. Kellas they did not have any, and that if the Energy wanted a claim filed they should file it on their own insurance.
- After two months, and no financial resolution from the Ohio Valley Greyhounds, the Winston-Salem Energy submitted a grievance to the N.I.F.L. executive committee seeking that the Greyhounds forfeit the March 16th, 2002 game and be responsible for the Energy’ financial loss for that game. This complaint was filed and awarded according to the rules and regulations of the N.I.F.L by-laws. The following is an outline of the request:
- Wheeling take an automatic forfeit for failure to appear at game
- Be fined $ 10,000.00 (as per Regulation Manual Section F.9. Misconduct (Failing to appear, except in Acts of God $ 10,000.00 plus appropriate penalties.) for failure to appear.
- Wheeling to refund advertising, building, staff, and miscellaneous expenses and the monies spent to reimburse the fans that had purchased tickets.
- Ohio Valley did offer a settlement of approximately half of Winston-Salem’s losses for that March 16th game however it was only after the league fined Ohio Valley and with the contingency that the forfeit was withdrawn.
The ownership of the Winston-Salem Energy regret the event leading to this point, however the Energy have had no choice but to seek relief from the league after Ohio Valley’s refusal to meet the full financial obligations. Furthermore, if Ohio Valley had traveled the night before and the same incident had occurred we would have had more time to alert our media and cancel the game, and notify game officials and staffing. Instead notification came 2 p.m. on the day of the game and the Energy commitments were unable to be canceled.