Albany - Tuesday, Atlanta businessman Mike Storen asked Albany commissioners to bring an arena football team to the Civic Center. Before commissioners sign the contract, they want to know how Storen plans to make money in a town where minor league baseball and professional basketball flopped.
"We're in football country," said Storen. Storen, a former owner of the Indiana Pacers and General Manager of the Atlanta Hawks, says fans will stand behind arena football. "We only have 8 homes games, as opposed to 30 or 40 homes games. So, we're more prices sensitive on the cost of season tickets."
The contract defines a five year lease agreement, with 3 renewal terms, between Storen company's Celebrity Services and the Civic Center. Under the proposed contract, the City would buy the removable indoor football field and pay to renovate the locker rooms at the Civic Center.
"Football is still less expensive than other sports, like hockey, which makes arena football more attractive to us," said City Manager Janice Allen Jackson. Storen and other team investors would pay $1,800 in rent per event and $2,300 in services. The city would get $50,000 dollars or 10% percent of concession sales each season.
For the City and team to reap rewards, thousands of people would have to come out to cheer for the home team each game. "We need to sell 2,400 season tickets, to address a walk-up of 1,000 people a night, and group sales of 1,000 people a night," said Storen.
City leaders were instant fans, but wanted to know how much a field and renovations would cost and how the city can get out of a contract if arena football doesn't score big.