ABA expansion team in Albany needs place to play - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ABA expansion team in Albany needs place to play

July 17, 2006

Albany - The American Basketball Association sent out a press release Friday announcing an expansion team would begin playing in Albany this November.

The team will be called the Southern Georgia 36ers and former Atlanta Hawk great Wayne "Tree" Rollins from Cordele will serve as the team's general manager.

The only problem with the announcement is that the 36ers do not have a lease to play at the Albany Civic Center or any other venue.

A potential problem spot for the 36ers negotiating a lease at the Civic Center is that their only potential revenue source from playing in the arena would come from ticket sales.

That is because the city's current lease with its arena football team, the South Georgia Wildcats, gives control of concessions to all civic center events as well as any advertising signage in the arena to the Wildcats ownership group Arena Management.

Arena Management's current lease for the Civc Center runs for another three years.

When informed of that fact, 36ers vice-president for operations Marlon Wright said that is something the team would have to negotiate.

Wright, who called Friday's announcement from the ABA about the 36ers coming to Albany premature,  says the team has had an initial meeting with Albany city leaders and that negotiations will begin when Tree Rollins is finished with his summer coaching responsibilities with the WNBA's Washington Mystics.

Wright also said the team is considering two other locations to play.

He would not identify them specifically but did say one of the two possible locations but did say one of them was in Albany.

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