Some bad news coming out of Connecticut, the Constitution have suspended their operations indefinitely at 2 pm this afternoon. Below is the letter posted on the Constitution’s Facebook page.
July 5, 2012
Dear Connecticut Constitution family,
It is with great sadness that we are forced to announce the indefinite suspension of all team operations as of 2:00pm EST this afternoon. This decision comes at an inopportune time as we journey through the inaugural season. This has been a journey dotted with success after success for our team and our franchise. The Connecticut team is one of the premiere franchises in the league both in victories and in fan attendance. The AUDL has sued the Constitution and the Rhode island Rampage and that suit has caused us to spend an enormous amount of money protecting our rights, instead of allowing us to use those funds for our operations.
During May 2012, we became aware of the sale of both the New York City and Boston territories, and together with the Rhode Island owner, we challenged the League to answer why we were not approached about these sales prior to the League selling these territories inasmuch as both of these new teams existed within our owned territories. The territory ownership area is governed by a Territory License Agreement (TLA) that was created, signed and approved by the League. This territory agreement allows us to own an area that includes a 100 mile radius. New York City and Boston are within our territories.
We sought answers to our concerns numerous times and felt that the TLA was clear and that no other team could exist in our area. After numerous attempts to get clarification from the League, we suggested that this might need to be addressed by attorneys. Unfortunately, the League decided that instead of taking this to a discussion, they elected to file a suit against us. This lawsuit was filed from Michigan, and includes a number of allegations within their suit. They allege that the contract they wrote doesn’t mean what it says, among other items.
We have been forced to retain attorneys in both Connecticut and Michigan to answer their allegations, protect our territory and to seek additional clarification over these claims. The costs to defend this lawsuit have robbed us of necessary operating funds needed to complete our season and caused us to rethink the value of the partnership we sought to create with this League.
The League, almost as quickly as it filed the suit, has stated that it will consider withdrawing the suit and rescind the New York City territory although in almost the same breath the League has offered to withdraw the suit and keep the territory and offer us no compensation for the taking of our territory, a territory that we have cultivated all season. The League continues to be silent about the Boston territory.
Our organization cannot absorb the cost of these attorney fees and continue operational costs. In addition, we have requested that the League reimburse us for the attorney fees and the League has stated that they are not willing to do that. The League has decided to suspend discussions with us and simply report that we ‘are unable to finish the season’. We adamantly deny this callous statement.
Therefore, we are forced to indefinitely suspend our operations until the League withdraws the suit, rescinds the territories and makes us whole for these attorney fees. Our team will continue to operate as a unit during this suspension and we are ready to play on and we will continue our season as soon as we can get this issue resolved.
Bryan Ricci CEO
Connecticut Constitution LLC
This cannot be good news for league trying to survive its first year of play. It should be of no surprise that the addition of Boston and New York City franchises would likely not be beneficial to the success of the Constitution or Rampage, both teams drawing talent and fans from those metropolitan areas. While big city success may be promising and enticing, we shall see what effect this has on the rest of the season and if the issue can be resolved.