Any fears that the Mad Ants won’t remain in Fort Wayne after this season can be dispatched, it seems, because the G League team has begun negotiations with Memorial Coliseum on a new lease.
Team president Tim Bawmann and Coliseum general manager Randy Brown confirmed to The Journal Gazette today that an initial meeting took place last week.
“Absolutely, this is positive,” Brown said. “Any time you have a dialogue, that’s a positive step and I’m optimistic that the Mad Ants will be playing at the Coliseum for years to come.”
After plans for a new downtown arena were shelved last year, the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, who own and operate the Mad Ants, declined several requests from The Journal Gazette to comment on the future of the team in Fort Wayne. So opening talks on a new lease is the first significant signal to fans that the Pacers have at least a short-term commitment to keeping the team in Fort Wayne.
As for the duration of a new lease, Brown said “it varies by client” and “they’re not yet at the point of talking about terms.”
Brown said the Mad Ants’ most recent lease was for two years, the Komets hockey team’s new lease is for four years and the IPFW basketball lease is for two.
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