Utah Blaze: After being evicted, Blaze working to get back inside EnergySolutions Arena

Published: Saturday, June 22 2013 8:35 p.m. MDT

The Blaze are the second franchise this season to be evicted as tenants. The Chicago Rush were ousted from Allstate Arena in early May after previous owner David Staral Jr.'s $50,000 check bounced. The AFL proceeded to temporarily move the Rush to the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford, Ill., while taking control of the franchise.

When asked why the investor elected to provide financial support to the Blaze instead of the hometown Rush franchise, Brown said the process in Chicago moved faster than he wanted.

"He had tried to come to the Chicago deal, but they were wanting someone to move really quickly," Brown said. "At that point he couldn't. He does a lot of due diligence."

Though the franchise owes $120,000 in rent, players and coaches have been compensated fully this season. Brown, who inherited majority ownership in January, says that the breach of contractual payments extended into the debt left behind from the previous ownership.

She claims she didn't know how bad it was when she took over.

"To be honest, when I came on I knew there was a loss last year, but I was not aware of the hundreds of thousands of dollars of the losses that had not been paid," Brown said. "We started moving forward and realized that we were not going to be able to fund this whole thing all the way through. We realized that we had to get other investors onboard. We communicated very honestly with the commissioner about investors that would like to partner with us."

With three of the team's final five regular season games scheduled in Salt Lake City, Brown said she's "99.9 percent" confident the Blaze will be back inside EnergySolutions Arena before Saturday.

"I'm so convinced," Brown said. "I don't know if I ever give anything 100 percent because an act of God and we could have an earthquake. But, I know that we have the league that's going to help us. We've got the investor that's going to help us. Baring an earthquake, I see us playing."

Email: tphibbs@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @TPhibbsDNews

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