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L.A. Arena Football Team Scrubs Plans for Season

April 22, 1992|SHAV GLICK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Plans to field a Los Angeles team in the Arena Football League this summer have been canceled, according to Jim Hartman, president of the franchise.

The team, returning to Los Angeles after a three-year absence, was to open a 10-game season June 6 in the Sports Arena.

Thirty players under contract to the Attack were scheduled to begin training camp under Coach Joe Kapp on May 9.

"We feel we were wronged and the league did not live up to its part of the contract so there will be no team in Los Angeles," Hartman said.

"The league has rendered it impossible for us to proceed by refusing to live up to its obligations. I continue to be outraged and amazed at their total disregard for both their legal commitments and their own bylaws. We look forward to resolving the differences with the league as quickly as possible so that the 1993 season will proceed unimpeded."

Twelve franchises, including Los Angeles, were scheduled for play this year. According to Hartman, players are under contract to the league and not individual teams, so they may be switched to other teams.

"Originally, we purchased the rights to play in Denver," Hartman said, "but due to a mix-up within the league, we were told we couldn't play there and should relocate in another site. We chose Los Angeles, and ever since we announced our decision, the league has put stumbling blocks in our path.

"The latest was that we had to post a $500,000 letter of credit. We refused to do it because it was not asked of any other teams, and the bylaws said that the same rules must apply to all teams. It was after we refused to pay that the league voted to terminate our membership.

"As much as I hate to say it, I am afraid that the dispute is going to end up in the courts. I would hope that it can be resolved at least in time for the 1993 season."

No one from the league could be reached for comment.

The league recently changed the name of the L.A. franchise from the Wings to the Attack after it was learned that the "Wings" name already belonged to an L.A. team in the National Cycle League.

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