September 5, 2013

Pirates, civic center may go to court over lease

The team and civic center are at odds on revenues and whether an unsigned document constitutes a binding agreement.

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

In this 2010 file photo, Dan Bailey of Yarmouth waves the Jolly Roger during a game between the Portland Pirates and Manchester Monarchs at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The Cumberland County Civic Center's trustees and the owner of the Portland Pirates may be headed to court after failing to reach an agreement on a lease that would keep the American Hockey League team playing at the arena for at least five more years.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

On Wednesday, the civic center trustees met behind closed doors with their lawyer to discuss the next move, but chairman Neal Pratt said nothing had changed and no further negotiations are scheduled.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

Related Documents

'Basic business terms' approved by County trustees
A motion approved by Cumberland County trustees on April 17, 2013, outlines "basic business terms" for a lease agreement with the Portland Pirates.
PDF: One-year lease amendment from April 2012

"We are where we were last week," he said.

He has said the civic center is not required to have the Pirates as a tenant and will look for other events to host.

Petrovek said he also has met with his lawyer and is exploring his options, but he wouldn't detail what those are.

He said he believes the terms of April's agreement give the Pirates a right to play at the civic center once the renovation is finished in mid-January, but Pratt said that deal was only a "framework."

The resolution passed at the time by the trustees authorized continued negotiations, but the proposal was never signed by either side and the board's document said a final agreement is subject to approval of the board.

Petrovek, however, said he and the civic center "agreed to a set of deal points."

The two sides also engaged in contentious negotiations in 2010, with the team threatening to leave for Albany, N.Y., which has since acquired an AHL team.

The Pirates are scheduled to start this season playing home games at the Colisee in Lewiston until the civic center renovations are finished. After that, Petrovek said, "We've got other options that may need to be taken if we're prevented from being in the building" when it reopens.

He would not specify what those are, saying only, "We intend to play in Portland."

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

emurphy@pressherald.com

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Additional Photos

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Pirates owner Brian Petrovek

John Ewing / Staff Photographer

  


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