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Komets facing lease negotiations after playoffs end

(Darrin Wright/WOWO News)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Fort Wayne Komets’ Kelly Cup run comes right before some difficult discussions about their home in town.

The Komets start a best-of-five series on the road against South Carolina on Friday in the final round of the Kelly Cup playoffs, but win or lose, another tough battle lies ahead: negotiations for a new lease agreement at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

“You just can’t keep going back to your fans and saying, well, will you pay $1 more or $2 more, it becomes where it is a negative for the consumer and that’s usually where all this stuff goes, and the buck gets passed on and we don’t like that,” team president Michael Franke told Fort Wayne’s NBC.

The team’s lease ends in September. They want a share of concession sales, parking revenues, and suite rental fees, but money is tight for the Coliseum as well, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This couldn’t happen at a worse time when you think, with the pandemic…with the Coliseum, you know, we lost $3-million last year. We’re going to lose probably about $4-million this year. But you just do the best you can,” said Memorial Coliseum GM Randy Brown.

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