WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - Wichita Falls Force young hockey players who came to Texoma with dreams of glory on the ice left the city on Monday after the team folded.
The USA Central Hockey League team was locked out of Kay Yeager Coliseum after a payment dispute between Bill Davidson, the league owner, and the MPEC management company, Spectra.
Michael Tipton, MPEC general manager, said Davidson did not pay the venue for the last three games it played at Kay Yeager Coliseum. Tipton claimed Davidson owes MPEC more than $10,000.
Players on the junior hockey team left the rink after, too. The team is a coliseum tenant and is contracted to pay rent, payroll for staff, as well as food for concession stands. That totals about 35 hundred per game.
Tipton said Davidson was supposed to pay that amount with a cashier's check by last Thursday, a deadline which he later extended to Friday.
Tipton claimed Davidson instead deposited a check into the event venue's bank account.
"I did not feel confident that check was going to clear and we would be in a situation where we would be owed more money, especially with the recent demise of the Texas Lawmen," Tipton said
Tipton said as of Monday the payment still showed pending payment.
Misko Anstinin, former WF Force head coach, said he was not surprised the team folded over payment issues.
Anstinin said he left the team two weeks before the team made its debut versus the Texas Lawmen. He said he saw the writing on the wall.
"I know my check bounced. I have a statement for $1,250 that's horrible," Antinisin said. "It's a real kick in the groin that I have to pay for his bounced checks. In my opinion, he was never intending in paying me."
News Channel 6 reached out to Davidson on Monday for a comment but did not hear from him. On Friday, he did send us this statement on Friday. "I've spent thousands of dollars trying to make this happen. It's tough when apparently the building doesn't want to have a partnership and relationship."
Tipton said he would be open to allowing the team to finish the season if Davidson makes the payments.