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Supervisors reject offer from Chops


The Polk County Board of Supervisors this morning unanimously rejected an offer from Des Moines Hockey Holdings LLC (DMHH) that would have paid the county about $700,000 upon the planned sale of the Iowa Chops hockey team.

A provision in the team’s original agreement with the county, signed in 2004, calls for payment of $12.5 million upon relocation of the American Hockey League (AHL) franchise to another city. “You owe us the money,” said Supervisor John Mauro. “Pay us.”

The proposal from DMHH was received on Wednesday from Dallas-based law firm Neligan Foley LLP. It outlined a process involving a sale to the highest bidder, possibly for $3.75 million, and an escrow fund to be used in paying vendors and lien holders. Net proceeds “currently estimated at approximately $700,000” would go to Polk County and Global Spectrum, the manager of the Iowa Events Center.

“We should be treated better than this,” said Supervisor Robert Brownell. “In the short term, this may look a little bit ugly. But in the long term, we want an AHL team. Bear with us; I think we’ll get there.”

The resolution approved in this morning’s brief meeting includes this final statement: “Be it further resolved that the county attorney is authorized and directed to file suit in the Iowa District Court for Polk County seeking to enjoin any sale or relocation of the hockey team or franchise from Polk County.”

Supervisor Angela Connolly, who took part in the meeting via telephone, said, “It looks like we’re headed to court, which is really unfortunate.”

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