SPOKANE, Wash. — The Indoor Football League (IFL) season officially starts March 12, and the Spokane Shock is set to have its first game of the 2022 season on March 18.
But, according to the Spokane Public Facilities District (PFD), which manages the Spokane Veteran’s Memorial Arena, there is still no contract in place with the team’s owner, Sam Adams.
“It concerns us,” CEO of the Spokane PFD Stephanie Curran told KREM 2. “Are we going to have a season or are we not?”
Tryouts for potential players are scheduled for Friday, February 18. KREM 2 spoke with the Commissioner of the IFL, who said it is “unprecedented” to be this late in the season and not have a lease in place.
In addition to the unsigned contract, KREM 2 also learned Adams still hasn't provided a $128,000 security bond, which is essentially proof of collateral to cover rent costs at the Arena through the course of the season. This is in addition to $153,000 Adams was asked to pay in advance to play its games at the arena this season.
“[PFD] sent him his contract in November  and then the payment was due Dec. 31. And he missed that deadline,” Curran said. “And so we sent him a default letter, and then he gets five days to cure. He wired us money that did not clear the bank. Then we sent him a second default letter that he then sent us a check [for], but he told us to hold the check."
Curran said she explained to Adams that the PFD cannot hold the check and that the money needs to be in the bank.
"I'm a steward of public funds. I can't extend credit like a private business could, so everything has to be upfront," she explained. "He missed that deadline. And so we terminated his agreement.”
By the end of January 2022, the fate of the Shock season was still unknown. However, during a public board meeting on Jan. 26, Adams asked the PFD for more time to make that $153,000 payment.
“The extra stress of us putting on a down payment has been very difficult for me to be able to run the company
," Adams said during the meeting. "It's just very, very difficult for us to continue to add money to it. Yes, we were late. Yes, it was very difficult. But my partners and I supported this team. We stepped up, I came [up with], out of my pocket several hundred thousand dollars. We have a strong base. We want to be here in Spokane. We love this area.”
KREM 2 learned the board agreed to give Adams two more days to make the payment. Just before the deadline expired, the PFD says the $153,000 payment was made in full.
“We sent him an amended contract because his contract was terminated,” Curran said. “And that's just what we're waiting for him to sign right now. The money's in place to have a season. However, we also required from him a security bond or a line of credit for any expenses that are not covered. So should he not have enough ticket sales to cover the rent, we wanted to have a security bond or a line of credit. And so that is due to us on Feb. 15.”
As of Feb. 14, PFD said it still has not received a signed contract or the $128,000 security bond.
KREM 2 also confirmed an eviction notice was served at the Shock business office in downtown Spokane last week. The property management company told KREM2 Adams had until Friday, Feb. 11 to pay back rent and penalties, but later confirmed the deadline passed without payment.
KREM 2 spoke with Adams by phone several times. He declined opportunities for an on-camera zoom interview but said he is moving forward with this year's Shock season. He also said the COVID-19 pandemic has made things much more difficult over the last two years, citing increased costs at the Arena, which were then passed on to him. He agreed to an in-person interview but has yet to commit to a date and time.
KREM 2 also reached out to the Indoor Football League for comment. Commissioner Todd Tryon said in a statement, “Spokane, Washington is an outstanding city and market for indoor football and the Shock have a special history. As we continue to sort through the details of this situation, our league's expectations are professionalism at all levels of an organization. We will have no more comments until our investigation is complete.”
Spokane Shock downtown office served eviction notice