The Kane County Chronicle is reporting that the Chicago Hitmen and the management company for Fox Valley Ice Arena will be in court today to discuss allowing the team back into the building for their final two North American Hockey League games.
The Hitmen have also disclosed that the NAHL has issued a Notice of Default in regards to both their Tier II & III teams due to their failure to provide a competitive hockey environment due to the situation with the arena. The team has 30 days to rectify the situation or face the termination of their memberships.
The management company, Centrum East-West Arena, is claiming the Hitmen owe $116,000 in unmet obligations, while the Hitmen's Mark Hammersmith is disputing those charges.
The team has been practicing at their old facility, West Meadows in Rolling Meadows for the last few weeks and is planning on playing their final home games at the Triphahn Center in Hoffman Estates if they are unable to get back into Fox Valley according to teams spokesmen Ken Oda.
By all indications, the walls are starting to cave in for Hammersmith.
We will update this story as info becomes available.
Geneva, IL - This morning, the Honorable Thomas E. Muller, in the Circuit Court of Kane County, IL, ruled that Centrum East-West Arena Ventures, LLC, did not have the right to terminate ice arena agreement for the Fox Valley Ice Arena without first submitting to our request for arbitration as required by said agreement. The judge also ruled that Centrum is prohibited from denying the NAHL Hitmen access to the ice for the remaining practices and home games.
As a result the Chicago Hitmen NAHL team is back to practicing at the Fox Valley Ice Arena and we will play our final two home games at the Fox Valley Ice Arena as scheduled on Friday March 23rd, at 7:50 p.m., and Saturday March 24th, at 7:40 p.m.
Saturday night's game will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project as planned. The festivities will include US Army Captain Mark Little, a member of the Wounded Warrior Hockey Team Practicing with the Hitmen on Thursday March 23rd at Fox Valley Ice Arena from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Both Capt. Little and the Hitmen will be available to the media after practice. Then on Saturday night the Hitmen will be wearing special alternate jerseys which will be auctioned off after the game with the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Owner of the Chicago Hitmen Mark Hammersmith said, "we are thrilled that the court found in our favor and prevented Centrum from ruining this event." Hammersmith continued,"we have known from the start that there were issues with the current lease, which is why we asked for arbitration. It's a shame it took a judge's ruling to force them to sit down with us and solve our differences."