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Flyers sale postponed; team loses business license

Schaumburg FlyersThe sale of the Schaumburg Flyers (independent; North American League) has been pushed back a month, but the asset is diminishing daily: the team’s business license from the state of Illinois has been revoked because of nonpayment of taxes.

The decision to postpone a scheduled Jan. 20 hearing to evict the team from Alexian Field came from Village of Schaumburg officials after being informed by Flyers ownership that the sale of the team was taking longer than anticipated. A patient bunch, these Schaumburg burghers, and probably quite unaware that they consigned the Flyers to the North American League and one of the worst schedules we’ve ever seen in professional baseball; if they had moved ahead with the hearing and severed the relationship with the Flyers they’d have a shot at placing a team in the independent Frontier League.

Still, there’s the chance the team’s future status could impact the North American League: Schaumburg officials say they’re willing to evict the team come Feb. 24, when the next hearing is scheduled. That eviction would certainly materially affect the league’s operations.

As such, whoever is buying the Flyers is buying a seriously flawed asset. And we’re wondering exactly the amount being discussed for the team. At issue is more than $920,000 in back rent owed to Schaumburg (though mayoral candidate Brian Costin estimates the amount is easily more than $1.2 million by the time all taxes, included an amusement tax, are tallied; be warned he has an axe to grind). The village is expecting to recoup that money once the team is sold. But are the Flyers really a million-dollar asset at this time?

Perhaps not, if an action taken by the state of Illinois is any indication. The team has been barred from doing business at Alexian Field until the team’s pays up what it owes to the state. Illinois officials won’t say what’s owed — it can be either payroll withholdings or sales taxes — but team president Rich Ehrenreich says it’s payroll withholdings that were mistakenly misfiled by the team’s payroll service. Perhaps, but it’s a pretty drastic action by the state to actually shut down a business over unpaid taxes, and certainly one that did not come without warning.

RELATED STORIES: Flyers sale still in works; indy world waits on resolution; NAL at 12 for 2011; league looking at Metrodome?; NAL at 12 teams, tentatively; no schedule yet; It’s official: North American League unveiled; Joliet city officials to lobby at Frontier League meetings; Joliet throws monkey wrench in league mergers; New for 2011: North American League; Three indy leagues joining forces for 2011?; Seals: Canaries in the coal mine?

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