An attempt to outsource management of Sal Maglie Stadium, home of the Niagara Power (summer collegiate; NYCBL) and a former pro venue, fell through after concerns were raised about the only vendor to submit a bid.
Ray Ward, a former arena-football-team owner in Alabama, owned a Southern Indoor Football League team that went under. He was accused by former players and coaches of not paying his bills before leaving the area to return to Western New York, where he runs a pizzeria. He was the only bidder on the Request for Qualifications issued by the city, but area residents raised the issue of his background before a final contract was signed. From the Niagara Gazette:
Ward, who said he never responded to accusations made in the Alabama press because he had a non-disclosure clause in the contract he signed in the sale of the team, told the Gazette he was pulling out because he felt the negative attention his involvement at the stadium was bringing was interfering with his ability to operate the stadium successfully.
“With all the negativity around it, I didn’t want to continue,” he said.
Mayor Paul Dyster said the city will again put the stadium out for a request for qualifications in the hopes that they will get more applicants this time around.
Sal Maglie Stadium was home to several Minor League Baseball teams, including a temporary gig as a Buffalo Bison (Class AAA; International League) home after the team fled War Memorial Stadium and Buffalo on a journey that saw the team play in Western New York before moving to Winnipeg and eventually to the Hampton Roads area. That franchise is currently the Norfolk Tides.
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