UPDATE: The Arena Football League said Thursday it was ending its relationship with the owners of the Chicago Rush.
"While the ownership was new to our League, we still have expectations that must be met. For the AFL to be as strong as it can be, we have to hold all Teams accountable to a set of guidelines and the Chicago Rush Owners have unfortunately not met those guidelines."
The league said the Rush's organization would remain in tact, and that the team would still play a full schedule in the upcoming 2013 season.
With the college football season a memory and the NFL finishing things up this weekend, I found it interesting to see a headline in a Chicago business publication: "Chicago Rush season, ownership in jeopardy".
Yes, after securing a new, bold TV deal, getting a new high-profile title sponsor and laying the groundwork for expansion into China, the team in the AFL's largest market is in jeopardy of folding.
ChicagoBusiness.com reported Thursday the team has not yet signed a contract with Allstate Arena. And the season is a mere seven weeks away. Additionally, phone lines at team headquarters are not working, team and cheerleader tryouts are being canceled and full-time employees have reportedly not been paid in two months.
The AFL is reportedly considering whether to take ownership of the team to salvage its 2013 season. Such precedent has already been set. The league temporarily took ownership of the team when the previous ownership group walked out on the team in 2010.