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Shock owner Sam Adams given another day to secure funding to use Spokane Arena

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 23, 2022

Adams  (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Adams (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Embattled Spokane Shock owner Sam Adams will now have until Thursday to come up with funding needed to secure his home arena.

Stephanie Curran, CEO of the Spokane Public Facilities District, said Tuesday that Adams had until 5 p.m. Wednesday, and Adams appeared to agree with that assessment in several interviews this week.

Adams argued on Wednesday, however, that he should have another day to provide a $128,000 surety bond, or financial collateral needed to honor the contract that would allow him to use the Spokane Arena for football games, Curran said.

“While we do not agree with his interpretation, he has provided us a blank template for approval so we are going to honor his interpretation” and give him until 5 p.m. Thursday, Curran wrote in a message.

Curran recently confirmed that Adams had not refunded dozens of season-ticket holders from the lost 2020 season, and said she was concerned about newly confirmed reports of employees who complained to state regulators that Adams had been withholding some of their pay.

Adams also recently lost a lawsuit for failure to pay a former vendor, Tracy Cassel, and has another pending lawsuit in King County filed by Patrick Afif, a former Shock player and general manager, over pay and commissions that Afif argues Adams did not provide.

On Tuesday, Curran said Adams originally had been given a deadline of Dec. 31 to provide a signed contract and a payment of about $150,000 to secure the Spokane Arena for the upcoming Indoor Football League season.

“He missed that deadline,” Curran said Tuesday. “We did the default letter. There are people excited to have the Shock back. They have a fan base. We’ve done everything we can do to make this work.”

After missing the Dec. 31 deadline, Adams asked to plead his case to the PFD board. He made his case on Jan. 25 and the board elected to give Adams until Jan. 28 to come up with the $150,000 and he came through, Curran said.

The board then sent him an updated contract that he signed on Feb. 15, which also requires that he provide the $128,000 surety bond. Adams signed on Feb. 15, but Curran didn’t sign it until the next morning.

Even though emails made it clear that Wednesday at 5 p.m. was the deadline, Curran said she elected to give Adams an extra day to erase any doubt.

“We have given him extensions not knowing all of this was going on,” she said, referring to employee-pay issues and season tickets that weren’t refunded.

“Had my board known all this was going on, I think they would not have extended.”

Adams did not immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday afternoon.

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