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Roanoke Steam Files for Bankruptcy

May 14, 2002

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ The Roanoke Steam, who have the worst attendance in arenafootball2, has filed for bankruptcy, and the league has taken over the franchise.

Arenafootball2 terminated the ownership group’s franchise rights Friday, lawyers for both sides said Monday. The ownership group, Roanoke Pro Football LLC, then filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

``If you don’t have the people in the seats, you don’t have the income to pay your bills,″ said Howard Beck Jr., a Roanoke attorney representing the Steam’s owners.

The Steam ranked last in the league in attendance its first two seasons, selling an average of 3,374 tickets at the 8,674-seat Roanoke Civic Center in 2000 and an average of 2,575 tickets last year. Roanoke (4-2) is averaging 2,148 fans through three home games this year.

Arenafootball2 executive director Jay Marcus said the league would operate the team for the rest of the season and possibly longer, and would look for new owners in Roanoke. The league is now paying Steam employees.

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