Columbus Cranes’ Owner Out, Team Still Operating

Rumors have been buzzing about the Columbus Cranes franchise over the last few days. Multiple sources have told Ultiworld that the Cranes’ owner, Michael Moses, has effectively left the team.

Directly asked about that rumor, the team denied it on Twitter, but Thom Held, owner of the Indianapolis Alleycats, disputes that denial.

“Columbus is done,” he said. “But [Moses] has been asked to come to the final game to show they still are an operating organization.”

The Cranes’ team captain requested access to the owners’ conference call, which he did not believe Moses was still attending.

During the heat wave earlier this month, Moses, concerned for player safety, cancelled both an away game in Kentucky as well as a game in Columbus. Despite a 7:00 PM start, he felt Kentucky, which reached close to 103 degrees, did not have appropriate safety precautions in place, including showers and on site emergency personnel.

The temperature on the day of their home game, scheduled for 2:00 PM, reached nearly 101 degrees. The Cranes’ home venue even asked the team not to play the game.

In a controversial move, the league issued forfeits to the Cranes for both games. The owners were split on whether or not the games should have been played.

Held, who was supportive of Moses and his decision to cancel the games due to the heat, said that Moses was fed up and thought, “You know what? Why would I put any more money in this? I’m done.”

According to Held, the league covered the costs of the Cranes’ trip to Indianapolis last weekend.

Earlier today, a Cranes player emailed Ultiworld the following:

[quote]We have not folded. It is clear our owner will not be returning for next year but the players are working hard to organize our last home game against the Revolution and are donating 100% of profits to charity.

Also we have the best record in the West Division, and are planning to do anything necessary to get our forfeited games rescheduled so we can make the playoffs, win the West, and head to the Championship game.[/quote]

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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