DANVILLE, Ill., (WCIA) — The Vermilion County Bobcats were a no-show Sunday against the Quad City Storm.
Spectators say the road team came around 4 p.m. and took the ice for warmups at the David S. Palmer Arena; there was no sign of the home team. Quad City and officials lined up at the center of the ice and the game was ultimately called off.
Chuck Sergent, former Vice President of public relations and marketing, said the team was absent because players aren’t getting paid.
“There’s been some conflicts about money owed to presidents, to players,” Sergent said. “So, you got some financial issues that probably is a part of it.”
It’s the not the only issues they’ve had. Sergent said the organization has been struggling to get fans in the arena for months. Instead of 1,200 people, they’re averaging between 300 and 400. He also said those in a position of power are putting dollars and cents over season ticket holders by not telling them what’s going on.
Scott Mitchell, a Bobcat season ticket holder, has been a Danville hockey fan for nearly 20 years. He said the team hasn’t responded to his calls regarding the team’s absence or the possibility of a refund.
“It is very frustrating,” Mitchell said. “We’ve tried calling the phone number, can’t get any response. We tried their Facebook, they deactivated it. So, we’re not sure what’s going on yet.”
Mitchell said he hopes this isn’t a sign of more bad news.
“I mean I’d hate to not be a fan and I’d hate to see any organization go under. But at the end of the day, it is business,” Mitchell said.
Fans were also disappointed the Bobcats never showed up for the post-game skate. But it wasn’t all bad news. Instead of leaving early, Quad City decided to stay and skate with fans who were there.
As for the fans who paid to see a hockey game, an official for David S. Palmer Arena said you are entitled to a refund. Those who are season ticket holders will have to talk to the team about getting their money back.