A PERSONAL STATEMENT FROM TERRY W. EMMERT
February 3, 2016
First let me express my sincere gratitude for your support of the Portland Thunder for the last two years. It has been my intention all along to bring a family-friendly, locally-owned and affordable professional sports entertainment team to the city in which I was raised and have lived my entire life. This is the city in which I have been fortunate enough to build a successful business which employs many Oregonians.
I apologize to the Portland Thunder fans and sponsors for the lack of an earlier response to the AFL’s January 6, 2016 press release, which caught me, along with all of you, “off-guard”. We have been negotiating since the end of our second season with the Commissioner of the AFL to resolve the legitimate and serious concerns we had regarding some of the League’s operational practices. We held the genuine belief we were negotiating in good faith up until January 6, 2016, when the League, without notice to me, issued the press release announcing their “decision” to take over the control of the team.
We promise that if the League does not field a team in Portland for the 2016 season, we will ensure that those individuals who have either paid for or placed a deposit on tickets purchased from us will be refunded their money. Based on advice and counsel, we are not yet aware of, nor is it possible for me to articulate, the plans going forward regarding the AFL team. Serious bona fide issues of dispute exist between the ownership and the League, issues which the ownership had been negotiating in good faith. We sincerely hope these issues can be resolved satisfactorily for all. To date, negotiations have not conclusively established an equitable agreement between the ownership and the League.
When we have more information regarding the mechanism for resolution of the ongoing issues, we will further address this situation. Again, we thank you all for your support. We are particularly grateful to those of you who have personally communicated your encouragement.
Terry W. Emmert