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Cavs get new owners

Lawton_The former owner of the Oklahoma Cavalry basketball team didn't meet his financial obligation and now someone else will have to pick up the tab.  Former owner Baron Hopgood relinquished his ownership rights on Christmas Eve.  Since then, according to Comanche County authorities, 7News has learned that he didn't keep his end of the deal to pay for upgrades to the Great Plains Coliseum.  He also failed to pay some of the players.

The Comanche County Trust Authority spokesperson says it paid its share of the improvements - the agreed to half that was supposed to be split between the trust authority and Hopgood.  Now, it will look for ways to carry on with its new ownership.

So far, the county authority board has put in $150,000 for improvements to the coliseum which now finally looks like an arena with stadium seating, new team decals on the floors, a locker room and more.  Hopgood had agreed to match that amount, but County Commissioner Ron Kirby says he failed to meet his obligation.

"Some of the improvements that were counted on to be paid for by the Cavalry, now the county will have to pick up the tab," says Kirby.  Although Kirby feels that many of the improvements should have been made anyway, like the seating, he's still concerned about the bill.  "Half the seats - I don't think we can repossess them - we have to make arrangements to pay for them," he says. 

Trust Authority Chairman Richard Pool says the money won't come out of the fairground budget - because the money's just not there.  So, Kirby says they will need to look for other ways to pay off the improvements.  "We are going to make arrangements to keep improvements in place - make room in the budget to pay for it at a later date," he says.

The new four man group of owners is not obliged to pay the debt and the county will meet with the new owners and the Trust Authority next Thursday, January 3 and it's then that they'll be able to see where they are financially. 

Meanwhile, the Cavs are playing out of town under re-instated coach Michael Ray Richardson who was fired by Hopgood last Monday for what he called a "conflict of interest".  The Cavalry's first home game after a stretch of away games is Thursday, December 27 and, along with the new ownership - cheaper tickets.

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