Lawton_It has been just over one month of negotiations, but the Oklahoma Cavalry and the Great Plains Coliseum have come to an agreement and signed the contract, making the coliseum their new home.
Last year, the previous owner failed to fulfill his end of the contract to pay for half of the coliseum's renovations. So, the team was bought by a new set of local businessmen who are not obligated to pay the previous owners debt.
New negotiations began between the sides to restructure the contract. Each wanted to benefit from ticket sales from coliseum games, and neither wanted to budge on who would profit from the sales, and they finally came to an agreement.
The Cavalry now has their home, and the coliseum gets 11 more games played in their facility. The Cavs are in Lawton to stay. Executive Director of the Great Plains Coliseum Richard Pool says it's been a long process, but the new contract works for both the coliseum and the Cavalry. "We have finally come to an agreement with the Oklahoma Cavalry. We have just signed an agreement just 10 minutes ago," says Pool. "We made some concessions to them."
The big concern was how the county would profit financially to pay the bills if they weren't getting money from ticket sales. That's why they say the Cavs will be paying the regular price for use of the facility. "They're going to be selling their own tickets so we will no longer receive the box office fee," says Pool.
The Cavalry will be paying the regular rental rate for use of the facility provided they continue to occupy the stadium until the end of the season. This will guarantee the coliseum income, but will benefit Comanche County as well. "To have a professional team in Lawton is definitely a boost for the count," Pool says. On the other hand, the contract stipulates Calvalry merchandise profits will be paid directly to the team.
There is still a remaining debt of $148,000 in renovations from the previous owner's breach of contract. The new owners are not responsible for that debt, but Pool says the county and the Cavalry are working together to ensure everyone is taken care of. The county is still trying to contact Baron Hopgood to make good on the thousands he owes to the coliseum.