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Tentative deal in place for sale of T-Bones after eviction Monday

Posted at 12:19 PM, Oct 14, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A temporary extension between the Kansas City T-Bones baseball club and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County that allowed the team to stay at a Kansas City, Kansas, stadium did not allow the club enough time to find a new owner.

Before sunrise, a team of locksmiths hired by the Unified Government went to work at the stadium the T-Bones called home for more than a decade.

"We had a business partner who didn't live up to their end of the deal," Mike Taylor, a spokesperson for the Unified Government, said.

The organization is getting evicted after failing to pay its bills, but the lockout may not last very long as a new owner could be in place as soon as Thursday.

The team was originally scheduled to be evicted from the stadium on Sept. 13. After making a $50,000 down payment, the Unified Government granted the team a 30-day extension to try to find a new buyer and pay off debts owned.

That extension ended midnight Monday morning.

With hundreds of thousands of dollars in outstanding debt, the Unified Government called the final out for the ball club and the owners, the Ehlert family.

"We will pursue the Ehlerts and their LLC, their company that actually is set up to own the T-Bones, we are going to pursue collection of debt through the courts," Taylor said.

But Taylor confirmed shortly after 6 p.m. on Monday that a deal has been struck to sell the team and the Unified Government will vote on the proposed sale Thursday.

“The deal just came together within past 30 minutes," Taylor told 41 Action News. "We'll put out a news release tomorrow morning.... but yes a tentative deal with new owners will be put to vote Thursday.”

In the meantime, staff and vendors will have an opportunity to retrieve their belongings after the Unified Government does an inventory to make sure no one takes items owned by the taxpayers.

The future for the stadium itself is bright.

"We are optimistic that there may be a new ownership group that comes in and brings a team and continues baseball in KCK," Taylor said.

The T-Bones released an initial statement in response to the eviction:

The Kansas City T-Bones are progressing toward a sale and are scheduled to complete the sale this week. The incoming owner has been in close negotiations and planning with the Unified Government, all for the sake of setting the table for continued American Association professional baseball in Wyandotte County. The current and future owners have, in fact, satisfied a number of action steps to move toward closing and have communicated these with the UG. The parties have executed a Letter of Intent and Due Diligence is in-progress. As such, neither party can comment outside the confidentiality of the LOI. We are shocked by what appears to be this capricious action.

A subsequent release, which was sent 11 minutes after the first, omitted the line, "We are shocked by what appears to be this capricious action."