Sources: Brett Bouchy Seeking Expansion Franchise in Los Angeles
Multiple sources are confirming to ArenaFan that former Orlando Predators Managing Partner, Brett Bouchy is seeking to get back into the Arena Football League as soon as the ArenaBowl. The market that Bouchy is targeting is reportedly Los Angeles, and it is expected that he is conjuring up investors to secure the funds necessary to start up in the 2014 season.
Bouchy has been through a whirlwind over the course of just the last two weeks. It was only a week and a half ago that the city of Orlando was taking Bouchy's Predators to court to clarify wording involving marketing and sponsorships in the lease agreement with the Amway Center. Less than a week later, Bouchy sold his stake in the team to David Pearsall, the new managing partner of the Predators.
There was a ton of speculation as to why Bouchy was leaving his post with the Predators, and most came to the consensus that money must have been involved. However, with the recent developments surrounding the possibility of expansion, it is safe to ascertain that Bouchy always had his eyes on the prize of getting the AFL back to Tinseltown.
Sources are indicating to ArenaFan that the bid is far from complete at this point though, and one particular source that spoke to ArenaFan under the condition anonymity stated that the bid to get to LA is, "only around 50/50 at this point." The source did confirm though, that Bouchy was in the market to try to put together a successful bid for a franchise in the greater Los Angeles area.
In an interview last Friday with the Monsters of the Morning on 104.1 FM, Bouchy stated that he was looking forward to "future endeavors" with opportunities, some of which could come to light "within a few weeks."
Just one day later during the CBS Sports Network broadcast of the game between Orlando and the Cleveland Gladiators, Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz claimed that there would be an announcement of two expansion teams during ArenaBowl week for ArenaBowl XXVI, which ironically will be played in Orlando.
If the AFL does return to Los Angeles, Bouchy's team will be the third incarnation of a team in that market. The Los Angeles Cobras existed in 1988 and played at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, while the Los Angeles Avengers were in existence from 2000-2008. The Avengers, owned by Casey Wasserman, played at the Staples Center alongside the Lakers, Clippers, and Kings, each of which were in season at the outset of the AFL campaigns.
Bouchy could also be trying to bring a team to Anaheim, just 30 miles down the road from Los Angeles. The Anaheim Piranhas played at the Honda Center in 1996 and 1997, and if a team were to go back in that building, the only other major tenant at the moment to compete with would be the NHL's Anaheim Ducks.
Wasserman is reportedly not associated with the ownership group that is to be formed by Bouchy.
If Bouchy was to open up the LA market again, it would be the third different city in which he has been a part of the ownership group. He was part of the Predators ownership group for 15 seasons, and he was also the managing partner of the Arizona Rattlers until 2010.