Dorados hope to salvage season at Bert Ogden Arena

League owners of the International Arena Football League said they are talking with management at Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg, hoping to finish out the RGV Dorados’ season at the new venue.

State Farm Hidalgo Arena announced Wednesday that the Dorados had terminated, or broken their lease and were shutting down operations at State Farm. IAFL league owners, however, said they were hoping to finish out the season anyway.

Rene Borrego, general manager of the arena, however, said: “I don’t think there’s any chance that we will have arena football here this season. There are way too many things we would have to do to set it up for that. Even the scoreboard might be in the way.”

Michelle Higgins, a co-owner of the fledgling league, said to The Monitor that the league has the right to assume the identity and likeness of the team and that’s what they are doing. She said that another co-owner, Keith Clay, was trying to work out a deal to finish the season at Bert Ogden.

“We don’t want to see them fail,” she said, adding she first learned of the operations being suspended from The Monitor’s article Wednesday. “We don’t want to disappoint the fans who have been so supportive. We’re hoping to play there if we can somehow manage it.”

Borrego said that Alonzo Cantu — architect of the arena and director of Cantu Entertainment Group, the arena’s principal agent — had asked management to look into the possibility of what it would take to adopt the arena team. Borrego said the answer is a lot of work and changes.

“It would take a lot of work,” Borrego said. “We don’t have bleachers on the east side; we don’t have the boards like they do in arena football and hockey. We’re talking a lot of money. Another issue is that a lot of these leagues have folded and arena football only has six to eight home games, so that’s not a lot of opportunity to generate sponsorship dollars and it would take a lot of revenue.

“We love the sport and the support from the fans. There are just a lot of obstacles.”

“Dorados ownership, Prime Time Sports, (led by) Juan Arevalo, decided to not go forward because they could not be spending more money. They owed the arena $31,000 to continue the season,” State Farm Arena General Manager Eric Treviño told The Monitor on Wednesday. “We have taken ownership of all the property and the city of Hidalgo and Juan Arevalo came to an agreement and nobody is owed.”

The Monitor could not independently verify the claim as of press time Wednesday.

The Arena Football League II team announced in January that it was making a return to State Farm, where it called home from 2004 to 2009 to play in the International Arena Football League, a new league that was beginning its inaugural season this year.

The Dorados had a 10-game schedule for the 2019 season, seven of the games at home.

“For fans that purchased tickets, you may seek a refund at the point of purchase,” the press release stated.

According to the Dorados’ schedule on their website, they have three home games remaining. Sunday’s game against Mexico City has been postponed. They have two more — one on June 8 against the Temple Demons and another on June 15 against the Austin Wild.

hmiller@themonitor.com