The chairman of the now-defunct Kentucky Horsemen indoor football team has been in the Shelby County Detention Center since Oct. 1 serving a 90-day sentence for a third DUI conviction, according to court records.
The incarceration of Brett Kincaid, who has bankrolled the team since owner Lennie House stopped last year, had nothing to do with the team's demise, said Horsemen general manager Matt DiLorenzo.
But DiLorenzo conceded Kincaid's situation "has made communication with potential buyers a little more difficult" in recent weeks.
DiLorenzo said Horsemen officials had been looking for a buyer or additional investors for at least three months.
DiLorenzo announced Monday night the team will not play in 2010. The team, which has played in Rupp Arena since 2003, has not broken even in at least the past four or five years, DiLorenzo said.
Kincaid's Shelbyville attorney, Mark Dean, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Kincaid pleaded guilty to DUI third offense on July 2.
On Tuesday, DiLorenzo said Kincaid notified him last week through a relative that he no longer could subsidize the team and had decided to "stop all operations."
DiLorenzo said he was unable to come up with the funding over the weekend that is needed to join new leagues next season, including one called Arena Football 1.
The new league wanted a $100,000 letter of credit for workers' compensation, plus another $100,000 letter of credit for operations, as well as a $50,000 payment to buy in, he said.
In addition, DiLorenzo said, the team struggled to pay the $18,000 to $20,000 it owed Rupp Arena after each of the season's eight games.
Ticket sales and sponsorships were the only sources of income for the team, which averaged 3,600 people per game last year at the 23,000-seat arena.
Carl Hall, director of arena management at Rupp, said the Horsemen's rent had not increased since its first season.
Two professional ice hockey teams that played at Rupp Arena failed.
Hall said those teams folded because of market forces, not because of their arrangements with Rupp Arena.
Hall said he would be open to having another professional sports team, especially semi-professional arena football, at Rupp Arena.
"The product is a good product," he said.
Reach Valarie Honeycutt Spears at (859) 231-3409 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3409.