Mad Ants, Memorial Coliseum working on new lease

Exciting players like C.J. Fair have helped the Mad Ants increase attendance to almost 3,000 players per game. (By Blake Sebring of

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants have begun negotiations with the Allen County Memorial Coliseum on a two-year lease, team president Tim Bawmann said.

“It is our intent to stay in Fort Wayne,” Bawmann. “We’re not going to go anywhere.”

The team’s current lease ends at the completion of this season.

“We’re a little ahead of schedule on this,” Bawmann said. “When I got here, (two years ago) we had a lease that was expiring. We didn’t even negotiation the current lease until right before the season started, but figured this was a good idea to start now.”

The Mad Ants are averaging 2,840 fans per game, above the NBA G League average of 2,413. Fort Wayne ranks seventh overall in the league.

“The Pacers want to be in Fort Wayne, and it’s an important market for us,” Bawmann said. “I’ve enjoyed talking with Randy Brown and consider him a friend. It’s an important market for us and we want to eliminate any rumors that we’re looking to go anywhere else.”

Memorial Coliseum General Manager Randy Brown simply said the two sides have started the process.

“When you go through a negotiation, it’s not appropriate to talk about it,” Brown said. “We’ve just started the process and we’re in the very preliminary stages and we’ll go from there. I’m hopeful that the Mad Ants will be playing in the building for years to come.”