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NBA G League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants to renew lease at Memorial Coliseum

Fort Wayne Mad Ant Trae-Deon Hollins calls out a play during a Feb. 25 game against the Iowa Wolves at the Memorial Coliseum. (File photo by Dan Vance of news-sentinel.com)

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants have signed a new lease to continue playing their home games at Memorial Coliseum, pending coliseum board approval.

The two-year agreement, with a third-year option, confirms the parent Indiana Pacers plan to keep the NBA G League franchise in Fort Wayne, where it has been for a decade. Mad Ants president Tim Bawmann said the Mad Ants consider the lease the equivalent of a three-year deal.

“Pacers Sports and Entertainment is committed to being here,” Bawmann said. “This is where we want to be and we’re glad to be able to continue to operate in this market. …It’s important to let the community know we are staying.”

Randy Brown, Memorial Coliseum executive vice president and general manager, said the proposed lease will be presented to the coliseum board on Tuesday, and he expects it to be approved.

“The good news is if you look at our history, and we have a 67-year history, teams tend to stick with us for a long time,” Brown said. “We have a structure in terms of our lease formula that’s very fair and that’s part of the reason for the success we’ve had.”

Bawmann said the Mad Ants continue to explore ways to generate new revenue and continue to grow. Attendance as increased during the three years of Pacers ownership, Bawmann said.

“It shows this is a good market and we’re on the right path,” Bawmann said.

The agreement will be similar to the team’s previous lease with the coliseum.

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