Rim Rockers’ opening day pushed back
Hawaii's American Basketball Association franchise has taken another hit, but its new owner isn't ready to throw in the towel just yet.
The Pacific Rim Rockers -- formerly the Hawaii Hurricanes before an ownership change -- were set to tip off their season in the Islands tomorrow, but Ira Harge Jr. said yesterday their opening date is pushed back indefinitely while the team attempts to secure $200,000 to $250,000 in funding from sponsors.
"The league has agreed to reschedule us, and we are playing," Harge, a banker and one of the team's founders, said from Nevada yesterday. "They have agreed to be patient with us because we're still in negotiations with someone regarding funding."
Harge is remaining hopeful that the Blaisdell Arena can still be secured as a venue for home games. Contracts for coach Alika Smith and the team's roster of players, who have been practicing unpaid at Kaiser High School, still need to be worked out and an airline partnership is a must.
In 2005, Hawaii's previous ABA team, the Mega Force, canceled a handful of season-opening games before playing two at the Cannon Activities Center, then folding for similar reasons.
There isn't a new target tip-off date for the Rim Rockers yet.
"We need to know as soon as possible, so we're pushing to finish our negotiations," Harge said. "We have to know by early next week. I'd say (to basketball fans), continue to be patient with us so we can put on a great show for them."