City of Orlando suing Orlando Predators football team



ORLANDO, Fla. - The city of Orlando is suing one of its sports teams: the Orlando Predators, WFTV found out.

The city claims the team owes it money and that the team is trying to make money it doesn't deserve.

The owner of the Predators said he will counter-sue.

The city said it filed suit after the Predators tried to make money off a sponsor at the Amway Center that was only for the Orlando Magic.

The owner of the Predators said the team's been having to fight for its rights against the city and the Magic for years.

"All we want to do is protect the Orlando Predators," said owner Brett Bouchy.

Bouchy told WFTV he's not surprised the city has filed a lawsuit against the Predators. He said the team's relationship with the city has been tattered for the last few years.

"There's a minimum level of standard that we should receive as a tenant in the building, and they clearly have not done this," Bouchy said.

The city filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming the team has not paid its bills and is trying to get sponsor revenue to which it is not entitled.

The city gave WFTV letters it sent to Bouchy for seven months about unpaid fees totaling more than $24,000.

Bouchy said the city isn't holding up its end of the bargain.

"Not having air conditioning turned on, not having ushers do their job, I mean there is a list," Bouchy said.

More importantly, Bouchy said the city is violating its contract with the Predators by not allowing the team to sign specific businesses as sponsors.

"They've done certain things where they've sort of taken revenue opportunities away from us and given them to the Magic that we believe are just unfair," Bouchy said.

The city insists the lawsuit is not about money.

In a statement, a city representative said, "Our goal is to resolve contract disagreements between the city and the Predators to ensure there is no future impact to the fans."

The owner of the Predators said he plans to file a lawsuit against the city of Orlando and the Orlando Magic in the next few days.

He said the club is not only owed $50,000 for sponsorship revenue, but that the lawsuit will outline parts about the city's deal with the Magic that he thinks will cause controversy.