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Business Observer Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010 10 years ago

Storm defendants fight back

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A countersuit has been filed over ownership of the Tampa Bay Storm.

The coach and former owner of the Tampa Bay Storm are countersuing a local doctor who bought the Arena Football League franchise three years ago and filed suit against them earlier this summer.

Peter “Woody” Kern, a Dallas businessman who sold the team to Tampa orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Nucci, and current Storm head coach Tim Marcum filed papers Thursday in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, claiming Nucci did not meet financial obligations. Their attorney, Patrick Sprague, says a payment scheduled for July 15 was missed.

Nucci, who agreed to pay Kern $18.9 million for the Storm in 2007, claims in his June 25 suit that Kern and Marcum withheld information about the AFL's debt situation prior to making the deal. The league canceled its 2009 season and sold rights to current teams to Arena Football One for $6.1 million last August.

The Storm will play the Spokane Shock in the ArenaBowl Friday night in Spokane, Wash., to be televised by the NFL Network, and is going for its sixth AFL championship. The team's current owner is Tampa Bay Storm Partners LLC, a private investor group.

The Business Review first reported on the Tampa Bay Storm's legal issues in July.

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