Anchorage Aces offered for sale on eBay

Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- There amid the vintage comic books and pop-star memorabilia for sale on eBay sit the Anchorage Aces.

The West Coast Hockey League franchise is listed for sale on the Website, with a minimum bid of $1.5 million.

''I just wanted the public to know that the team is for sale,'' said Aces owner Mike Cusack Jr. ''It's just another marketing source to get it out to the public.''

The Aces, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month and carry a debt of more than $2 million, are listed in the category of businesses for sale.

A four-sentence description accompanies the team's sale page. It closes by listing Cusack's e-mail address as a contact for serious inquiries.

A bid of $2.3 million allows the interested party to use eBay's Buy It Now feature, essentially skipping the timed formalities and instantly ending the auction.

Cusack said he had never conducted business on eBay as a buyer or seller before placing his team on the site, but he was quickly impressed by its effectiveness. Within four hours of listing the team, he said he received a $2 million offer via e-mail from a group in California.

''We're talking to them,'' Cusack said.

WCHL officials don't have a problem with Cusack's effort to sell the team on eBay.

''This is an unusual way of doing it,'' said Barry Kemp, chairman of the WCHL's board of governors. ''If it works, you may see NHL teams on eBay.''

Kemp said any sale of the Aces would not become official until the new owners are approved by the league.

Cusack said an ideal selling price is $2.2 million, which would allow him to pay off team debts owed to more than 100 creditors. Last week, Cusack was in negotiations to sell the team to a local group, but the offer was rejected by a creditor with a lien against the team.

''There have been offers,'' Cusack said, ''but there's not enough money on the table to take care of the creditors.''

Earlier this month, Cusack filed for personal Chapter 11 protection. Court documents listed debt of more than $4 million. Another Cusack-owned business, the Northern Lights Hotel, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month.

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