Louisiana VooDoo coach frustrated by cancellations

Louisiana VooDoo coach frustrated by cancellations

LAFAYETTE, La. — The Louisiana VooDoo football team had its second game canceled in just three weeks; since arriving in Lafayette, the team has played only one game in its new home at Blackham Coliseum.

As uncertainty grows within the Arena Football League, KATC discussed his thoughts with Louisiana VooDoo head coach James Shiver. Many teams are beginning to withdraw from the AFL, while others aren’t sure they’ll finish the season — and that uncertainty has spilled over to Lafayette.

Shiver believes the problem is a lack of communication from the Arena Football League about what’s happening with the team’s scheduled games.

“I just don’t know what the league is going to do. I mean, I’ve been in professional leagues for a long time and I’ve never seen this before. This is new to me and I just don’t understand why there is no management, there are no press releases, no information, we can’t even tell our fans where to buy tickets , it’s ridiculous,” Shiver said.

Coach Shiver tells KATC he can understand the frustration of VooDoo fans across the state who have been anticipating the season and hopes the league can figure it all out, so the season can get back on track.

Shiver is not alone in his experiences.

Media outlets across the country are reporting similar situations with AFL teams. Here is an article from the sports and cultural site The Defector, concerning numerous cancellations. This story from Fox 9 in Minneapolis is about a team leaving the league and the questions surrounding the move. And here’s a story from Front Office Sports about multiple teams shutting down, the NFL ending a TV deal and other issues with the league.

Recent issues with Louisiana VooDoo echo problems reported across the league.

This week, the Louisiana VooDoo announced the cancellation of Saturday’s game, but last weekend’s game was canceled without any announcement on social media.

The Arena Football League team, which was born in New Orleans but most recently called Lake Charles home, announced its move to Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette in April.

When they left Lake Charles, officials issued a joint press release claiming the team had not paid arena rent and could not produce proof of insurance for their events. We reached out to UL to ask if the team pays their rent here and if there is an insurance certificate, but have yet to hear back.

When we asked Shiver about the problem of unpaid rent, this is what he said:

“The whole thing, when they left Lake Charles, was that there was a statement made by ASM that the team never paid rent at the Lake Charles Civic Center, there was no never had a single day that they were inside that civic center that I was there We didn’t I have an office inside, we never got anything in the center. civic there was never a game there and I was explaining it when we first moved in if I rented an apartment at Bayou Shadows in Lafayette and never moved in or whatever that’s more at this point I probably don’t owe you any rent… I will say this, I know for a fact that they were paid at the Blackham Coliseum… The Blackham Coliseum was paid and I know that in advance because. right before the game I saw the people there and they said they got a check… I don’t think that’s the problem I know I’m sure they paid the arena I. know they have unpaid bills in the community because the only reason I know is because people tell me. about this… I did some research, there are some unpaid bills but not many, you would be surprised.

The VooDoo played their first home game in Lafayette on April 27, defeating the Philadelphia Soul 53 to 18. They also announced that anyone with a valid UL ID could attend any home game for free.

But the next match, scheduled for May 4, did not take place. Although there is nothing on the team’s Facebook page about it, a member of the team’s fan group posted that the event was canceled because “new nets and walls” n They didn’t arrive in time for the match.

Yesterday, the team spoke about it on the Facebook page, saying that “We would like to apologize to you all. We have not communicated as we normally would under normal circumstances about the cancellation of Saturday’s game. If you don’t already know, there have been scheduling issues that have become completely out of our control. We will keep you informed of any upcoming schedule changes. Understand that we are doing everything we can for our team and the fans. Failure is not an option“.

And a few hours later, the team also canceled this Saturday’s game:

To our concerned fans, we are saddened to inform you that we will NOT be playing the game against the Orlando Predators this week. As you may know, communications with us have been kept to a minimum. Changes are constantly being made that we, as a team, have no control over. We have no further information to give you at this time. We don’t know what the future holds. We are doing our best. Please keep the players, coaches and staff of Louisiana Football in your thoughts and prayers.“, the team posted on its Facebook page.

This second cancellation prompted Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter to post a message on his Facebook page, saying his city had dodged a bullet.

“The Louisiana VooDoo debacle has been a roller coaster ride, one that I have been very happy to watch from the sidelines over the past two weeks,” Hunter wrote. “Earlier this year, my team and I started seeing several red flags in our dealings with league representatives. The things they were saying didn’t make sense, and ultimately we had to make a decision .

“We chose not to allow a questionable entity to occupy the LC Event Center without paying rent or providing a certificate of insurance. It was the right decision to make, even though I knew it would be dissected , misunderstood and even used by some for cheap political commentary.

Hunter said he believes he made the right choice because “today it seems like another community is dealing with the sinking of the RMS VooDoo Titanic rather than the city of Lake Charles.”

He added that he was sorry things didn’t work out, but he urged the citizens of Lake Charles to “consider this a dodged bullet.”