Despite the Great Falls Explorers huge win over the visiting Atlanta Krunk (173-120!), the overall picture is starting to look pretty bleak…
In recent weeks the coach, one-time NBA star Scott Wedman, has departed, the team has been forced to play in high school gyms in Cascade and Fairfield, and now comes word of serious money troubles for the team and owner Michael Tuckman.
Local businesses say the Great Falls Explorers professional basketball team and team owner Michael Tuckman of Seattle are racking up more than points this season. They say Tuckman has between $40,000 and $50,000 in outstanding bills. He added that if the Explorers can’t become financially viable, Great Falls may not work out. “I have received zero dollars and zero cents from ticket sales, from sponsors and from investors,” Tuckman said, adding he has spent $200,000 of his own money on the franchise. “I’ve got people that owe me money.” “The Great Falls Explorers could become the Seattle Explorers very easily,” he said.
On a related note, last week I received an e-mail from a Ron, a disappointed fan of the Explorers, who shared with me an e-mail that he sent to Mr Tuckman:
The record of poor payment of salaries and expenses incurred by the Explorers is just poor business. When I read that now you are not paying for the facility the team was contracted to, I was dumbfounded. Bad arena contract or not, when you bought the team, the contract was already in place and I assume you knew that. If not, you didn’t complete any due diligence. Your organization is giving Great Falls a bad reputation with your failure to meet your financial obligations. I, for one, choose to not do business with an organization that has such low ethical standards. So, I won’t be buying any tickets nor will I be sponsoring your team in any way.
(signed)A disappointed fan
According to the disappointed fan, Mr Tuckman’s e-mail response was: “Disappointed? Gee, I’ll try and go on with my life.” I was hesitant to post this exchange, because of course I can not verify the accuracy of it. But after reading the Trib story and learning of Tuckman’s demeanor, I am more inclined to believe it than not.