Riggers owner 'fed up' with situation

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:13 AM ET

Less than five months ago, Calgary Roughnecks majority owner Brad Banister was surrounded by 19,298 screaming fans at the Pengrowth Saddledome, celebrating his team's first NLL title.

Today, he realizes that may be the last game his Riggers ever play.

The NLL has set a deadline of 10 p.m. MDT tonight to hammer out a new CBA with its union or it'll cancel the 2005 season.

If that happens, Banister figures it's unlikely the Riggers will survive.

"I'll hang the 'Gone out of business' sign up," said Banister, who chairs the league's CBA committee. "Why bother? I've done the best I can. It's a very unfortunate situation. It's frustrating and I'm fed up ... I will not lose any more sleep on lacrosse after tomorrow night. I've had it."

He claimed the Riggers lost about $500,000 Cdn last season.

"We've pulled a sport out of the backyard and given it the attention it deserves," he said. "I want it to succeed and I've tried hard and at a great financial expense to make this as successful as I can here.

"For the last four years, 24 hours a day, when I wake up in the night wondering where the next dollar is going to come from, this has been a full-time job for me. And I haven't made one penny. In fact, I have to pay to enjoy this this much."


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