UPDATE - Official word from the D-League: The current owners of the Jam decided to pursue other interests, but are working closely with the league to find potential new ownership in bakersfield or elsewhere.
Shocking development coming tonight, according to Nick Belardes of FaceBakersfield:
The economic downturn has hit one of Bakersfield's pro sports teams as the NBA D-League's Bakersfield Jam announced on Wednesday that they are ceasing operations.
Team owner Stan Ellis said to Face News, "I wouldn't say we're folding. We're just not going to operate anymore. It's not good business sense."
The team barely got to practice in the state-of-the-art practice facility that was being built on Stan Ellis industrial property located on Norris Road.
With Anaheim already essentially folding (ran by D-League this season before being bought by new Springfield team), Albuquerque laying off all of it's employees, and concerns that D-League champion Colorado 14ers won't be back, this does not seem like a good development for the Development League.
Bakersfield made the playoffs this season, though had the fourth lowest announced attendance, as they averaged 1,889 per game.
The nearly $2 million state-of-the-art practice facility referred to in the article was just completed in March, according to Bakersfield.com. Something from that article stands out to me:
Ellis says the nearly $2 million facility is also proof of the team's commitment to the community. "We want to show season seat holders and sponsors that we will be here long term," Ellis said. "And I think this speaks for itself."
UPDATE from FaceBakersfield again:
Palm said it was discussed to actually put the team up on eBay, but they decided not to. Costello then joked that if nothing was nailed down for Palm to steal as much merchandise as possible, especially the Swish costume.
I love this, as I have about 90 Minot SkyRockets keychains in a box, because that was the only thing not cleaned out of my office when I learned we had folded.
Also, check out TNIAAM for a great screen cap. Great.