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Future of Central Illinois Flying Aces in Question

Central Illinois Flying Aces

The Central Illinois Flying Aces have received a one-year temporary withdrawal from USHL play, leaving questions about the team’s long-term future. 

The Flying Aces are playing the 2018-19 season on the last year of five-year lease for Bloomington’s Grossinger Motors Arena. The team will finish out the current season, but will not compete in the 2019-20 campaign after the USHL approved its request for a one-year temporary withdrawal from play.

While ownership will continue to explore options for resuming play for the 2020-21 season, the Flying Aces have reportedly been dealing with financial losses. That was explained by an official from Everett, WA-based CSH International, Inc–owner of the Flying Aces–who indicated that the club has been struggling financially. More from The Pantagraph:

Zoran Rajcic, who is a vice president for CSH International, Inc. of Everett, Wash., which owns the Flying Aces, didn’t paint a bright picture of the franchise remaining in the Twin Cities when the 2020-21 season rolls around.

“After the last few seasons the (financial) losses have been too insurmountable to stay in that marketplace,” said Rajcic when reached Thursday night.

The Aces’ five-year lease with Grossinger Motors Arena expires after the end of this season. Rajcic said the team has been in talks with the 17-team league USHL about what its options were, and asking for a year’s leave of absence was among the topics discussed.

Also discussed was finding local ownership or another arena within a 75-mile radius as allowed by league rules. Neither was successful, said Rajcic.

The decision was announced on Thursday. According to a press release issued by the Flying Aces, CSH “will continue to evaluate opportunities to see the team to resume play in the 2020-2021 season.” The team has 15 games remaining this season, including six at home. The Flying Aces’ are scheduled to play their 2018-19 regular-season finale at home on April 13.

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