St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

ThunderDawgs not leaving yet

The main office is empty, but the league president said the team is staying in Tampa Bay.


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 3, 2001

ST. PETERSBURG -- If you walk past their main office downtown or call for information about the Tampa Bay ThunderDawgs, it might appear as if the team left town.

The offices are cleaned out, the phone number is disconnected and the coach is gone. It seems as if Tampa Bay has lost its only professional basketball franchise.

But that's not the case, said American Basketball Association 2000 president and co-founder Joe Newman. At least not yet.

"The ThunderDawgs are still there," Newman said. "Right now Tampa Bay is staying in Tampa Bay."

Newman said a scheduled meeting between him and the team's owners, including Art Blackwell III, was postponed until May 14. At that time topics such as league expansion and relocation will be discussed and everyone will have a better idea of what next season will look like.

Blackwell could not be reached and officials at the Times Arena at Bayfront Center, where the ThunderDawgs play, did not return phone messages.

Newman said the only teams guaranteed to move before next season are Memphis, which will head to Long Island, N.Y., and San Diego, which moves up the coast to Yuma City, Calif.

He said he didn't know what Blackwell's plans are for a ThunderDawgs team that went 15-26 in its inaugural season and lost coach Gordon Gibbons to Clayton State University in Morrow, Ga., on Tuesday. The Dawgs had poor attendance, drawing about 250 per game, and fired coach Darryl Dawkins eight games into the season.

"My feeling is ... I have no feeling," Newman said. "I don't know what he's planning to do. There has been no conversation about moving the team. I told him a while ago there were a couple of people interested in having a team. I guess we'll know after the 14th."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

Hubert Mizell
  • Hungry to ride

  • Rays
  • Rays get a win to build on
  • Rays catch the eye of Alabama bank chairman
  • McHale deal still several days away

  • Lightning
  • Lapointe would consider signing with Lightning

  • Sports Etc.
  • Point Given to start outside
  • Derby notebook
  • NL notebook
  • AL notebook
  • NHL notebook
  • NBA notebook
  • ThunderDawgs not leaving yet
  • Winters fighting for her USF job
  • Area powers to face off in rematch
  • NFL briefs
  • Gugelmin has praise for HANS
  • Magic hopes to build on season's success
  • Winds help, then hinder racers
  • Training camp opens overflowing with talent
  • Alonso hires NFL assistant as its first coach
  • Buc star has chance to set state records
  • SPJC looks to break through
  • Unlikely teams set to face off in region semis
  • Rebel has recovered very nicely
  • Captain's corner
  • Hot, humid and empty

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts