An Action 16 investigation into the professional lacrosse team that was supposed to be exciting fans this year at the Mohegan Sun Arena has left a trail of unhappy fans.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Shamrocks never played a game, and some season ticket holders never got their money back.
May 11, 2011, team owner James Jennings announced he brought a new professional team and a game growing in popularity to the region, lacrosse.
“It’s fast paced, high scoring, hard-hitting,” said Jennings when he announced his pro lacrosse team will be the first in the new league and would play home games at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
He later names the team the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Shamrocks.
“The best players there will be coming and playing in our league,” added Jennings at the time.
“It was something new, it was interesting,” said James Orr of Scranton. “It was exciting.” He shelled out $309 for a pair of season tickets. He couldn’t wait for the Shamrocks to start play in February, 2012.
Last fall the Shamrocks announced the team was delaying the start to its season.
“I read it in the paper that they changed the dates from February, March, and April to September,” said Mohegan Sun Arena General Manager Rebecca Bonnevear. “And we don’t have the dates available.”
She added the team also failed to meet other lease requirements.
This February the arena booted the Shamrocks before the team even played a game.
In a news release, the Shamrocks promised full refunds to ticket holders.
James Orr said he contacted the team and got this response.
“At the end of February we’re going to send the refund, and don’t worry about it, we’ve got it all taken care of,” Orr said.
Orr’s refund from the Shamrocks never came.
By March, Orr said, the phone number for Shamrock ticket refunds was disconnected.
Now James Orr fears he is out $309. It’s money he spent on a lacrosse team that will never play here and all he has to show for his money is this souvenir Shamrock`s Lacrosse hat.
Paperwork shows Shamrocks owner Jim Jennings is based in a downtown building in Easton and ran the team through his company Waterbucket Media.
When Newswatch 16 got to the office suite listed for Waterbucket Media last week, all that was left was a locked door, and inside the landlord refurbishing the office for a new tenant.
James Orr kept trying to get his money back, and eventually reached Jennings by email.
On March 29, 2012, Jennings wrote, “We will be sending the check out next week.”
On April 9, Jennings wrote, “You will have it (the refund) next week.”
It is May and Orr still has no refund.
“Now, they’re at the point where they’re just ignoring me,” said Orr from his Scranton home.
Jennings emailed Newswatch 16 back May 3 writing, “We are anticipating receiving payment next week from the league and everyone that bought tickets will be refunded.”
Jennings said there are about 12 Shamrocks season ticket holders who still haven’t been repaid and added the team that was the Shamrocks will soon play lacrosse in the Lehigh Valley and offer free tickets for those who bought Shamrock’s season tickets here.
James Orr just wants his money back and he has no interest in driving all the way to Allentown to watch lacrosse.