|Norfolk SharX cease operations.|
The following is an excerpt from the official statement released today by the SharX organization:
"The decision to cease operations was very difficult," states minority owner, team founder and president Marcie Laumann . "It became apparent midway through the first season that local support from sponsors, advertisers, season ticket holders and patrons was not driving enough attendance or revenue to carry a pro soccer team. However, our fans and supporters couldn't have been more enthusiastic. We simply lacked sufficient funding to get the word out that Hampton Roads finally had a Major Indoor Soccer League team. Fans who attended just once were hooked - but getting attendees in the door the first time proved too challenging with limited marketing funds."
In the face of unforeseen expenses and lower than anticipated sales revenue, herculean efforts were made to ensure the team completed its first season. A staff reorganization, streamlining operations and improving the fan's arena experience contained the SharX losses and sparked a surge in attendance through the latter part of the season. As the crowds grew, the first season SharX players starting winning games, leading to even more growth in attendance.
One of the most unfortunate points is that there are still several viable interested investors out there who understand the connection the Norfolk SharX made to their fans in this area, the economic viability of the team and the value that a professional major league team brings to this area, but unfortunately the clock simply appears to have run out on options for continuance without someone writing a check," said Laumann. "If one of the interested investors was able to step forward today or tomorrow, then perhaps there could still be a 2012/13 season, but without such, we have to call everything to a close.