MADISON, Ala. — As the Rocket City Trash Pandas host their home opener Tuesday, there are still questions surrounding how much money the team owners owe the city of Madison.
The contract between Madison and Ballcorps, LLC, the company that owns the Trash Pandas, calls for the organization to pay the City at least $1 million annually from “venue revenue,” but the past year hasn’t been normal and how much is actually owed is still being sorted out.
Madison Mayor Paul Finley says so far, the city has received $165,738.12 from the Rocket City Trash Pandas.
At a City Council meeting on January 25, former Trash Pandas President and CEO Ralph Nelson said the city is owed $545,177.53 from non-baseball events and $101,571.62 from city sales tax, but the actual amount owed — which will be released in the audit — has not yet been released.
Last week, Mayor Finley confirmed with News 19 that the audit had been completed. This week, he said the audit team had received full disclosure from Ballcorps, LLC.
Taxpayer money is helping to fund the team and stadium, so News 19 is working to find out more about the team’s agreement with the City and Nelson’s departure.
Nelson, who led the purchase of the team and move to Madison, suddenly resigned two weeks before opening day.
To that end, News 19 submitted an open records request to Madison three weeks ago, on April 21. On Tuesday, May 11, News 19 received confirmation from the City Attorney that a response to that request will be given this week.
Mayor Finley says Madison will release the details of the finished audit publicly and with taxpayers once the information is available.