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Urda knew of B-Mets relocation plans, plaintiffs say

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Despite reassuring the people of Binghamton through multiple statements, a speech at Tuesday's "Welcome Back" dinner, and in a court declaration last week saying that the B-Mets are here to stay, a new statement filed Monday by the plaintiffs at Main Street Baseball provide e-mail exchanges alleging that Urda knew of their plans to relocate the B-Mets to WIlmington, DE. In an e-mail written by Urda to Main Street Baseball CEO David Heller on Aug. 30, 2014 he said "Clark [Minker, Main Street Baseball co-owner] mentioned you [sic] plan on locating the club to Wilmington, which I have no problem with."

Yet, in another e-mail Urda said that he will publicly deny any talk or a sale or relocation to protect their market.

In his statement, Heller also said that if any point Urda had not presented the B-Mets as being portable (without lease restrictions, or not for sale), or had expressed an unwillingness to see the team leave Binghamton, "we would never have been interested in buying the team, let alone be willing to enter into a binding agreement to purchase the team." Urda's declaration on Friday argued that the agreement was not legally binding to sell the team, only to negotiate a sale, yet Monday's filing also contradicts that.

Heller also said that Urda requested any visit made to NYSEG Stadium by the plaintiffs be done covertly. Urda allegedly asked the plaintiffs to pose as NYS Officials during daytime hours: "I cannot risk any valued employees being concerned about new ownership and job security issues."

Also, Urda said that no mention of the sale could be made to the media. This was done in part because team sponsor Senator Tom Libous was up for re-election this past November. Libous was part of the ceremony on the field last fall announcing an extension of the team's lease on the stadium with the city. "The last thing he needs is to announce a B-Mets lease extension and then have the B-Mets leave town. After election, no problem..."

The B-Mets and Main Street Baseball have a hearing scheduled for 10:00 am Wednesday in Federal Court in Utica. The plaintiffs are seeking an six month injunction which would prevent Urda from selling the B-Mets, while Urda is seeking to have the temporary injunction already in place, removed.

Fox 40 will have more details on this story as it continues to develop.