Gladiators, state sort out stock dispute

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A state agency is hitting New Mexico’s new football team with a warning.

The owners were selling stock in the team which was against the law. The state came and ordered an immediate stop to that.

“We want this to team to be Albuquerque’s team.”

The Duke City Gladiators, the new indoor football squad, has seen some ups before the season even started, it caught the state’s attention.

“Someone or some organization had called in to the state, filed a complaint that we were offering shares without a license,” Matt Caward, the team’s general manager said.

The Regulation and Licensing Department stepped in and ordered a cease and desist on that “stock.”

“The problem is you can’t sell stock and you can’t use the media to sell stock unless you’ve registered or complied with security laws,” Securities Division Director Alan Wilson said.

And that stock they were selling didn’t have any value.

“It’s not like stock like in a corporation, or a business or a for-profit corporation,” Caward said. “This is not meant as an investment, so to speak.”

They were advertising all over their website and now disclaimers have been put up saying just that.

“They were using terminology that they shouldn’t have been using and they were suggesting that people would have an ownership in the business,” Wilson said.

So the Gladiators and the state sat down.

“We met with them the very next day in Santa Fe in their office and we got everything in compliance that day,” Caward said.

Now, they’re calling it more of a “booster club” with that stock simply being perks.

“Because we’re a non-profit, it has to be worded very specifically with the state,” Caward added.

The cease and desist order was tossed two days after it was sent out.

Now, the Gladiators’ focus is back on the gridiron.

“We want to do this absolutely ethically,” Caward said. “I mean, this is a big thing. We want this to be successful for years and years.”

The Gladiators say they’ve averaged about 850 fans over their first three games at Tingley Coliseum.

To date, 20 of those shares valued at $1,000 have been sold. They get tickets to the six home games and every game to come, preferred parking and a meal at the games.

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