Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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1992-1994 Fargo-Moorhead Fever

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Continental Basketball Association (1992-1994)

Born: 1992 – The Tulsa Zone relocate to Fargo, North Dakota.
Died: May 1994 – The Fever relocate to Mexico City (Mexico City Aztecas).

Arena: Fargodome (8,100)

Colors: Teal & Black

Owners: Horn Chen, Ray Compton & Bob Salyers

The Fargo-Moorhead Fever were a well-traveled Continental Basketball Association franchise that stopped for two seasons at the Fargodome in North Dakota.  (The Fever also claimed neighboring Moorhead, Minnesota as a host community).

The franchise started out as the Detroit Spirits in 1982 and later wandered to Savannah, Georgia and Tulsa, Oklahoma.  In June 1991, when the club was known as the Tulsa Fast Breakers, the team was acquired by reclusive Chicago-based sports investor Horn Chen and two business partners.  Chen’s other investments have included numerous minor league hockey and baseball teams and the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League.  He was also the founder of the Central Hockey League.  After one final year of operation in Tulsa, Chen and his partners moved the club to Fargo for the 1992-93 CBA season.  Chen is mostly non-communicative with the media and public – in typical fashion, he is the only owner whose picture did not appear in the Fever yearbook.

The CBA was the Official Developmental League of the NBA at the time.  Like most CBA clubs, the Fever employed a roster of overlooked free agents and washed out draft picks looking for a shot at (or return to)  the NBA.  The CBA sent dozen of players each season to the NBA, typically on short-term 10-day contracts to fill-in for injured or suspended players.

A few former NBA 1st round picks suited up for the Fever including Roy Marble (#23 overall, Atlanta Hawks, 1989), Bernard Thompson (#19 overall, Portland Trailblazers, 1984) and Leon Wood (#10 overall, Philadelphia 76ers, 1984).

In May 1994, the Fever franchise was sold to OCESA, a concert promotion and facility management company in Mexico, run by Doug Logan.  OCESA moved the franchise to Mexico City for the 1994-95 season, where it was known as the Mexico City Aztecas.  The Aztecas lasted only one season south of the border before moving back to the United States.  Logan later became the first Commissioner of Major League Soccer.

Fargo-Moorhead got a new minor league basketball team in 1995 – the Fargo-Moorhead Beez.  The Beez played from 1995 to 2002 before folding.

Written by AC

January 21st, 2013 at 4:03 am

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