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Sports memorabilia store’s closure leaves customers with questions

2012-02-13T17:21:00Z Sports memorabilia store’s closure leaves customers with questionsDON LEHMAN -- dlehman@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star
February 13, 2012 5:21 pm  • 

QUEENSBURY -- A sports memorabilia store in Aviation Mall closed late Friday amid accusations the owner sold thousands of dollars worth of tickets to autograph signing events for professional wrestlers who had not agreed to attend his events.

Omega Sports had been in the mall for at least four years, and owner Donnie Bronson, who also goes by the name of Brendon Bronson, frequently advertised appearances by current and former professional wrestlers at his store.

In recent weeks, though, customers said he had been selling $50 to $100 tickets for signing events involving two major wrestlers, Ultimate Warrior and The Edge, at the mall this spring.

But last week, promoters for both wrestlers issued statements saying they were not aware of the events and had not agreed to come to the mall.

In one of the statements, staff for Ultimate Warrior said Bronson told them he had been victimized by a "fraudulent agent." But the wrestler's website said Bronson continued to sell tickets for the signing even after the wrestler's managers confronted him about the issue.

Tickets for a signing by the wrestler Rikishi had been sold for an event that was supposed to take place Saturday, but those who showed up for it found the store closed and dark with no wrestler in sight.

"There were many unhappy customers at the mall Saturday thinking we'd be meeting Rikishi - and about half of those people had purchased tickets for upcoming signings there," customer and Kingsbury resident Al Engels said.

Engels said he purchased $75 worth of tickets to two upcoming signing events, including The Edge signing.

He said Bronson has had numerous other signing events that were canceled at the last minute for strange reasons, including one in which Bronson said a wrestler suffered food poisoning in Queensbury, though the wrestler disavowed having any knowledge of the event or ever being in Warren County.

"Brendon gave us some free autographs of past people he had in the shop as a sorry," Engels said.

Bronson moved the store to Warren County from the Buffalo area, where he had similar issues, Engels said.

Queensbury resident Michelle Pond said her husband purchased tickets for upcoming events at Omega Sports, as well as for one of The Edge or Ultimate Warrior signing events this spring.

"The store is closed, and no one is answering their phone. How are we supposed to get our money back?" she asked.

The Post-Star has heard from two other customers who purchased autograph session tickets and were seeking refunds. At least two said they planned to contact police, but sheriff's Lt. Steve Stockdale said the agency's Investigation Division had not been contacted about the case as of Monday.

Messages left on a cellphone voice mail that customers said Bronson used was not returned Monday.

In a statement posted on the business's blog on the website squidoo, a person representing himself as "Omega Sports" wrote Thursday night that he believed he had been mistreated by mall managers who did not want wrestler events at the mall, and he was looking into moving to another mall.

"This mall is not going to all of a sudden become a happy place to do our events, so I will look into Wilton ASAP," he wrote.

Leah Palmer, Wilton Mall's marketing manager, said the mall had not heard from anyone affiliated with Omega Sports as of Monday.

Ultimate Warrior's website urged those who purchased tickets to contact the mall for a refund.

Aviation Mall Manager Terri Walsh said she has heard from a number of Omega Sports customers who claimed they were owed money by the business for tickets purchased to upcoming autograph sessions.

"It's very concerning to me that this has happened to our customers," she said.

She would not say whether the store was asked to close but said her office was left with "unresolved concerns" about the closure.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(11) Comments

  1. bowen28
    Report Abuse
    bowen28 - February 19, 2012 12:43 pm
    QburyNative-Don't feel so bad, I too was duped! Like you I am very upset and disappointed. Not only does this bother me because of my own children missing out but I paid for a friend to bring her children to meet Edge. The children's father is suffering from Huntington's Disease as is 1 of the children. Huntington's Disease is a dilapidating disease with no cure. As in your case, Donnie smiled and assured me that we would be able to wheel this little girl up to the front of the line in her wheelchair so she could be the 1st one to meet Edge. Now I am left with my own disappointed children and have to break this little girl's heart by telling her. It sickens me that someone is a scumbag enough to do this to people, especially children like your son and this little girl. And thank you tomm27 for sticking up for the people that got ripped off, especially these innocent children.
  2. Ricky Bones
    Report Abuse
    Ricky Bones - February 15, 2012 7:57 am
    @ttom27,

    Wow, calm down. Big wrestling/baseball card enthusiast? Why so touchy?
  3. northq
    Report Abuse
    northq - February 15, 2012 6:28 am
    Sounds like the ultimate scam by a skilled scam-artist. Hopefully anyone that purchased tickets for these events has a receipt in the event that restitution is possible.
  4. tomm27
    Report Abuse
    tomm27 - February 14, 2012 9:30 pm
    ps_cynic said: "So this is what people are spending their money on these days?"

    Yes, people spend money on all sorts of things that interest them. Do you have a problem with that, Mr Superiority? A lot of people got ripped off here (including kids), and your only comment is some sort of snide BS? Must be awesome to be you...

    Anyway, I'd bet the amount of money stolen here warrants a serious criminal investigation. Can we get a follow up?
  5. pontly
    Report Abuse
    pontly - February 14, 2012 2:33 pm
    During the Christmas season I was in his store and talked to him about base ball cards. He gave me the bit about how he has Yankees IN THE STORE on a regular basis to sign cards and such. When I heard that I thought it was starnge that I had never heard about it before. He tried to sell me all sorts of "signed" stuff but I bugged out. If anyone reading this bought any signed items from him, I'd have them checked out to be sure they are what he claim they were...
  6. ktvt071
    Report Abuse
    ktvt071 - February 14, 2012 1:25 pm
    My husband and I were in over Christmas and he was selling $20 tickets to win a Mickey Mantle rookie card (among 100 other possible prizes). We were told that the drawing was going to be in May and we have the paperwork he gave us. Luckily we only bought one ticket now that I see what was really going on.... terrible.
  7. QburyNative
    Report Abuse
    QburyNative - February 14, 2012 10:37 am
    I am sadly on of the many who recently bought tickets to 2 of these supposedly upcoming signings for my children. I was in this store as recently as Wednesday and spent $220 for tickets for the whole family to my My little boys favorite wrestler for a special birthday gift for him. Regardless of your opinion of wrestling... I can assure you this is extremely unfunny to my family. This was going to be a dream come true to my son... meeting one of his idols in the flesh. And the owner of this store... Donny/Brandon or whichever name he is going by today... stood there smiling at my son, and taking my money knowing full well he was going to make a run for it with my cash, and break this little kids heart. What a shame. I'll be calling the Detective this afternoon. Hope we all have some recourse, and this guy gets what he deserves.
  8. jonepog
    Report Abuse
    jonepog - February 14, 2012 10:16 am
    I stopped in this store many times and listened to his B-S that he was saying. he had stated in the past that he had movie actors and other sports stars. I knew something was up when he said on Christmas Day 2 years ago he would be having a signing with the NY Yankees... Christmas Day come on...never happened and I am sure he got money from people for this. He also stated that at anytime you could see a Sports star or actor in his store... never happened. Also I think he was living in the mall after they closed in the back room. He stated to me many times that Kelly Kelly from the WWE worked for him on his days off...well false...plus he never took a day off. Im sure Omega Sports is a good company just a bad seed running this franchise. He will never open in Sarartoga... my guess is he will open a store out west...Cali forni-a here he comes
  9. Dadof2
    Report Abuse
    Dadof2 - February 14, 2012 8:52 am
    Apparently stores that sell tickets to meet professional wrestlers are as fake as the wrestling.
  10. ps_cynic
    Report Abuse
    ps_cynic - February 14, 2012 1:24 am
    So this is what people are spending their money on these days?
  11. Candide
    Report Abuse
    Candide - February 13, 2012 7:34 pm
    It's strange but while I was reading this article I kept hearing the refrains of that old Steve Miller song "Take the Money and Run."

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