If Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz has his way, Amos Hughes, a homeless man who can usually be seen outside the United Center begging for spare change, will have to find a new territory. Citing lower advertising revenue and decreased attendance in recent years, Wirtz has begun to extend his reach outside the United Center.
His first target is Mr. Hughes: Wirtz has demanded that Hughes surrender 15% of his nightly income of nickels and dimes to the Chicago Blackhawks, or vacate the grounds.
“You call him homeless,” said Wirtz. “I call him a fiscal opportunist. From where I’m sitting, this guy’s making a living off a product I own. I’m just asking for my fair share.”
Faced with allegations that he is behaving callously toward one of the city’s poorest residents, Wirtz responded, “Have you seen that guy’s gold tooth? Those things can’t be cheap.”
Rumors have circulated that Wirtz offered Hughes a job playing for the Blackhawks, but Hughes reportedly turned him down, explaining that he couldn’t work for so little money and still retain his dignity.