ROSSFORD, OH (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — An ambitious project started seven years ago on 1,200 acres in the town of Rossford, Ohio, east of I-75 and south of the Ohio Turnpike, has collapsed into financial nightmare of debt and lawsuits, with nothing more than the weathered shell of an amphitheater and the concrete foundation of an arena to show for it.
The planned $48 million entertainment complex, originally dubbed the “Golden Triangle” by the town of Rossford, was supposed to feature a 15,000-seat open air shed adjacent to a 12,000-seat arena that would house a professional hockey team. The complex was slated to open in 2000 and haul in millions of dollars in business profits and taxes each year, benefiting from its location at the busy highway intersection known as the Crossroads of America, according to the Toledo Blade.
Though the project seemed on target for months, it never could land a favorable bond rating. Even so, construction began with “temporary” loans that still have not been paid.
“They cut corners and though that it would all wash out in the end when the financing took place,” Louie Bauer Jr., former mayor of Rossford and former member of the Rossford Arena Amphitheater Authority, told the paper. “And like a house of cards, it all fell apart. … Everybody was starry-eyed.”
Work stopped in late 1999 due to lack of funds, through construction on the amphitheater was 20 percent complete.
“Without financing, a bank wouldn’t say, ‘Go ahead and start building that new house, and we’ll see if we can approve this later.’ … This is a major black eye for the community and for the area,” Bauer said.
Debts on the never-completed project have eclipsed $18 million. More than $11 million of the debt is loans and rest unpaid bills.
Wood Country has seized the land and is set to auction it off on Thursday morning for a minimum price of $1,377,827, sheriff’s department officials told the Blade. Seven RAAA-owned parcels will be auctioned in total. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers