LaGrave Field Lost in Mediation Case
Wednesday, April, 25, 2012
In Fort Worth, Texas, mediation failed to prevent foreclosure on LaGrave field, home of the Fort Worth Cats. The baseball team was unable to resolve their $12.9 million debt with Amegy Bank. Carl Bell, owner of the team, had been attempting to avoid foreclosure for month before finally losing control of the stadium.
Background of the Civil Mediation
After filing for bankruptcy in January of this year, Amegy bank posted the property for foreclosure. However, a judge approved the owner's request to go into mediation with the bank, in one last attempt to settle the debt owed on the property. The stadium was opened in 2002, and has been operating it under the name LeGrave Reconstruction company. There is no word yet on when the property will be posted for foreclosure, though the next auction will be held on May 1st.
A chief financial officer for United League Baseball, Stan Wright said that he as well as the other new owners of the team came to the hearings out of concern as tenants. It is still up in the air what is going to happen to the stadium and Wright has mentioned the possibility that the team may bid on the property.
The Debt Discussed in Mediation Services
Bell went into mediation with Amegy after being in arrears for around $12 million, with $200,000 in property taxes owed, as well as $703,232 in interest, court records show. Beginning in 2010, both the bank and the owner continued to try to work out the loan before going to foreclosure. The stadium and property are valued at around $5 million.
The stadium was built on the site of the former LaGrave Field, which was the location of the Cats until around 1964. Plans were in the works for nearby land to also be used in a mixed-use development but the recession put a halt to progress in that project. In an attempt to settle a bit of the bank debt in 2010, Bell sold nearly 38 acres nearby.