Auction Date Still To Be Decided In Waterford Speedbowl Foreclosure Action

Waterford Speedbowl owner Terry Eames said a date still has not been determined for a sale auction connected to the foreclosure proceedings surrounding the shoreline race track.

Speedbowl-nightThe two sides were in court concerning the foreclosure and the possible setting of an auction date on Monday.

Rocco Arbitell, who moved to have the foreclosure action taken, had expected a foreclosure date to be set in October.

“The only thing we’re arguing over is setting an auction date,” Eames said. “They’d like sooner rather than later and we’d like it at the end of the [2014] season. We feel the competitors are owed a complete season and we feel the place is more marketable at the end of the season.”

Eames said the two sides expect to be in court again on Monday. He said he’s not giving up hope of somehow securing financing to get out from the foreclosure.

“The judge laid out a condition that he’d look at a later auction date if we could reach some agreement on the creditors having some higher degree of control or financial oversight,” Eames said. “And we’re amenable to that, we’re just trying to work out the details between our two attorneys.”

Arbitell is part of a group of creditors still owed money from a debt reorganization plan arranged through state bankruptcy court.

The group moved to have foreclosure action retaken against the Speedbowl ownership and that action began in March. The State of Connecticut Judicial Branch lists the plaintiffs in the action as Rocco Arbitell, Peter Borelli and the Committee of Sale.

In July 2007, Arbitell, a Southbury businessman and local racing supporter, along with his business associate Borrelli, stepped in to offer Eames and his ownership group, 1080 Hartford Road LLC, financing to avoid a foreclosure action being taken then by former mortgage holder Washington Mutual Bank.

The deal with Arbitell was announced a day before the track’s auction date for a foreclosure in 2007.

In May 2008 Arbitell brought his own foreclosure action against the ownership group after former track operator Jerry Robinson failed to pay the Speedbowl’s property taxes.

Facing another pending foreclosure auction, Eames and 1080 Hartford Road LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2009. A debt reorganization plan was accepted by bankruptcy court in January 2012 and the ownership cleared bankruptcy not long after that.

In September, Arbitell said he believed Eames would somehow stave off the foreclosure. Through much of the summer Eames was optimistic that he was close to a deal to get out from under the foreclosure, but that possibility fell apart in the fall.

“I continue to talk to a couple different groups about refinancing and I still have confidence that we’ll put together that kind of a deal,” Eames said.

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  1. If the committee of creditors were smart they would request a receipt for every dollar that rolls thru that place especially cash because the money is going somewhere.. Mr Eames where is the money going? The racers are owed to know.
    In this day in age it’s common that people can’t pay their bills and fall behind but I think it’s pretty sad then people say “The only thing we’re arguing over is setting an auction date,” that to me shows that the place will be gone sooner than later and it’s a crying shame and they have a lot of gall gathering season pass money when they could go under before the season starts because when a company liquidates the creditor get paid out before the independent contractors do so if the equity isn’t enough to pay the creditors the liquid funds will be used.
    Good bye speedbowl .. See you on the flip side.

  2. Dan,

    How does that show you the place will be gone soon? The story makes it clear that they’re fighting in court to have the date set after the season to give them more time to work something out. The story was pretty clear about that part.

  3. He’s had lots of chances and came up with money last minute before…courts tired of them games…game over! Off to stafford in 2014

  4. Man im sick of hearing this, The track will be open Terry will somehow make it happen…..

  5. All I know is that if I were a competitor at “The Bowl”, I’d be taking a serious look at my car and the rules for either Stafford or Thompson. Creditors that are owed a lot of money(enough money that requires this foreclosure proceeding) won’t wait almost another full year until they get their money. I certainly would not be buying any type of season pass to that track. It’s a shame really, there have been years and years of these types of rumors that the track got sold or is not going to open. I, for one, can see the light at the end of this tunnel, and if Eames can’t get the money to escape foreclosure, you can probably kiss that track goodbye.

    Should the track not remain open, I hope a track like Seekonk can pickup the classes and run them there, or have Thompson go to weekly racing on a Saturday night.

  6. sadder by the day. says

    Matt, Thompson??? Saturday night????….Thompson wants nothing to do with oval track racing….wait a year or two and you’ll see.

  7. The whole thing is like a bad hangover. It just won’t go away. As long as I’ve been involved in motorsports Waterford has been in trouble, and that’s a lotta lotta years.

  8. Its a shame because that track can be awesome! I have seen some great races there.

  9. The Bowl has nine lives. Management always pulls something out of their tail pipe at the last minute.

  10. I said it once I’ll say it again. If your glad that the speedbowl could close. Or not give a d@#$ if it never opens again and continue to be a race track. Then you are truly not a Auto Racing Fan!

    A Real Auto Racing fan would never want to see this race track or any race track go away.

  11. justwanarace says

    Ok it’s as simple as this, you can not continue screwing the people that have supported you for all these years and then look to them for support! The fans, lenders and competitors all deserve more than this. It is my opinion that the complete incompetence of this owner/promoter is why we are in this mess to begin with. The attitude of this guy is unreal, seriously. We do not need some miracle to happen so we have another year like last year or the one before that and the one before that… Remember the grand stands that are falling down, bounced checks & non payments and the favoritism from the owner and officials. It’s time for change! Take Stafford speedway for an example (Carquest) leaves and soon we will be hearing about another BIG TIME sponsor stepping up and spending lots of money why because they have happy fans, loyal competitors and officiate fairly.

  12. Well said justwanarace

  13. mike margiotta says

    Maybe NASCAR should step in, buy the track and keep the spirit of short track racing alive. Once it is turned around then sell it or keep it in their control.

  14. ^
    Ha, good one Mike M! As if NASCAR really cares about “the spirit of short track racing”!

    I’ve been going to the bowl for years and have heard good and bad about Terry. The good: he’s kept the Bowl open before and he’ll do it again. The bad: Nearly everything else. I’m hoping that Thompson’s reduced schedule will cause new fans and drivers to show up at Waterford. It seems like every week on this site we hear about a new team going to Waterford. It really shouldn’t have come down to Thompson’s “closing” to save Waterford, that’s pathetic. But it might just keep the Speedbowl out of debt…for another 2 years.

  15. Maybe the arutes can buy it and turn it around. Seems like it wouldn’t work but the two tracks only share one division of cars. So they feasibly wouldn’t hurt there own track as it is because most of the competitors that could run don’t run both tracks, at least not with the same car anyways. Just my two cents

  16. Like him or not Terry’s been involved with the speedbowl for 18 years, owner for 13, except when Robinson took it over for a couple years. Car counts and crowds have been up and down but seem to have been getting better lately. As long as it stays a track I don’t really care who owns it. Something needs to be decided one way or another so the 2014 season can start normally. I doubt Thompson cares if Saturdays became available because their focus is on the road course. Not having any shows on Sunday seems to prove that point. And I totally agree with Paul in that you see all these comments that people say about how they hope the bowl closes and how they hate the track. What a idiotic thing to say. No real race fan wants to see any track close.

  17. I just think it is sad and sickening that Mr. Eames says “the competitors are owed…” when i think the competitors would much rather see their checks not bounce or even get a check, but nothing is more of a kick in the gut to a competitor then to try to cash a $75.00 check and have it bounce then check his/hers facebook that evening and see posts from Mr and Mrs Eames of how they are enjoying their vacations around the world, I mean c’mon man if you cant afford to cover a $75.00 prize check how are you affording all these resort get away vacations. If i am in foreclosure troubles or cant afford to pay my outstanding bills and debts i certainly would not be going on vacation and then be stupid enough to be posting pictures of it all over social media for those that i have “screwed” to see every night. If Mr. Eames really gave a D*mn about the competitors that have supported him from day 1 then i think he owes it to them to either be honest with them for once or just simply step aside and just make sure the facility is kept a race track under someone or a group that is capable of running it as a successful race track and as an honest business. I still just can not understand how when the parking is close to full every Saturday night and yet the bills are not being paid and the purse checks are bouncing, where is the money really going? Someone earlier mentioned that they think the Arute family should buy it, i personally do not see that happening although it would be a good thing for the track i am not sure that family has any interest of purchasing the place, whoever does purchase it will have to spend some serious money on the place to get it back in good shape and realize it will most likely be a season or 2 before they any sort of profit turn around. And if Mr. Eames does find someone to assist him financially i sure hope the person demands some sort of major role in the management of the place whether its on a competition side or business side of the place they need to know what is going on and have some control what is going on down there. Lets face it if it does go to an auction sale anybody with the funding can purchase it and use it for any purpose they want to and we all know that if we lose it as a race facility now we will lose it forever. It is very hard to decide to stick with fielding a car at a place you have forever or making the decision to move on to a facility with more stability, I mean c’mon for the amount it costs to field a car at any track you want to invest your money into a car and team that you feel safe will have a place to race for the entire season, who wants to invest that kind of money to maybe only race a few weeks or possibly a half of season or if your lucky the entire season before the property sale auction date comes, seems it is more and more evident that it is going to happen it is now just a matter of when, even if a new financial backer is found for the current ownership, how long until we go through this whole mess again just with a different creditor? It seems that it happens every time with this guy look at the track record, eventually creditors are gonna catch on to this.

  18. The bowl is not going to close !!
    There’s only 3 main people here. And their all into racing . You have a guy that is into racing foreclosing on a guy who’s into racing. I’m pretty sure Arbitell doesn’t need to recoupe his money and sell the place.

  19. I would hate to see the place close, I just think it needs to be run the proper way and by someone who is more worried about paying his bills and making sure the competitors he claims to care about are paid and their checks don’t bounce then he is of what tropical paradise he is going to visit next. Arbitell is into racing very much but he is also a businessman and a pretty successful one at that, I am sure he did not get that way by just doing what he loves or is into, it is business decision and if it goes to sale by auction it does not matter what Arbitell, Terry, you or I want it to be or think it should be unless one of us or them is the higest bidder, not a lawyer but I do not think that the court can just hand the property and rights of the track to Arbitell at least in this stage they are currently in. Otherwise I am sure that is what they would be fighting for in court instead of setting an auction date. The track has a ton of potential under the right ownership and management, however like ANY business you have to put money into it to make it successful, that is the main problem here. Mr Eames seems to think whatever money he makes he can just put in his pocket and not pay his bills, like if you don’t pay your household bills it may be fine for a while but eventually it catches up with you and that I believe is what is going on here, lets just all keep our hopes optimistic that the place will remain the great racing facility that it has been for more then 60 years, I have been to many tracks all over the country and have yet to find a track with the action and side by side racing you find at the Waterford Speedbowl.

  20. The foreclosure is brought by Arbitel and borelli, not by a bank for instance. so I think if there bringing foreclosure action against him, that means they own the title to the track. I am not a lawyer by any stretch of the imagination. I could be completely wrong on this but it never mentions a bank so if it went to foreclosure I’m pretty sure title would return to the owners (arbitel and borelli) and from what has been written they want it to remain a race track. I don’t go more than twice a year but I would hate to see this place close. Once a track closes they almost never have any chance of bringing another one back.

  21. Josh paradis says

    It’s not raven his money to spend. His wife has all the money. He has nothing.

  22. Maybe the Town of Waterford should step in & buy the place. Clear the slate” so to speak. Let them run it.

  23. Flemington, ShangriLa/Tioga, Danbury,…once it’s gone, it never comes back. The fewer tracks, the less drivers and fans have to say about how the sport is run.

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