Rocco Arbitell Says No Negotiating With Objecting Creditor In Speedbowl Foreclosure Mess

Foreclosure Sign WaterfordRocco Arbitell said Thursday that he and business partner Peter Borelli will not negotiate with Ed DeMuzzio to try and get DeMuzzio to scrap plans for an appeal of the recent Waterford Speedbowl foreclosure auction.

Arbitell and Borelli are the lead creditors in the ongoing saga that is the foreclosure auction of the Waterford Speedbowl property.

Glastonbury businessman Bemer was the high bidder – at $1.75 million – in the Waterford Speedbowl foreclosure auction that took place on Oct. 18. Bemer has said he intends to continue to run the property as a racing facility.

There was just over $2 million owed on the property by owner Terry Eames at the time of the auction. The property had recently been valued at about $3 million and was being advertised on the market for sale with an asking price of $3.3 million prior to the auction.

DeMuzzio, a Groton businessman, was one of the creditors involved in the foreclosure case. DeMuzzio filed an objection to the sale price on Nov. 3. New London Superior Court judge Emmet Cosgrove ruled against the objection last Friday and approved the sale price.

But DeMuzzio has 20 days from Nov. 14 to appeal the decision. DeMuzzio said Monday he planned to appeal, but still needed to meet with his attorney to go over details. Attempts to reach DeMuzzio Thursday were unsuccessful.

“I feel bad for Ed but we all took a risk with this thing,” Arbitell said. “It’s not good for anybody. It’s been a nightmare. I don’t blame Ed. That’s a lot of money to lose. He called me and I told him ‘I’m not going to be mad at you for what you’ve got to do. You do what you’ve got to do. But I did the best I could.’”

An appeal could possibly keep the sale to Bemer from happening for more than a year.

Including accrued interest, DeMuzzio was owed $250,000 by Eames and his ownership group at the time of the foreclosure. If the sale price is approved by the court he will not get anything in return.

“If we could get all the players that are involved to kick in a little bit, if I could just get half, some reasonable amount, I would be more than happy,” DeMuzzio said Monday. “I don’t need to get all my money back, I just want it to be fair.”

Arbitell said Thursday that he will not negotiate.

“I’m not negotiating at all,” Arbitell said. “We did the best we could for everybody. We didn’t have to do what we did. These guys could have bid themselves. We went as far as our limit could go that day and we almost got ourselves in trouble. … The only guy that could maybe settle with him, Bemer should be the one to come up with the money.

“We don’t like the idea of an appeal. This could go on for a year. We’re not happy with that. But if it goes on for year then that’s what happens.

“If they would have listened to me way way back, this would have never happened. I tried to get to them all together a long time ago that we would stick together and buy it as a team and everybody stays in place and they didn’t want to do it and that was it.”

In his objection, DeMuzzio alleged that there was collusion between creditors Rocco Arbitell, Peter Borelli, Theodore Parker and Shawn Parker to keep the bidding price low for the auction. DeMuzzio also argued that the property should have been better marketed to attract a higher bid in favor of creditors to realize returns on their debts.

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 March 2013, Arbitell and the rest of the creditors involved in the bankruptcy moved to have foreclosure action retaken against the Speedbowl ownership, which led to the Oct. 18 auction.

Follow RaceDayCT On FacebookFollow RaceDayCT On Twitter


  1. Guy Fortier says

    gosh will it ever end

  2. If push comes to shove I think Mr. Beamer will make sure the Speedbowl opens on time….

  3. What continues to boggle my mind in all of this is, why doesn’t Demuzzio pursue the guy he lent the money to in the first place! I know what will be said, your not gonna get blood from that stone but bring suit against him for whatever he has and owns to recoup his money.

  4. Terry Aames still owns the speedway,so it will be him that opens the track on time.

  5. Crazy in NY says

    They should make this a mini series on PBS or something. Or…how not to invest on Fox Business. Racers and track investors have one thing is common it seems. They both throw a lot of money at this game hoping for good outcomes. Doesn’t always work out
    on OR off the track. Like everybody else I hope the Bowl’ lives on.

  6. Doug DiPisa says

    All this stuff about DeMuzzio recouping his money. How about Beamer being able to get a start at getting a return on his investment ? Tell you what. Rip up the scoring system, drop it off at the pizza place. Pay him for the website and call it even. Crap, I’ll pay for the new scoring system. The old one was biased anyway :)-

  7. Chalk it up to a business loss and let Bruce Bemer have at it

  8. Dougs conscience…………..”ITS TC’ FAULT”

  9. Hope he cleans house. Brand new everyone don’t care how long it takes. When I was a kid the speedbowl was king! Only hope it returns to the track it was……..

  10. That’s pretty funny Doug! +1 for you!

    Uh I am pretty sure Terry does NOT own the speedway at this time. It was foreclosed on by creditors and auctioned “off”.

    No court is going to allow any business to be conducted on the property while any appeals are in play, not when there is a “purchase agreement/action” pending the appeal.

    My guess – and it is nothing more than that – is DeMuzzio did not bid the morning of the auction because even if he had enough for the cashier’s check to bid (Shawn, what was the amount, something like 330K?), and even if he had the financing lined up to back the final bid amount – whatever it ended up as – he’s playing an expensive, risky game of ‘poker’ to try and bid it up the auction to recoup his original 110K +140K in interest – or heck, even half of that!

    I mean, it’s basically going on an “all in bluff” with the other 90% of your chips to recoup the 10% you lost a few hands ago.

    Not good strategy. And Demuzzio probably knew that, so he took his chances that two or more bidders would get the price up there.

    Didn’t turn out that way – as Arbitell said “We went as far as our limit could go that day and we almost got ourselves in trouble”.

    So Ed ends up in a “no win” situation, with the only hope being to try and get the auction result “voided” and conducted again, with hopes of a higher amount.

    Mr. Bemer is a businessman – pretty successful too. He knows he has multiple options for the property, and he has an agreement to pay a bargain price.If DeMuzzio ends up being the only one to appeal? It might be worth another 100K to lock in the deal to grab the property at that bargain price.

    I don’t see Bemer risking add’l atty fees and the chance of another auction being conducted – with risk of a higher result or maybe not even winning it – over 100K – or 5.7% of the winning bid price.

    Mr Arbitell is exactly right: Mr. DeMuzzio – Have your atty call Mr Bemer’s atty and cut a deal for somewhere around 100K. The accrued interest is out of play, go for the principal.

  11. JR,
    The deposit check needed to bid was just a little over $300,000. And as I understand it, yes Terry Eames is still considered the owner of record of the facility until the property changes hands.

  12. If for some reason Waterford does not run in 2015. You can be pretty sure that it will spell the end for the bowl. Race tracks do not recover from situations like this. It’s been proven time and time again. Hopefully this won’t be the case.

  13. cloud over the bowl says

    it seem’s at every turn there’s another behind the door deal or action or sceam (sorry spelled that wrong Eame) that come’s out of this place since he sceam (sorry again i get them mixed up Eames) has had his hands on the place …everyone that’s involved in local racing or in ear shot of the tv …newspaper…online media…etc…know’s that for years this guy… does not fly straight …contractors not payed ..racers not payed …venders not payed …and the biggest of all the mortgage not payed….like a cat he kept getting another life..a loan here ..a loan there…a scoreboard…and then ..the big one … a new mortgage …new life ..saved at the last minute by a guy that loved and supported racing …..great …a new start….do things the rightway this time like pay your bills….NO.. just more of the same….don’t pay it worked before will work again….and …there’s always bankruptcy too i could use….and don’t pay the lawyer that got it for you ….and don’t pay the crediters the court ordered you to pay…what’s up with this guy ..if this was the saprano’s well you know.. ..But he’s still here …BUT again …. the big thing here IS the track stayed open all those years …all that cash was still going thu those gates …front and back ….But were did it go ? …..just think in your own little world or business if you had no bill’s to pay.. no mortgage payments…but your paycheck keeps rolling in every week or business account with all that cash keeps coming year after year and you have no more room to store it ….if i was one of the people that sceams ..o sorry again common nature now …eames…had my money i would be looking right there in his back yard …we all know its cash and it can be found by the right people !!!!!!!!!!!!! ….just a fly on the wall’s opinion ….

  14. mr bemer made a deal at auction for the track, I’m sure he bid to what he figured the track to be worth, bargain or not, for him to “kick in more money” is not fair on his part, if the others don’t want to “kick in ” also, to put it all on him is not a fair deal, for him to “kick in” takes money away from him, money that the track needs invested in it to bring it up to more modern standards. What’s to say that if Mr Bemer ends up walking away from this, ( as there are other investments out there that require less bull), that the track will sell again for as much? It may sell again for less and this will all be happening again, If it sells again, I see the end of the track not to far off.. If some conclusion to this can’t be reached soon then I fear the 2015 season will not happen, there needs to be time to write rules, get things in order, and to do some minor work to the track to get it ready.. someone made a bad investment on a track or on Terry, and is looking for someone else to bail him out, who is the bad guy here? If one can not afford to lose, then maybe one should not have invested… face it we all have lost money in one way or anther… but most of us were brought up to take our blame, not run and blame everyone else… Good luck for us the fans of this track, but I see the ship sinking on us

  15. cloud over the bowl says

    that was some of my point why i said people need to go after eames himself ….the price of ANYTHING is only worth what someone will pay for it today …reality is number one in that market …if that place was as this man my think .. WORTH more…( which was proved by a PUBLIC auction that it’s not)….then investors would have lined the parking lot to bid on a steal of a deal where they could flip it for a sure profit…it’s done everyday …its was advertised in the wall st. journal were all the big time money is …and i am sure many people looked at it …but the bottom line is it’s what it is …a 60 year old racetrack …not many people lined up for them …then you say look at the property …prime location for what ?….an i am sure it does not have any environmental contamination issues with the dirt ? where you would have to spend like $$$$$$$$$…you get it… to get a permit to build on it …you do not think a property investor looked at things like that …this man needs to open his eyes fast ….going after a public auction …(again after the judge shut you down already) will get you nowhere but further in the hole with your attorney …if he says its a good plan to appeal i would seek further advise from another …the only one making out would be his bank account …

  16. cloud over the bowl says

    forgot to add …have his attorney contact eames instead of the appeal and tell him they are looking into finding the people that do forensic audit’s ….i think he will try to make a deal with you fast and dig up his back yard before someone else does …

  17. Someone who cares says

    I’m no rocket scientist but it seems pretty simple…the auction has been advertised over and over again…word of mouth, facebook, newspapers ect. Even the judge agreed that it had been advertised enough….one creditor wants his money back which is understandable to a point….over the years everyone who has invested any money or time has pretty much lost their shirt…most of the investors went in knowing what was at stake..first with Robinson then with Eames…um hello maybe before you put your money in you should have gotten rid of the main problem…the ones doing nothing but lining their own pockets….I really hope that Mr. Neamer decides to do the smart thing and make sure that Eames is no where near the operations or money for the track. I also hope that he doesn’t get frustrated and walk away.

  18. Look at Wall speedway in New Jersey. Closed for one full season except for one race and was open full time the next year. The place was never closed on so doesn’t Terry technically still own the place? Would the courts forbid him to open for the season next year?

  19. There is one person who is the common denominator here and we all know who that is. He is the one that put this facility in the position it is in time and time again. Just remember if the track closes for this season the Town may be the biggest player in the game and you may not see the track re-open at all.

    I also disagree with some that Mr. Bemer should make a financial deal with Mr. DeMuzzio that will compensate him for some of his loses. Investments are a risk and sometimes that risk does not pay off. How many of us with a 401k lost when the stock market took the big slide and lost hundred of thousands of dollars. Should we have sued wall street?

    Mr.DeMuzzio, please take your gripe up with the person who owes you money Mr. Eames and lets move on.

  20. Georgie Boy says

    I would like the term” Cleared Bankrupcy “defined here.Mr Eames never followed through on the bankrupcy agreement.if he had none of this would have taken place.It was basically thrown out because he failed to pay a trustee and refused a court appointed receiver to handle and oversee the money that the track was taking in.Again if he had followed through on his commitment all the creditors would be getting regular payments from the trustee and although they would wait a while to get paid…..they would eventually be made whole.When is everyone going to wise up and see this for what it is.Mr Eames is simply a lousy buisinessman.Probably not a bad guy,just a lousy buisinessman.Im disappointed that he doesnt come forward and accept responsability for this.Meanwhile,some creditors are trying any avenue possible to get paid,when according to what im told,its ultimtley Mr Eames responsability.My thinking here is he is standing back and smiling as hes salivating at another chance to line his pockets for the coming season.This contradicts all the quotes and bull#### thats hes spouted thru the years about how he loves racing and the track.What a load of bunk.Hes only loving the money every week and no one to put the reigns on him or hold him accountable.What a shame.

  21. The speedbowl is dead. I just don’t see this ending well. He WILL appeal and it WILL get dragged out and it WILL not ever see another racecar. Is just way to much BS to overcome. hope im wrong but I feel its a dead issue

  22. I am not mad at the creditor, there is a reason he has a chance to get his money back, he has a lein on the property to protect his money it’s the collateral for the loan. Sure it’s dragging out the process for the new regime to come in, but I wouldn’t give up on my money owed either, suing Terry won’t get his money it’s the property that will, unless he gets his money from Beamer or other interested parties this will be a slow long process. If another auction happens it will sell for alot more than it did, 3.3 million asking price scared other investors off, a 2 million price will attract more attention.

  23. Wow justafan. Pretty strong words. I too hope your wrong. The sign at the entrance says “see you in 2015” so at least someone has hope.

  24. Schooled Invester says

    Hello, wake up Rich and everyone else. Do you know why it sold for $1.75M at a well publicised auction (Wall Street Journal is well read BTW)? Because it is a “distressed sale” with many things that can derail the deal, thats why! See all these headaches for the “winner” at this auction? This is why full asking price is rarely realized. Add onto that the fact that you are buying “as is, where is, how is”. That means you accept all the risk, zero warrantee or assurance on anything. Risk cost money, that reduced the value plain and simple.

    Additionally, terms of a typical auction of this nature have payment terms of 30 days paid in full. The process of securing a commercial loan takes much longer than that every time. So, that limits the number of qualified buyers considerably to persons that have CASH on hand to pay. Think of that. How many people do you know have $2M cash to spend period, forget risking it on a race track. I’ll answer that for you, ZERO!

    Lets do some math, $3.3M full value price dreamed up by the tax man who has an interest in determining the highest possible value. Subtract $100k (minimum) full environmental investigation, testing, and report. There is a chance some pollution remediation is required, subtract $1M. We are now down to $2.2M. Now, see the mess we are in now? Sorting through this costs money in lawyers and such, subtract another $100k. Tying up your approx $2M for up to a year while this mess gets worked out costs $100K at least. Now we are down to an even $2M before even starting to address the dilapitated facilities. $250K investment needed to upgrade catch fence, grandstands, bathrooms, etc to get up to a minimum required health and safety level for an honest businessman to operate this as a business and still sleep at night. Guess what, the final price is $1.75M! That is a lot of money and another auction will not yield more. It will probably be lower actually since now every potential buyer is scared off by the objections and rediculous claims being brought forth.

    Look, you invest with risk and sometimes you lose, get over it.

  25. Ok. I’ll be the mediator here.
    We all know Demuzzio wants his 250000. We also know the property was appraised at 3 million.

    Beamer buys the property at auction 1.7 mil. That makes Arbitell and Borelli happy being they bought on the foreclosure.
    My question is to Arbitell, being you are a racing sponsor and fan. Would it be easier to however you would call this( borrow or finance) the 250000 to Beamer to pay Demuzzio so we the racers whom in which are also a big part of what goes on up at the track have a place to race? We bring the product and are doing our part to make that happen. Figure it as a silent partner.

    Even if Beamer would borrow or put out of his pocket another 250000, he would still be ahead of the game with the appraised value of the property.

    As for Arbitell, I don’t know about you but I’d feel more comfortable financing to a businessman like Beamer then to someone else. And it also wouldn’t be like like your last endeavor for millions.

    That’s my 2 cents from my cell phone :)-

  26. eh, I have to play devil’s advocate for a minute. Terry did make a living out of the place, and as we’ve all seen, there were many investors who stand to lose. But any bean counter would have shut the place down during the last real estate boom and put as many houses on that lot as they could. It’s Waterford, have you looked at lot or house prices in Waterford even now, years after the heyday of the market? I really don’t care if he lined his pockets, or took a couple of nice vacations. He kept the doors open when people would have shut it down in favor of a profit.

    Yeah, terry wasn’t perfect. Light years ahead of that robinson guy, who was the most arrogant POS I’ve ever dealt with. Terry’s not as good as Donald trump or humpy wheeler. But, the doors were open, and we raced cars, not lawn mowers in the newest hipster subdivision. Face it, it’s the bowl, not charlotte, or Daytona. You’re not going to get Humpy or Trump. we had a decent person in control who kept the doors open.

    as for the demuzzio guy, look, you hang a malloy sign out front, foley supporters aren’t going to flock to see you. It is a cost of hanging that shingle out there. You state that the track could be used for other purposes and push to redo the auction so industrial users like fedex can bulldoze it, hey, did you think those of us with tens of thousands of dollars in our racing operation would be happy? We’re pissed, and we have a right to do business elsewhere. It is still America, and we have investments in this place too.

  27. Debbie downer says

    As much as it pains me to type this I believe the Finale was the last race we’ll ever see at the bowl. This is going to get tied up in appeals and legal bs, and if the place sits idle all of next year and beyond, the town of Waterford becomes the owner due to back taxes and once that happens the last thing they will allow it to become is a racetrack again.

  28. cloud over the bowl says

    right on schooled invester …..that’s what i said about the property…. they were lucky that mr. bemer showed up ….one and the only one person that wanted the place and had the money to buy it …demuzzio like i said needs to open his eyes fast …talk to people in the know asap…whether its someone in real estate…or another attorney that has the foresight and knowledge that an appeal is not going to work…. in two ways ….first trying to get it by a judge after one has already ruled against you…so lets say even by some miracle judge judy see’s it your way ….now you have to re-auction the place were after almost a year advertising it …ONE .thats right..ONE PERSON in the whole united states bid on it …the odds your facing….. just go buy some ct. lottery tickets ….you will have better shot there getting your money back…this whole thing just does not make common sense!!!!! ..someone wake this guy up…you went to vegas and you lost get over it like the rest of us would …or maybe he’s playing one of eames deals stirring the pot till someone pays him off to go away ?

  29. James Scott says

    Shawn thanks again for all the info and this informative site. Do you think Mr. Beamer will comment soon on this situation? Personally I have to believe he is in for the long haul. He paid bargain basement price for the property so I have to think he will stick it out. I think this will be resolved and there will be racing at some point in 2015. It’s only been a little over a month now. Let’s just be patient.

  30. Schooled investor makes a lot of sense out of the numbers. My only difference of opinion on his numbers is, I bet the rehab number on the physical plant is way north of $250 K unless you can find some good used bleacher seats. If I were Mr. Bemer I’d be as interested in knowing how many people need to get through the gates every week to make this a profitable business that generates enough cash to pay off creditors , create a season ending point fund and so that capital improvements can be made to continually improve the facility for competitors and fans. Given what he paid and how much cash he had to put up just to bid, I’d hope he has that figured out. Am I correct in my understanding that his bid money is considered good faith money and is held in escrow and if the sale fails to go through he gets it all back plus interest, unless he was the one who backed out of the deal?

    So Mr. Schooled if you are still reading this, help me out here. I figure if the track continues to host events 3 nights per week, the purse is figured to be roughly 40% of the front and back gate on race nights and he makes 10% commission on food sales charging an average of $15 per admission for a 26 week season with 3 rain outs, he needs to gross around $1 million for the season to make the track viable financially and for the season that means at least 3,000 people per week paying to be there. What do you think?

  31. darealgoodfella says

    Look, as it was stated, this is a distressed sale, meaning there is baggage, lots of baggage. Messy, expensive baggage. The longer this goes on, it doesn’t look good. And those that lost $$$$ are just pissed.

    Short tracks are closing, losing popularity, dwindling fans, high costs to insure and operate, being abandoned. They just do not have much value.

    Look at Riverhead. That real estate is worth a fortune, several times the dream appraisal of Waterford SpeedBowl. Never can that facility be bought from the Cromarty’s at a fair price and have the revenue generated from racing pay for the investment in a reasonable time. All because the racing product does not produce a revenue stream that can payback that enormous capital investment due to the phenomenally valuable real estate.

    Ticket prices in CT are the highest in short track racing already. Bemer would be silly to think he can raise prices.

  32. i see the biggest loser’s as being the creditor’s who will get paid from this sale of the track not happening, if this sale is not approved and ends up dragging out with an appeal then the people who are first on the list won’t see any money for. let’s say at least 6 moth’s to a year, there carrying cost of having a bad loan on there books goes up, (i.e. interest owed on loan) in turn that ends up making the next sale have to be worth more to cover them, then if it sell’s again at foreclosure and doesn’t bring more money to cover them, more money to cover all on the list, then we’ll be hack to where we are now, it seem’s to me that it will only cost the top people on the foreclosure chain more money not to try to settle for something with the bottom people, but then again that’s only my opinion, Mr Bemer has time on his hands, he can sit back and watch all parties destroy each other, if your on the top and your going to get you’re full payment on money’s lent them why can’t you be part of the solution, not the cause of the problem,,, or maybe the fan’s who want to see the track open again should open up a donation link to pay the man on the bottom so this place can get open again

  33. Well I read the Norwich Bulletin article and looks like Eames could very well run another season. Depends how long this drags on for.

  34. Paul Arbitelle Jr says

    What is happening here is a disgrace as far as the courts are concerned. They are allowing these never ending motions to continue which in turn result in one delay after another,, as PROCEEDURE allowed,, the auction did eventually take place.( end ) of Chapter 11 proceedings,, but no,, the court allows another motion,, that is no more then another stall tactic with no legal merit what so ever. In my personal opinion the court should end this farce here and now and approve the sale at action, award the ownership to the winning bidder and let him get on with the running of the Bowl in a manner that is better suited for all.
    I further believe that the IRS should take a serious look into the cash flow that goes through those gates etc. Shame on our justice system.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing