Done Deal: Bruce Bemer Officially Owner Of The Waterford Speedbowl

The Waterford Speedbowl

The Waterford Speedbowl

The saga of the transferring of ownership of the Waterford Speedbowl is officially over.

After much legal wrestling the last three months in court over the foreclosure auction, Bruce Bemer made quick work of getting the property in his hands once he could.

Bemer is now the owner of the Waterford Speedbowl.

Bemer confirmed that he closed on ownership of the property Thursday morning.

“It’s all closed,” Bemer said. “It’s a done deal.”

It ends a drawn out foreclosure saga that began on Oct. 18 when Bemer was the high bidder – at $1.75 million – in the foreclosure auction of the facility.

Bemer’s hopes to get his hands on the facility quickly after the auction were dashed when creditor Ed DeMuzzio began setting legal roadblocks in the way of a quick transfer.

On Jan. 26 DeMuzzio filed a formal appeal of the sale price, which could have possibly put transfer of the property in jeopardy for over a year. But on Wednesday DeMuzzio settled in a deal with other creditors and Bemer and withdrew his appeal.

Superior Court Judge Emmet Cosgrove had previously approved the sale price of the facility before DeMuzzio’s appeal.

Bemer said his intention is to run a traditional weekly season beginning with races in April.

Bemer was a surprise bidder to many during the Oct. 18 auction of the facility, but his steps forward in preparing for the 2015 season were slowed in court by DeMuzzio.

DeMuzzio was at risk of losing $250,000, which included about $110,000 invested in the property and about $140,000 in accrued interest.

On Nov. 14 Cosgrove had denied two objections to the sale price filed by DeMuzzio and his company, CCI Inc., essentially approving the sale price at that time, but opening the door for DeMuzzio to file a formal appeal.

DeMuzzio had filed the motion for the judge to reconsider his approval of the sale price on Dec. 3. DeMuzzio had been facing a deadline then to file a formal appeal of the approval of the sale when he filed the motion to reconsider.

On Jan. 5, Superior Court Judge Emmet Cosgrove denied a motion by DeMuzzio to reconsider the previous approval of the auction sale price of the Speedbowl.

The Jan. 5 ruling essentially put the case back to where it was Nov. 14 when Cosgrove approved the sale price, giving DeMuzzio the right to file a formal appeal of the sale price.

The formal appeal of the approval of sale could have delayed transfer of the property from owner Terry Eames to Bemer for more than a year and could have put the 2015 racing season at the track in jeopardy.

On Nov. 3 Cosgrove heard objections to the sale filed by DeMuzzio and CCI Inc. 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.

There was just over $2 million owed on the property by Eames and his ownership group 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.

In denying the motion on Jan. 5 to reconsider the approval of the sale price, Cosgrove said there was “nothing … that makes the court doubt the fairness of the sale price.”

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.

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  1. So happy can’t wait for this year

  2. congrats mr bemer

  3. Best news we have head in a long time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. former scale guy Bob says

    Great New’s on the “Speediness” of the sale once all was said and done Mr.Bemer. Any Idea’s as to whom will be in what position come Raceday?

  5. Hope to visit a couple of times this year.

  6. former worker says

    Yeee Haaa hope this time he hires people who don’t steal like jerrys did and terrys rat crew too.Welcome Mr. Bemer!!

  7. Inside Track says

    Congratulations to Mr Bemer and Thank You for saving a Speedway. People who have racing in their blood appreciate what you have just done.

  8. Great news! A racetrack is a terrible thing to waste.

  9. Congrats if any of us can help, let us know.

  10. Doug DiPisa says

    Maybe now I can bring in the food sponsor and not be told that I can’t because “I” run the concessions and it would cut into his profits even though we offered a % of sales.

  11. This is GREAT news. I would like to suggest that after the dust settles and Bruce gets organized and determines his needs that we organize a voluntary “Speedbowl Cleanup Day”. He has helped out a lot of us race fans by saving the track. I am sure with all the skills and know ledge all of our race fans have that we could get a lot done for Bruce. In addition to filling the seats each race day this would be a great project. What do you think?

  12. jim phillips says

    im in for the clean up its the least we can do to show our support for Bruce

  13. Good job, now we can all go see the races, My husband and I have 4 adopted grandboys and they can hardly wait till you all open. So we can go see you all.

  14. I am so happy to see that this track has been saved. I one visit to Waterford and I loved the place good luck to the new owner.

  15. Dick Burdick says

    Dick Ayers-Great idea..ill be there,Bruce,supply the paint.

  16. Awesome, lindsay and I are willing to do what we can to help! Let’s go racing!

  17. Great news. The Speedbowl started my love of racing with the modifieds and daredevils in the 1960’s as a young boy from Nowich. That love has continued for over 50 years. I look forward to supporting Mr. Bemer and wish him huge success in the years to come at the Bowl.

  18. I am so happy for Mr. Bemer that the final roadblock was removed so he could get ownership of the SpeedBowl. I think that Dick Ayers idea of a voluntary Speedbowl clean and spruce up to help out. is a fantastic idea. Mr. Bemer had to jump through all kinds of hoops to get possession of the place. I think that one hell of a work crew could be raised by the fans, drivers, car owners could do a whole lot of work with out paying a contractor to do the work. I hope that it is not too late to get the Mod tour and the VMRS back to the track Good Luck to Mr. Bemer as the new owner and finally got rid of the Ames mismanagement !

  19. George Buzel says

    Thank you Mr. Bemer, let’s go racing!

  20. Brian Danko says

    Great news for all the teams and fans of the Waterford Speedbowl and racing in general. Hopefully, they will have a great year.

  21. Good Morning Shawn,It is time for a comprehensive interview with Bruce Bemer.The groundswell of support and excitement for Mr.Bemers takeover of the Speedbowl is impressive.Please link our three most important assets(racers,fans,management)together with your best work efforts ever.I am looking forward to a transparent operation of one of Americas best short tracks.Shawn,your role in this is critical.Thanks!

  22. I kind of have to agree with 450mike. We all kind of want to know his vision, what his plans and hopes are for the Speedbowl. With so many of us willing to volunteer our time, myself included, it would be great to know not only what he is looking to do, but how we can help. To many of us, the Waterford Speedbowl is much more than just a place to go watch races, or race. It’s our home. I am sure we all understand Mr Bemer has a lot on his plate to get the season up and running but if he has a few moments to have a short discussion and report it would be great to know what to expect and how we can help.

  23. I’m willing to bring my bob cat n bucket truck and crew to the clean up . Let’s make this happen . I’m all in ! I’ll clean up all the over growth and hanging trees .use the bob cat to move debris dress up infield and what ever else we can think of . Let’s get the Bowl all shined up !

  24. Plz keep TERRY EAMES out of there.

  25. Great news looking forward to supporting Waterford as much as possible

  26. Great job Shawn on XM Frontstretch. Glad we have Race Day Ct and XM radio helping promote our great sport.

  27. Try to get the car count up they equal people which will bring money. Bring back the program booklet Ronnie did an excellent job selling it.announce the car and driver as they enter the track so we can associate the car number with the driver treat the people like it is there first time there and you want them back. And blow up those nasty bathrooms.we need bathrooms at both ends of the track.Try to get the price down to come there. Congratulations.

  28. Glad it is finaly settled and he can move forward. 2 things 1st and foremost is get rid of Terry if he is still involved other then tearing tickets the cars will never come back. 2 do what it takes to get Sid back and doing what he does best. Good luck hope he makes the right moves

  29. Youhavenoidea says

    I have to say this guy means business going there plowing the snow to start working and having crews there it’s kinda crazy but good to see that Bruce really cares and is ready and willing to put the effort and heart the speedbowl needs. Thank u Bruce and thank u Shawn for ur great reporting!!

  30. Good luck Mr. Bemer, glad to see everyone willing to pitch in and support you. And once the track is up and running we should all try and bring a friend with us when we attend the races. With a quality field of cars hopefully returning and the usual side by side racing unfolding week after week there is no reason this place shouldn’t be packed every Saturday night.

  31. Adam Discko says

    Congrats to Mr. Bemer, hope he improves the facility in anyway he can.

    Any word on keeping the Thrill shows? I am a big fan of attending those

  32. Frankie Tree says

    Shawn , Any news on when we get to meet and talk about what are his plans and what classes will run,rules,officials ect ? There is a lot of people in our division wondering if they should continue to build a car for seekonk or Waterford ? There is rumor that Shawn M is out new race director ! What have you heard ? Any news is good news and please keep us posted . Ty

  33. Frankie,
    I think Mr. Bemer will be ready soon to talk about all the plans that are being put in place.

  34. I hope Frankie Tree is mistaken. Mr. Monahan may be a “nice guy” but it is clear he can’t control his temper. he does not have the demeanor or experience to be a race director or promoter. Mr. Beamer would be better served to hire an experienced team to avoid growing pains and issues that have plagued the place for years. I like the bowl but what no one needs is more politics and favoritism. Get some outsiders who are unbiased and things will improve dramatically in the pits

  35. A small matter, but did Mr. Bemer acquire the rights to the name “Waterford Speedbowl”? Or, will there be a new name for the track?

    Shawn – I no longer receive email alerts when a new article is posted? Also, we no longer have the option to “follow” comments?

  36. Rafter,
    No changes to the name as is known now. Looking to add the email alerts / comment alerts soon.

  37. Frankie Tree says

    Agreed with Speed Kills . I think someone new and a outsider with out connections to the local racers would work but if it’s Shawn I’m sure he will be coached and learn to do his role is a professional manner . He is a big supporter and has tried to save the track so we should admire that and hope his hearts in the right place . I know from out division there will be a lot of support and will be there to meet and greet our new owner . Thanks again Shawn for this forum .

  38. I feel there is no real concern as to what the new owner calls the Speedbowl from the racers or fans point of view. What does it really matter, us racers will be back regardless of what it is named. As I said before “out with the old, and in with the new”.

    My largest concern is will we be paid for the last race we raced or maybe we will be able to use the purse money towards the upcoming banquet. Has anyone heard about a possible banquet credit?

  39. Shawn, Has there been any news on your end regarding a sanctioning body. Some competitors I’m sure (us included ) have held off acquiring new Nascar drivers licenses,etc. until the dust settled. Congrats and thank you to Mr Bemer. Make it shine…

  40. Rich O says:
    February 5, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Great news. The Speedbowl started my love of racing with the modifieds and daredevils in the 1960’s as a young boy from Nowich. That love has continued for over 50 years. I look forward to supporting Mr. Bemer and wish him huge success in the years to come at the Bowl.
    DITTO: Roy G, from East Hampton. Fell in love with racing after first auto race at SB in 1960.

  41. Spring is only 1 month away.

  42. Spring 1month away.

  43. Paul Watrous says

    Here are a few names of folks who could run the weekly shows and do it professionally and fairly. Lets make Dick Cerevolo Director of Racing and Phil Smith Director of Operations – just for starters!

  44. Please keep the announcers and flaggers . Please bring back the weekly program book.

  45. crazy larry says

    DICK!!!!!!! out with the old!!!!!!!!

  46. Please change the Waterford speed bowl message on the phone line, it is annoying. Thank you.

  47. Youhavenoidea says

    Get rid of the kid flagged he has no clue keep the announcers tho they are great, also to larry I don’t think anyone will be getting paid for the last couple weeks of racing bc terry took that went on vacation and spent it on some upgrades on his wife and seeing as the banquet has nothing to do with him either I doubt that altho it would be nice. Mr Beemer will run it legit and we will have a check each week with taxes taken out just like Stafford but id rather that then pay it at the end of the year.

  48. Please keep Allen b kool, and Bob Potter as pace car driver.

  49. Love this place I come a lot with my family but today is the last show here for me I’ll take my money elsewhere Thompson or Seekonk I heard everyone talking about how they did not pay to get in today I feel like a sucker

  50. Jessica, I’m sure your mistaken. I really doubt everyone got in for free.

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