EDA File For Bankruptcy
August 17, 2012
Elmira (WENY) - The former owner of First arena and the current owner of the Elmira Jackals filed for bankruptcy. Court documents show Elmira Downtown Arena, LLC owes millions of dollars to creditors, and some of the businesses may never see the money they are owed. Elmira downtown Arena, owned in part by the Afr family, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in federal court. There are more than 50 different companies that are still owed money by EDA, some of them local, and say they need the money. John Longwell the president of the Twin Tier Ice Hockey Referees Association says his non-profit is owed money for the past6 months, but now, it doesn't look like they will get that money anytime soon.
“These are pizza delivery guys, guys making minimum wage, college students that are looking to pay for their books and meals in college. We actually get people from Ithaca area to come down and do games for us like college students, Ithaca College. These people have been questioning me, where's my money? and I don't have an answer.”
Longwell's Officials aren't the only ones. EDA also $11,000 to the City of Elmira, and more than $8,000 to the ECHL, the league the Elmira Jackals play in. There are dozens of other companies, which are owed hundreds of thousands. The Afrs and EDA filed for Chapter 11, which means they will try to reorganize their assets to pay back their creditors. Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli says this was was just a tactic to delay the recent sale of the arena.
“I just don't think this will change much other than it will slow it down. It may have an impact on hockey we will have to see it depends on how quickly it will get through the court system.”
Tom freeman has an arrangement with key bank to purchase the note for first arena. He will become the owner, once the federal bankruptcy court is finished.
“At the end we have the security of the arena and the back of the note and we just take possession of the arena,” says Freeman.
As for the referees and their money, they are just hoping to get something for their service.
“Well we would like to get all the money obviously but at this point in time I think some of my officials would settle for maybe a portion of that,” says Longwell.
Tom Freeman will go to the federal bankruptcy court and present the case to evict Elmira Downtown arena. He hopes the court allows the local eviction proceedings to continue, and have the bankruptcy proceedings continue separately.