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Lakewood Arena Bankruptcy Sale cancelled

It gets curiouser and curiouser every day in the Lakewood Ranch Arena saga. Monday’s planned bankruptcy sale was cancelled … because of another bankruptcy notice.You can’t tell the bankrupticies without a scorecard these days in the Lakewood Ranch saga. On Monday, the foreclosure auction for what is left of the half-finished arena was supposed to occur. But it was suddenly cancelled because DVA Arena, LLC for protection under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code.  DVA is the current owner of the site.

They were lined up ready to start bidding this morning in Judge Paul Logan’s courtroom when a court clerk entered and announced the sale had been cancelled because of a "suggestion of bankruptcy."

A delegation led by John Rakolta Jr., the CEO and owner of prime contractor Walbridge Aldinger, flew in from Detroit, was prepared to put money down on the uncompleted hockey arena at Lakewood Ranch. "If we weren’t prepared to bid more than $6.7 million, we wouldn’t have come today," said a disappointed Rakolta.

Sondra Guffey, spokeswoman for Schroeder Manatee Ranch, said this morning the developer had not yet been formally notified of the filing. SMR also had hoped to purchase the hockey arena project at the foreclosure sale and complete the project.

DVA may have some plans of their own.

"The Chapter 11 filing gives DVA additional time to reorganize the company and raise the additional capital needed to complete the arena project," said Sal Diaz-Verson, president of DVA, in the press release announcing the bankruptcy. "We remain fully committed to bringing a top-notch sports and entertainment venue to Southwest Florida."