Report by Dick Berry - email
Posted by LS
ROSSFORD (WTOL) - It was supposed to be a place where the biggest names in entertainment would grace it's stage. But the stars never came out, and this week the bulldozers moved in.
The proposed Rossford amphitheater is being demolished. However, the site still may have a future.
It's a good idea gone bad. When announced in 1999, the Rossford amphitheater would be the centerpiece of the Crossroads of America development. The Rossford Arena and Amphitheater Authority borrowed $5 million from Perrysburg Township to start the project. The authority, though, ran out of money to finish the project.
This week, the bulldozers moved in the raze the half-built amphitheater. "I don't think we were told the whole story," says Perrysburg Township Trustee Gary Britten, It sounds good. I think everybody went into it in good faith, not knowing there was not enough money to finish it."
After lengthy court battles with the authority, Perrysburg Township was only able to recover $50,000 of it's $5 million loan.
Britten says the lesson learned here is to always do your homework. "It's no different than investing your money in the bank or stock market. You've got to make sure it's a secure thing and know where your money is going and how it's being spent," he says.
The Ohio Carpenters Pension Fund bought the land the amphitheater sits on at a sheriff's sale. The plan is to sell the land to someone and have it developed.
In the meantime, the Crossroads area around the disgraced amphitheater continues to thrive. Retail, restaurants and hotels have popped up all over the place.
Rossford Mayor Bill Verbosky wants to see more of the same at the amphitheater site. "Sometimes you look at it and say 'What if?' But again, we have to now look at 'What can be' and that's what we plan to focus on in the future."
A turn from the negative to the positive.