3 governments strike deals to help pay for Rossford arena

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 14

The Rossford Arena Amphitheater Authority agreed to three key deals yesterday that could provide more than $2.3 million a year to pay for the complex near the I-75 and Ohio Turnpike interchange.

By a 4-0 vote, the authority approved deals with Rossford, Perrysburg Township, and Wood County to help fund the planned $48 million Crossroads of America arena and amphitheater complex.

Rossford and Perrysburg Township have agreed to the deals already. Wood County officials met with arena project representatives yesterday, and the commissioners are expected to consider the county’s deal early next week.

The complex will be funded through revenue bonds, which are scheduled to be sold next month. The amphitheater will open in May, 2000, with the arena following six months later.

The Rossford deal requires the city to turn over its admissions tax revenues and one-fourth of its hotel/motel tax revenues annually, until the complex is fully paid off.

Rossford Mayor Mark Zuchowski, who is also president of the arena authority, said the admissions tax contribution next year should be about $1.1 million. He estimated the hotel/motel tax contribution to be about $37,000. He said both should increase in coming years as the arena prospers and as the Crossroads of America area develops.

Under its deal, Perrysburg Township has agreed to provide one-half of its hotel/motel taxes, or about $135,000 annually, and an annual $1 million letter of credit for five years. Wood County’s agreement requires a contribution of up to $100,000 a year over five years, not to exceed a total of $300,000.

In the cases of Wood County and Perrysburg Township, their contributions will reach the arena authority after being sent through the Rossford/Perrysburg Township port authority. Keith Wilkowski, Rossford’s law director, said that was to “provide a level of comfort” for the governments.

The revenue sources will be used only if operating revenue isn’t high enough to pay off its annual debt service, which is estimated to be about $3.9 million.