Mesa’s Bell Bank Park in financial trouble, despite promises of economic boost

Bell Bank Park's non-profit owner, Legacy Cares, Inc., defaulted on its municipal bonds.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 5:32 PM MST|Updated: Oct. 26, 2022 at 5:52 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Construction on the 320-acre sports complex, Ball Bank Park in east Mesa, began in September 2020. It finished up in January, yet there are already contractors who claim they haven’t gotten paid for their work here at Bell Bank Park.

What began as a state-of-the-art idea quickly started to dwindle. “Compared to fields that I played at? We never played at fields this good. We played at rocks and mud and dirt. These fields are great,” said Steve from New Jersey. “This is the first time we’ve played this particular tournament here at this park. And it’s by far probably one of the better facilities that we play at,” said Michelle Larsen.

Last week, a notice issued to investors claimed the park operators, a nonprofit called Legacy Cares, missed monthly payments and failed to submit audits and financial statements.

George Larsen and his wife, Michelle, are visiting from the Virgin Islands as part of a senior baseball league. “Men’s senior baseball league is very, very popular. Like he said, we’ve been doing this for over 30 years so there is some big bucks being paid. We pay dues every year, so to not pay for the construction of the facility seems a little bit off,” Michelle said.

At least ten subcontractors filed liens against the property owner. “I hope they get paid. You know, and it would be a shame if they didn’t,” Steve said.

Bell Bank Park is financed with municipal bonds, loans from investors paid back over time with interest. Taxpayers will not be held accountable. But investors, on the other hand, could see a huge financial impact. “Now you have to pay obviously to book the facility, so let’s get on the horn and get those guys paid,” Steve said.

In an effort to cover operational costs, Legacy Cares increased the pricing in admissions and began charging for parking.

Legacy Cares sent a statement to Arizona’s Family:

We also reached out to a company who filed a claim with Maricopa County, but did not hear back. “It’s very shocking, very shocking, and very disappointing as well,” said Steve.