Legacy Park received a life line Tuesday as it was announced that Burke Operating Partners has agreed to purchase the struggling facility, allowing it to stay in business in southeast Mesa, at the Queen Creek border.
The planned $25.5 million sale was announced during an Oct. 24 bankruptcy court hearing. The deal is expected to close by the end of November. Much of the sales proceeds will be earmarked to pay the numerous companies that helped build Legacy Park. Other funds will be used to pay bondholders whose proceeds also funded construction.
Time was running out, but this come-from-behind victory in the form of a new owner allows Legacy Park to remain in business now that a buyer has stepped forward to operate the 320-acre sports complex, which includes multiple baseball, soccer, football and lacrosse fields, as well as basketball courts, a multi-acre great lawn for concerts and festivals, a 650-seat restaurant and a long list of other outdoor and indoor facilities.
Hundreds of events, big and small, were already booked at Legacy Park through the end of the year and will go on as planned now, like the inaugural California Police Athletic Federation's North American Fall Classic on Nov. 1, promoting sport and physical fitness among first responders.
The purchase not only rescues Legacy Park, but it will go a long way to resolve the complex bankruptcy case over the next few weeks. All parties hope to have the final sale approved by the federal bankruptcy court on Nov. 20, with all assets fully transferred to Burke by the end of November.
Keith Bierman, of MCA Financial Group, Ltd. in Phoenix, who has been serving as Legacy Park’s chief restructuring officer, and Mike Burke, managing partner of Burke Operating Partners, issued the following joint statement by press release late yesterday:
“This purchase ensures that a vibrant and popular sports complex will serve the community for years to come. Millions have enjoyed this facility since its doors opened in January 2022, and now those doors will remain open as a fresh start for this beloved park gets underway.
Indeed, we look forward to capital and operational improvements that will enhance the property’s future while preserving jobs and continuing to bring tremendous benefit to the community.
We also want to thank the many parties that came together to make the best of a very difficult situation. This spirit of compromise is what allowed the best possible result under the circumstances.”
Burke said his additional plans would be announced over the coming weeks, including "exciting new partnerships and capital investment in the facility to address issues and benefit all who visit."
Legacy Park is located at the intersection of State Route 24 and Ellsworth Road. It features eight baseball and softball fields; 19 basketball courts; 35 soccer, football and lacrosse fields; 57 indoor volleyball courts and 41 pickleball courts. In addition, the complex features 25 acres of festival space, a 2.7-acre "Great Lawn," a 3,000-seat outdoor stadium and 2,800-seat indoor arena.
Dubbed as "Arizona’s Premiere Sports & Entertainment Complex," the 320-acre family sports and entertainment complex opened to much fanfare in January 2022. By April 2023, Legacy Park hired a new management company and an investment banking firm to provide options to Legacy Cares, Inc., owner of Legacy Park, formerly known as Bell Bank Park, as it entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy.