The group that operates the Abbott Sports Complex in northeast Lincoln hopes to raise enough money to pay off the mortgage with the Abbott Charitable Foundation before the sports complex is sold at auction.
"That is our plan and our hope," said Dan Lesoing, president of the Lincoln Sports Foundation, which owns and operates the complex.
The Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation has requested the property’s sale in order to recoup some of the funds it has invested in the sports complex over the years and that the Lincoln Sports Foundation has been unable to pay back, Lesoing said.
The Abbott Foundation tried selling the property to Lincoln developer Monte Froehlich, but the contract was deemed invalid after a sports complex board member raised questions about its legality at a City Council meeting.
The sale had not been approved by all five members of the sports complex foundation.
Froehlich was asking the city for industrial zoning that would allow him to convert the sports complex into a warehouse.
After that City Council meeting, the charitable foundation’s attorney determined the property purchase contract was not legal, said Doug Lienemann, Abbott Foundation president.
So the Abbott Foundation began the foreclosure process, which includes a 30-day period to allow for repayment of the mortgage and then a five-week advertising period before the building is sold at auction, Lienemann said.
Lienemann said he assumes Froehlich is still interested in the property.
The Lincoln Sports Foundation doesn't have the money yet, Lesoing said, but is continuing to work with interested partners to secure funding to satisfy the debt.
“While the sale process will start a new phase in a few days, the foreclosure process can be stopped at any time if a mutually agreeable resolution can be reached,” Lesoing said.
The sports foundation continues to operate the sports complex, which has been used for volleyball, soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, gymnastics, motor cross, roller derby, lacrosse and football.
Between 600 and 750 children and adults use the center each week, more when there are big tournaments, Lesoing said.