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Soccer Star’s Company Buys Sports Complex in Warwick

WARWICK – A new sports training business backed by an international soccer star purchased The Yard sports complex at a bankruptcy auction on Tuesday, and the property will remain an athletic training site.

The property was acquired by Hudson Sports, whose founder, Christian Fuchs, 32, of Austria, plays left back for Leicester City in the English Premier League. The company spent $4 million on the auction purchase, which is set to officially close over the next 30 days.

In July 2017, Tony Abbatine, a partner in The Yard along with Mark Goldstein, filed for the business to undergo a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, which quickly morphed into a Chapter 7 liquidation.

The 36-acre sports-training facility, with fields and dorms, occupies the largest single parcel at the redeveloped former Mid-Orange Correctional Facility.

In court filings, Warwick Yard LLC, the property’s former owner, claims it invested roughly $3.25 million in the athletic complex. Court filings valued the property at approximately $5 million.

New owner Hudson Sports plans to continue offering training opportunities for multiple sports at the site, including potentially for soccer, baseball, lacrosse, yoga, cross fit, field hockey and general fitness.

“We’re excited to have won the bid for the sports complex,” the company said in a statement. “We’re now focused on completing the purchase and rebranding the property.”

“Our goal is to reopen the facilities before the winter months, so the community can take advantage of the indoor fields,” the company added. “We look forward to being a good neighbor and economic driver for Warwick, Orange County and the entire Hudson Valley.”

Bill Fiorvaniti, Orange County’s economic development director, said he thinks “there’s a huge draw for a sports village and a sports campus of this sort.”

“The demise of The Yard had more to do with ownership and management issues,” Fiorvanti added. “Demand was not their issue.”

Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton said he is “excited about the possibilities” brought by the new owners, and he hopes the property “reopens as a sports facility” with even more amenities.

Hudson Sports is led by Erik Stover, a former chief operating officer of the New York Cosmos and a past executive with the New York Red Bulls soccer clubs.

In September, Stover told Front Row Soccer, a New York metro area soccer blog run by a Newsday soccer contributor, that Fuchs has been training youth soccer players for “a few years,” and he’s now more interested in offering “top-tier instruction” to athletes.

“It was always our hope that there would be some sort of international flavor to the sports academy or the complex,” said Bob Krahulik, president of the Warwick Valley Local Development Corporation, the nonprofit in charge of redeveloping the former prison site. “It looks like (Hudson Sports) has an international presence, which may make that happen.”

The original version of this article was originally posted on the Times Herald-Record:

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