GREENFIELD — The Saratoga Polo Association’s historic polo field is going up for auction early next month.
RealEstateAuction.com announced the offering Wednesday. Bids will be accepted online from 9 a.m. March 2 to 3 p.m. March 4, with a minimum bid of $4.3 million.
Jim Rossi and Mike Bucci, owners of the club since 2004, commissioned the auction. The club carries significant debt — $3.4 million in outstanding mortgage principal and unpaid interest — and has been the subject of multiple foreclosure efforts.
Rossi has previously said that revenue from polo matches and special events on-site is not enough to cover the facility’s costs. Recognizing this, the partners sought to redevelop the 43-acre site after they bought it. The pricetag for their mid-2000s plan for a retreat with apartments and a conference center grew from $50 million to $80 million as it took shape.
The town in 2007 approved a planned unit development of up to 284,000 square feet with components including boutique hotel, spa, restaurants, banquet facility and up to 90 housing units.
However, the partners never were able to move their vision off the drawing board and into reality.
They’ve since tried to sell the site, also without success.
Rossi did not return a call this week seeking comment for this story.
In September, after the 2019 polo season had concluded, he told The Daily Gazette that it had been a good season and he was already making plans for the 2020 season.
The site on Bloomfield Road just west of Saratoga Springs has been a polo field since 1898, with a gap of a few decades in the mid-1900s. Rossi and Bucci’s love for the sport and the history of the site led them to plan their development around the polo field, which apparently was a sticking point for investors.
“We saw the polo field as being the core of the property,” Rossi said in September. “We challenged ourselves to create a viable business model that had some modest development on site and still preserved the polo field.”
The decision to go to auction might be seen as a concession of defeat on that vision, but it’s hard to say. Rossi didn’t return a call about that.