Fifth Third Field is about to be paid off early, which is a source of celebration for the Toledo Mud Hens (Class AAA; International League).
First opening in downtown Toledo in 2002, Fifth Third Field was financed with 20-year bonds that were due to be paid off in 2021. As it turns out, the bond payments are well ahead of schedule, and the Mud Hens will host a mortgage-burning ceremony tonight at 5:00 p.m. Slated to begin two hours prior to first pitch, the invitation-only event will include comments from the team and Lucas County officials.
For obvious reasons, the mood should be a celebratory one. More from the Toledo Blade:
Not only were the bonds paid off early, but the county was able to shave off more than $5.3 million in payments, county officials said.
Joe Napoli, president and chief executive of the Toledo Mud Hens and Toledo Walleye, said the payoff couldn’t have happened without loyal Mud Hens ticket and suite buyers and Fifth Third Bank’s commitment in agreeing and then renewing the naming rights.
“This is a testament to the community and the public and private sectors’ support,” he said.
Lucas County refinanced the debt on the stadium in 2010 after attendance exceeded expectations, putting an additional $4.3 million to the principal on the bonds.
On the whole, 2016 has been a pretty good year for Fifth Third Field. The much-anticipated Hensville District opened this spring, just months before Fifth Third Bank renewed the naming rights agreement. Tonight’s ceremony certainly adds to the achievements.