LEWISTON — The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to waive its right to buy back the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, clearing the way for a previously announced sale to Maine Nordiques owner Darryn Antonacci.

Jim Cain, whose Firland Management has owned the building for 12 years, said Wednesday the council’s action “allows us to proceed,” and that he’s hoping the coronavirus crisis won’t cause delays.

Cain and Antonacci released a joint statement last week that set an April 1 effective date for the ownership change.

“We will be working away in the next two weeks to get this thing completed,” he said. “Barring any scenarios that come up due to the coronavirus crisis this should occur.”

The Colisee is closed due to the pandemic, and Cain said employees will be working from home within the next few days. The arena ice is out, he said.

“Lots of things can happen with people’s availability over the next two weeks, and we’re cognizant of that,” he said, regarding the sale.

The City Council’s action Tuesday also cleared up finances between the city and Firland Management. Cain purchased the Colisee from the city in 2008, agreeing to pay $1.2 million in a series of payments beginning in 2013.

The city was still owed roughly $850,000 on the mortgage, but was offered a $600,000 lump payment to get out from under the mortgage and complete the sale.

Due to the original agreement between the city and Cain, the city retained the first right of refusal to purchase the Colisee in the event it was for sale.

In 2019, when the Maine Nordiques were awarded a franchise in the North American Hockey League, a Tier II junior league, Cain praised the deal for what it meant for local hockey, but also because it secured Antonacci as “a business manager and partner.”

Antonacci, a spine and scoliosis surgeon from Princeton, New Jersey, plans to move to Auburn. He previously said he plans further upgrades to the arena, including its main concession areas.


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