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Auction set for Virginia State Fair complex

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Meadow Event Park in Caroline County, the home of the State Fair of Virginia since 2009, will be sold at a foreclosure auction on May 22.

The auction is the result of the bankruptcy of SFVA, the nonprofit organization that ran the state fair.

SFVA acquired Meadow Farm, the birthplace of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat in 2003 after selling its longtime fairgrounds in Henrico County to Richmond International Raceway.

SFVA incurred more than $80 million in debt while developing the property near Doswell for a new fairgrounds. The debts were to be paid by revenue generated by a $42 million investment portfolio.

The portfolio’s value dropped dramatically in the 2008-09 national financial crisis. SFVA officials said its ability to repay its debts was hampered by creditors’ insistence that the portfolio be taken to a cash position in spring 2009.

SFVA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in December. The bankruptcy was changed to a liquidation in March after SFVA failed to reach an agreement with its creditors.

Meadow Event Park is a complex covering more than 331 acres, including a 76,130-square-foot exhibit hall; 9,700-square-foot expo center; 24,000-square-foot equine facility and three residences.
One of the residences in the Chenery Manor home, once occupied by the owners of Secretariat.

In addition to selling real estate, the auction also will sell a number of intellectual properties and hold an online auction of equipment.

The intellectual properties include the name and websites for State Fair of Virginia, SFVA, Strawberry Hill Races, Richmond Highland Games & Celtic Festival and Meadow Highland Games & Celtic Festival.

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