Hammons Bankruptcy Concerns JQH Arena

The estate of a deceased developer is figuring out how it will meet his arena-sized philanthropic commitments after declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy June 26.  

Before he died in 2013, John Q. Hammons committed $30 million to the construction of Missouri State University’s  in Springfield, Mo. The arena, which bears his initials, was completed in 2008 at a cost of $67 million, but Hammons’ estate still owes $22 million on its naming rights deal through yearly installments of $1.8 million until 2032.

MSU President Clif Smart said the university would figure out how the payments could be made under the current circumstances. Gregg Groves, senior vice president and general counsel for the trust managing Hammonds’ assets, told the Springfield News-Leader “the trustees have paid all beneficiaries in full except for one and that one is being paid currently and we anticipate that it will be continued to be current.” John Q Hammons Hotels & Resorts faces a trial next month over whether it will be forced to sell its properties.

The trial stems from the claim that Hammons Hotels did not comply with the terms of a 2005 deal which saw $300 million in line of credit extended to the company. Hammons Hotels said it never received the $335 million it was promised in the deal. Hammons Hotels CEO Jacqueline Dowdy said the declaration of bankruptcy was a strategic move, and that the company was “financially stable” and would not need to close any hotels.