Bowling Green Hot Rods could see change in ownership
The Bowling Green Hot Rods reached an agreement Thursday that would keep them in Bowling Green until 2030. It would also land them under new ownership, pending approval from Minor League Baseball and the MLB.
The Hot Rods reached an agreement with the Warren County Downtown Economic Development Authority (TIF) board that would keep them at Bowling Green Ballpark, which was the first major investment by the board 10 years ago.
The lease agreement was met with the understanding that the team would be sold to Jack Blackstock, a business man in New York with Bowling Green ties.
"Our potential new owner, Jack, he's been a minority owner for the last five years, so he's been coming out to the ball park every single year and really knows the operations," said Hot Rods General Manager Eric Leach, "so this is going to be a really smooth transition."
Leach and the rest of the Hot Rods management must now wait for approval.
"With that process and the due diligence by Minor League Baseball going on, we're really limited as to what we can comment on and what we can't, but yesterday was a big day," Leach continued.
Leach added that the Hot Rods strive to be more than just a baseball team, but also a community staple that is engaged with the people around them.
"One of the things I always tell our staff is we're only as important to the community as we are entrenched in it," he said.
Leach also added that there didn't seem to be any plans to have the Hot Rods move out of Bowling Green because of the new ownership.
Doug Gorman is chairman for the TIF, and he believes the new ownership would not be a problem to keep the Hot Rods at Bowling Green Ball Park.
"Since 2008, there have been more than $310 Million worth of new capital improvements and buildings in the TIF," said Gorman. "The BG Ballpark was the catalyst for the growth and success of the TIF."
The lease agreement would include two 4-year extension options, as well as call for capital improvements to the stadium including audio/visual, club section and a few features for children.
"All of them are designed to enhance the fan experience at the ballpark," said Gorman.
The Hot Rods are currently in first place in the Eastern Division of the Midwest league and have clinched a spot in the playoffs for this upcoming postseason.