Pelicans Announce Ownership Change
On Tuesday, January 10, 2006, Capitol Broadcasting Company of Raleigh announced an agreement to sell the Myrtle Beach Pelicans baseball club to an ownership group with an outstanding reputation for community leadership.
The team, the Atlanta Braves’ Single A affiliate, is being sold to a group headed by Pittsburgh attorney Charles M. “Chuck” Greenberg. Greenberg is also president and managing partner of two existing baseball teams in Pennsylvania, the Altoona Curve and the State College Spikes.
“We have had our eye on the Pelicans for some time and we are thrilled to become a part of the dynamic Myrtle Beach community,” said Greenberg. “We salute Capitol Broadcasting for establishing an outstanding tradition of fun, affordable, family entertainment and pledge to build on their wonderful foundation for many years to come.”
The transaction has the strong backing of the Atlanta Braves, according to Assistant General Manager Dayton Moore, “The Braves look forward to establishing a great relationship with Chuck Greenberg and his ownership group. They have an extraordinary reputation for community leadership and great entertainment at the ballpark.”
The sale of minor league baseball teams requires a meticulous approval process. It is likely that Capitol will continue to operate the team when the 2006 season begins on April 6th . Capitol also owns and operates the Triple A Durham Bulls, affiliated with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
“We are gearing up for 2006, and it’s business as usual in the front office,” said Pelicans Vice President/General Manager Matt O’Brien. “We have strong momentum headed into a new season and anticipate great input from our new owners,” he added.
Minor League Baseball (The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues) and the Carolina League must approve the new owner, and the City of Myrtle Beach and Horry County must endorse assignment of the ballpark lease.
Capitol Broadcasting and the governing bodies went through a similar process in the mid-90s when the team moved from Durham, N.C. to Myrtle Beach. “ Myrtle Beach has embraced the Pelicans since our ‘99 debut here,” said George Habel, vice president of Capitol’s Sports Group. “We were determined to pass the torch to an enthusiastic, capable operator. Our loyal fans and the Braves will be well served by Chuck Greenberg.”
The Braves’ Moore commented, “The Atlanta Braves have enjoyed an incredible 15 year relationship with Capitol Broadcasting, going back to our many years in Durham.”
The Atlanta Braves own and operate all of their minor league affiliates with the exception of the Pelicans. Capitol and Greenberg will initiate the approval process within the next 30 days.