York Revolution remakes ownership group
As the York Revolution get ready to kick off the 2019 season, the minor-league baseball team has trotted out a new lineup of local owners.
Revolution President Eric Menzer on Tuesday said a group of York County investors has bought out all shares held by the team's founding group, Maryland-based Opening Day Partners.
Terms of the investments were not disclosed, but Menzer said the collective investment is in the millions of dollars. Opening Day's chairman, Peter Kirk, remains part of the 13-year-old team's board of directors.
The new ownership group is led by Shipley Energy Group Chairman Bill Shipley, who has been a part owner in the team since 2012, and baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. Shipley is the majority shareholder of the Revolution.
The new owners include some well-known York County companies and business leaders.
Joining Shipley and Robinson are two corporate investors — Kinsley Companies and Stewart Companies — and nine individuals.
The individuals include:
- York Container executive Julian Tolbert and his wife, Jolene
- Entrepreneur and Corvus LLC founder Loren Kroh
- Former York County Community Foundation president and retired banker William Hartman
- Shipley Energy Group President Matt Sommer and his wife, Rebecca Sanstead
- Mike Summers of Summers Financial Planning and Investments and his wife, Jacquelyn
- Dan Waltersdorff, chairman of Barton Associates
Menzer said the new investors were brought in to raise capital for the recent stadium renovations, which cost about $1 million, and other potential construction projects.
"Given the enhancements they have planned to stay competitive and the collective experience and success of the other investors, this was an easy and sound decision," said Waltersdorff, whose company worked on the original design of the ballpark's mechanical and electrical systems.
Team management already is eyeing additional improvements to the stadium, including the addition of more flexible seating options, such as patio and deck seating with tables.
He said the level of local investor interest shows there is confidence in the long-term viability of the team.
"If we have smart successful business people willing to invest millions, that's a good sign," Menzer said.
In a statement, Shipley said the new investment group better connects the team to the community because the owners are already invested in the York area.
The most recent renovation project included converting the old White Rose Hall at the stadium into the 1741 Club.
The 3,000-square-foot club space will be the stadium's first area for all-inclusive food and beverage service, giving both serious and casual baseball fans everything they might want in one place. But the added convenience comes with membership tiers ranging from $1,750 for 20 passes to $3,500 for 45 passes and $5,000 for 75 passes.
The passes convert to game tickets and can be used at any of the team's 70 home games. Members will be able to use all of the passes for one game, if they choose, or they can spread them across multiple games. The team is targeting smaller companies that may want to reward employees or bring potential clients to games.
The team said more than 50 companies have already purchased memberships in the club.
The team also is renovating five skyboxes along the first base side to give customers more modern rental options for corporate or other events.
The area around the ballpark, which cost $32.5 million to build, has continued to attract real estate projects — ranging from multimillion-dollar apartment and retail projects to a $22 million charter school.