The Kannapolis Intimidators, the Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, announced Monday night that the lease for Intimidators Stadium had been approved by the City of Kannapolis from Smith Family Baseball, LLC to Intimidators Baseball Club, LLC. IBC has agreed to purchase the team.
Reese L. Smith III, a Nashville businessman, has a long history of rejuvenating minor league franchises and the purchase is pending approval of the South Atlantic League, Minor League Baseball, and the Commissioner of Baseball.
“We initially looked at Kannapolis because one of my partners has ties to Chapel Hill,” said Reese L. Smith III, in a release. “We see tremendous potential in the Kannapolis market. We’re anxious to introduce some new entertainment ideas and develop new relationships while listening closely as the City explores its options to develop downtown Kannapolis. We look forward to being a partner in the conversation about downtown and the City’s economic development plans.”
Other partners include Jeff Cogen, a senior executive with the Tampa Bay Rays, Dallas-based Fairlane Sports, and a member of the David Freeman family that co-owns the NHL Nashville Predators.
“It’s family entertainment as much as baseball,” Smith said. “It is local jobs and economic impact. It’s important to listen to the community and react rather than dictate to the community. We look forward to becoming a part of the Kannapolis community.”
The group headed by Smith has revitalized the Mariners franchise Tennessee, the Jackson Generals, and plans to do the same with the recently-purchased Reds franchise in Daytona Beach as well as the Intimidators.
Formerly known as Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium, a five-year lease was signed in 2012 which called for $1 per year rent, with the team picking up maintenance costs. The lease calls for the city to cover maintenance costs for the first three years, shifting to Smith Family Baseball, now Intimidators Baseball Club LLC, for the final two years as well as two five-year extensions, bringing the total length of the lease to 15 years. Deferred spending on needed items like netting and roofing will be addressed by the city according to Ballpark Digest.
It was also announced that Randy Long will remain as the General Manager of the Intimidators.
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