Knights look to extend their lease at Holman
While the Nashua Silver Knights are still on the market, they at least have one technicality almost taken care of:
Their 2016 Holman Stadium lease.
The team originally requested a three-month extension of their current agreement with the city to keep something in place before potential new ownership took over. Now the Silver Knights have requested to extend the agreement through Dec. 31, 2016.
The Silver Knights and the city have an agreement with a series of one-year renewable options, but it was anticipated potential new owners would want something more substantial. Now that an anticipated sale to the Colorado-based Zephyr Bay Sports Partners, LLC has apparently fallen through, current ownership wants to roll over the lease for another year.
Silver Knights team president Tim Bawmann said two weeks ago that he intended to approach the city about that technicality, and it’s possible the Board of Aldermen could approve the extension as early as Wednesday night at its meeting.
The Silver Knights pay the city $1,000 per game, or up to $28,000 per year.
"These (sale) negotiations have not proceeded as quickly as anticipated and the current Franchisor (owner Drew Weber) anticipates operating the team into the 2016 baseball season," Nashua city attorney Stephen Bennett wrote in a memo to the Board of Aldermen. "In order to conduct its baseball operations for the 2016 baseball season, the Franchisor has requested to exercise its option to extend the agreement."
Weber has put both the Silver Knights and his larger holding, the Class A Lowell Spinners, up for sale. A group of Lowell businessmen were expected to purchase the Spinners, but the Silver Knights hadn’t been on their radar – although Bawmann was hoping to change that.
But now, three key businessmen have reportedly dropped out of the group, and how that impacts any sale is not yet known. According to a report last week in the Lowell Sun, prominent Lowell area businessmen John Chemaly (Trinity EMS) and Michael Kuenzler (Heroes Uniforms and All Sports Promotions) bowed out. A third, who requested anonymity, did as well.
What does all this mean? Any sales of the teams, together or separate, have to go through extensive approval procedures with minor league baseball, the N.Y.-Penn League and, as far as the Silver Knights are concerned, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.
That means the odds that Weber will continue to own at least one of the two teams, if not both, into the upcoming season in June are better now than they were in December.
In other words, business as usual, and the Silver Knights association with the Spinners will likely last through this season.
One sure sign of that? The team has brought back its Red Sox-Silver Knights ticket mini plan, popular last summer. The Spinners are the short-season Class A affiliate of the Red Sox.
Host a Knight
The Silver Knights are still seeking families to help house out-of-town players for the summer. Players are expected to be in the area from Memorial Day to mid-August. For more information, contact the team at 781-8883.
The Knights announced in their weekly e-mail newsletter that manager B.J. Neverett and two players would entertain questions exclusively from season ticket holders 45 minutes prior to each home game in the Silver Knights’ dugout. Neverett, who is also in charge of player personnel, re-assumed the managerial reins after Ted Currle stepped down. Neverett managed the team to its last FCBL title back in 2012.
The team also announced individual game Silver Knights tickets will be available for purchase beginning April 19.