The Lake County Captains, who have played minor league baseball in Eastlake for 20 seasons, will start the 2023 season under new ownership. As of Tuesday, a consortium led by Peter and Rita Carfagna will be replaced as primary shareholders by Alan Miller and Jon Ryan, principal partners at COLLiDE Sport. The sale’s financial details were kept under wraps.
Beginning in April, the Captains in Lake County commemorate their 20th season. Miller and Ryan, who also own the Portland Pickles, a well-liked collegiate summer wood bat team in the West Coast League, say they intend to make significant investments in the Captains’ growth and will work to promote a more incredible dedication to Lake County and the region around it.
Minor league sports have always been our passion and leisure, according to Miller. The opportunity to lead in marketing, social media, innovation, and technology has been identified as a great niche.
Since making Portland the West Coast League’s attendance leader, COLLiDE has been searching for running a club linked with a major league team, according to Miller, whose marketing skills helped him succeed in owning clubs in Dallas and Cleburne, Texas.
The ability to make events entertaining, appealing to a range of age groups, and producing events every night is something we truly excel at, according to Miller.
After 12 seasons in the NFL and four more in the CFL, Ryan, a former punter for the Packers and Seahawks born in Canada, just announced his retirement. When he partnered with Miller, he had already expressed interest in leaping into professional sports ownership after winning the Super Bowl with Seattle in 2014.
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Miller and Ryan focused on Eastlake after making the Pickles a success. When we discovered the chance to do so in Lake County, we seized it because we wanted to expand on it, Ryan said. “This market has so much promise, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
According to Miller, the new ownership group is already looking for ways to make the 2018 season more exciting, who also noted that the Captains have “great bones.” To revitalize this community, Miller said, “We’ve re-energized our partnership with the Guardians, and we’ve got some massive plans for this year and the following seasons.”
For the 2023 season, there will be live broadcasts of all Captain’s home games, new food, drink options, and a brand-new fun zone called the Left Field Super Awesome Fun Zone with a nine-hole mini golf course.
COLLiDE Sport, according to Miller, is committed to expanding the club’s community reinvestment projects, which assist youth sports, cultural events, and tourism-related endeavors.
Miller added, “From soup to nuts, we’re reviewing everything that’s happened here and trying to figure out how we can better it. From the point of sale to promotions and the club’s connection to the Guardians, Many exciting things are happening here, and we want to let everyone know about them.
According to Guardians owner Paul Dolan, the team is eager to work with COLLiDE Sport and see what the organization can bring to Cleveland’s high-A affiliate. In terms of player development, Dolan noted, “We are fortunate to have Lake County close by and believe their abundance of skill in professional baseball will only enhance the experience for both players and Captains/Guardians fans.”
The Carfagna family, which has owned the team since relocating the RedStixx from Columbus, Georgia, to Eastlake in 2003, will continue to have a minority stake in the organization. Over the past 20 years, the Captains have contributed more than $5 million in economic effect to the neighborhood, mainly to Ray and Katie Murphy and Peter and Rita Carfagna.
Peter Carfagna remarked, “We have loved every minute of celebrating neighborhood heroes, young sports teams, partnerships, victories, and everything in between. Miller stated that despite all the planned adjustments and upgrades, one item would not change shortly: the Captain’s name.
Tuesday marks the release of new 20th anniversary logos and articles, but more significant modifications to uniform and logo designs must wait about a year, according to MLB regulations. Before deciding if there will be any considerable name or brand changes, Miller said he thinks the ownership group needs more experience in the market. We all like the Captain’s name added Miller, who expressed his liking for it.
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“I don’t believe the word has any direct implications. However, from the standpoint of design and logo development, we like merchandising and logo creation. Since this location has a 20-year history, it’s time to create some new markers.
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