(Editor's note: the following is a news release from the city of Akron.)
The Akron Aeros Baseball team has been sold to Ken Babby, from Maryland, whose company, Akron Baseball, LLC, has signed a long-term lease with the city that will keep the Aeros in Akron for at least 25 more years.
Several months ago, Mayor Don Plusquellic was contacted by the Eastern League President, who indicated that the Akron Aeros team was for sale and that there was a serious buyer, Ken Babby. Plusquellic met with Babby, who stated that his desires were to bring stadium attendance up, renovate the stadium and enter into a long-term lease to keep the Aeros team in Akron.
The city and Babby negotiated the lease terms so that Akron Baseball, LLC, would have a long term lease (25 years) with a five-year extension option. This was beneficial to Babby because he said he intends to make improvements to the stadium, and needed a long-term commitment from the city to justify the costs. Babby will pay for the improvements, such as a new scoreboard, left field group seating, right field food areas, and outdoor group party areas, over the term of the lease.
In order to determine what needed to be done to modernize the stadium and make it more desirable, Council President Marco Sommerville said he visited several stadiums.
“Mayor Plusquellic got me involved early on,” said Sommerville. “I visited several baseball facilities in order to compare our stadium to others, so that we would have an idea of what renovations were needed to make our stadium marketable.”
The long-term lease is also beneficial for the city.
“Our citizens get a long-term lease and a guarantee that the Aeros baseball team will be housed in Akron for many decades,” noted Plusquellic. “I was thrilled to work with Ken during the last couple of months trying to find ways to improve the quality of the experience for the Aeros’ fans. I look forward to working with him in the future as we have a mutual interest in producing the best results for our citizens and fans. We all want to make the stadium come alive again. Akron residents and our neighboring communities will be able to enjoy baseball in Akron for a long time to come.”