“There have probably been 50, 55 people who have contacted us with kick-the-tire type of inquiries. Of those, there probably have been 10 offers in the eight years that I would have considered realistic,” [Swing Owner Kevin] Krause said Monday.
Any sale of the Swing to Heller’s organization hinges on approval of a deal that would lower the Swing’s annual payment to the city for the lease of the stadium and the club’s share of the $14 million renovation of John O’Donnell Stadium prior to the 2004 season.The club currently pays a little under $490,000 per year on an existing lease that runs through 2018. The proposed agreement calls for a payment of $273,000 for the first two years and $385,000 annually through the conclusion of a 25-year lease that would run through 2032.
[Midwest League counsel Richard] Nussbaum, who last visited John O’Donnell Stadium for June’s all-star events, said league officials simply hope that the Quad-Cities franchise can be successful.“From a market size and location perspective, it’s a good fit for us,’’ Nussbaum said.
“There are a lot of good things in place there, but we know that for whatever reason the current and past ownership there has not had a great relationship with the city.
This nugget is tacked on the end of the story:
Ownership history of the Quad-Cities’ Midwest League franchise:
* 1960-86: The Quad-City Baseball Fans Association, a nonprofit organization, operated the club until financial difficulties forced it to sell
* 1987: Chicago businessman Harry Semrow owned the club for one season before poor health prompted him to sell the team
* 1988-98: Chicago businessman Richard Holtzman added the Quad-Cities to a collection of five minor-league clubs he operated
* 1998-present: Iowa businessman Kevin Krause operated the team and headed its ownership group, Seventh Inning Stretch