You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

No takers yet for majority owner’s stake in Dayton Dragons

Ten months after the majority owner of Mandalay Baseball Properties — the parent company of the Dayton Dragons — put its stake of the company up for sale, there have been no takers.

“The sales process has taken a bit longer than anticipated, largely due to holidays and weather creating some difficulty in coordinating people’s schedules,” Bill Luby, founding partner of New York City-based private equity firm Seaport Capital told the Dayton Daily News. “There continue to be a number of parties interested in acquiring the Dayton Dragons. A few groups have been to Dayton and toured Fifth Third Field over the past couple of months.”

Luby repeated his belief that any transfer in ownership would be “invisible” to Dragons fans. “I remain convinced of this,” he said.

In addition to the Dayton Dragons, Mandalay Baseball Properties owns all or part of four other minor-league baseball teams: the Oklahoma City RedHawks the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Erie SeaWolves and the Frisco RoughRiders. Other investors in Mandalay Baseball Properties and the Dragons include NBA Hall of Fame player Earvin “Magic” Johnson and former Ohio State Buckeyes two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin. Luby has said that Seaport is the only member of the ownership team that has decided to sell.

Any new owners would have to be approved by Major League Baseball.

Peter Titlebaum, professor of health and sports science at the University of Dayton, cautioned that the sale of the majority stake in the Dragons, when it occurs, may not be as “invisible” to Dragons fans and to the community as Seaport Capital officials promise.

There is certainly no guarantee that new majority ownership will follow the same hands-off policy with Mandalay Baseball Properties as Seaport Capital has, Titlebaum said.

“Who will the new owners be? Will they have a track record?” said Titlebaum, who teaches sports management and sports marketing at UD. “We would be naïve to think that isn’t a concern.”

Titlebaum said the success that Mandalay Baseball Properties has had in building the value of the Dragons and the other teams in the Mandalay portfolio may have pushed its asking price to a level that has made prospective buyers balk — which may explain why the stake hasn’t sold after 10 months.

“If you buy the most expensive house in the neighborhood, will the value of that house continue to grow?” he said. last April called the Dayton Dragons “one of the best-performing” teams financially on the single-A level of minor league baseball. Forbes has valued the Dragons alone at $23 million.

Seaport Capital made the investment in Mandalay Baseball Properties in 2002, and that majority stake is now the last remaining investment in Seaport Capital’s 2000 fund.

“We can’t hold our investments forever,” Luby told this newspaper when the majority stake was first put up for sale. “The nature of the fund business dictates that it’s time for us to sell our position.”

The uncertainty over a looming sale doesn’t appear to have slowed the Dragons’ momentum. Team officials announced last week that the Dragons have launched a $500,000 project to renovate all 30 luxury suites at Fifth Third Field.

The renovations are scheduled to be complete before the Dragons open their 15th season in the Midwest League on April 3 against the West Michigan Whitecaps at Fifth Third Field.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Felon admits to running illegal drug ring from prison
Felon admits to running illegal drug ring from prison

Authorities said a Georgia man could face up to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to running a multistate drug trafficking operation from prison, using cellphones and drones.  Daniel Roger Alo, 46, pleaded guilty Monday to drug and weapons charges, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Edward Tarver said. Alo was serving...
Watch: Dog appears to dance to music at groomer
Watch: Dog appears to dance to music at groomer

An Orlando pet salon uploaded a video to its Facebook page of an adorable dog that appears to dance to salsa music. In the brief clip, uploaded Jan. 12, the dog can be seen rising to its hind legs and dancing around to "Conga" by the Miami Sound Machine. It's famously led by singer Gloria Estefan.  When you had such a fun time at...
Woman's dog saves her from would-be attacker in broad daylight
Woman's dog saves her from would-be attacker in broad daylight

One woman has her 10-month-old puppy to thank after a man tried to attack her while she was on a trail in a Houston suburb. Catalina Humphrey told KTRK a man grabbed her from behind when she was walking her Rottweiler, Hercules, on Saturday afternoon. "I didn't have a purse on me. I just had my workout gear on," Humphrey told KHOU. "...
'A Dog's Purpose' video fallout: movie producer, animal supplier speak out
'A Dog's Purpose' video fallout: movie producer, animal supplier speak out

"A Dog's Purpose" is set to premiere Jan. 27, but it is still battling publicity surrounding a controversial video that was obtained and posted by TMZ last week. The video shows a 2-year-old German shepherd named Hercules struggling with a person who appears to be a trainer as rough waves churned in a pool. Producers of the film initially...
Sister of alleged West Liberty shooter speaks, school to re-open
Sister of alleged West Liberty shooter speaks, school to re-open

The older sister of the alleged West Liberty-Salem High School shooter said she was shocked when she learned that her brother had been accused of hurting other students. Ely Serna, 17, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder in connection with a Friday morning school shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School. A judge ruled Monday during...
More Stories