07/24/2006 3:30 PM ET
Lerner Group finalizes purchase of Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals today announced the official transfer of ownership from Major League Baseball to an ownership group headed by Washington developer Theodore N. Lerner, his son Mark D. Lerner, sons-in-law Edward L. Cohen, and Robert K. Tanenbaum, and their families. Ted Lerner will be the Managing Principal Owner of the team and Mark Lerner, Cohen and Tanenbaum will be Principal owners of the team. All major decisions will be made together as a board with team President Stan Kasten. In addition, the members of the minority ownership group each have deep ties to Washington, DC and a shared commitment with the Lerner family to make the Nationals a long-term successful franchise in Washington.
"It has long been my dream to bring the national pastime back to my hometown, the nation's capital," said Ted Lerner, Managing Principal Owner. "Now that it's been realized, I plan on doing everything I can to make sure that this franchise becomes an international jewel for MLB, D.C. and the nation."
"I am extremely pleased to welcome the Lerner family and their partners into Major League Baseball," said Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "As I've come to know Ted and his family better over the past several weeks, I'm more certain than ever that they will provide the kind of committed and stable ownership that will help this franchise flourish in the D.C. area for years and years to come."
"We have a team of partners who are strong, motivated and committed to the city and its citizens," said Mark D. Lerner. "It is important to our partners and family that we build a successful team that is an integral part of the entire D.C. community. We will work hard to ensure that our fans have a great ballpark experience."
The Nationals launched a grand re-opening celebration this past weekend to thank fans for their support of the team. Beginning last Friday, the team had three days of premium giveaways that helped fans "Paint the Town Red." Included were red Nationals' hats, t-shirts and rally towels. In addition, there was a free pre-game Fan Festival on the Armory mall before all three games versus the Chicago Cubs. The new owners have also announced ticket price roll-backs on thousands of tickets starting with the next homestand against the San Francisco Giants on July 25th.
Enhancements to RFK Stadium include a wider variety of improved concession choices, cleaner concourses and professionally trained customer service staff to cater to the fans' needs.
"This is an exciting challenge," said new team president and part-owner Stan Kasten. "Now that all the t's are crossed and all the i's are dotted, the real fun work begins to make this franchise a long-term success on and off the field."
Founding Partners in the Lerner group are Paxton K. Baker, President of BET Event Productions and Executive Vice President and General Manager of BET Digital Networks for Black Entertainment Television (BET); James T. Brown, newly-named host of the CBS Television Network's NFL pre-game show, The NFL Today, and the play-by-play announcer for the Network's coverage of college basketball; Faye F. Fields, President and CEO of Integrated Resource Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of management support services and information management services to government agencies; Alphonso Maldon, Jr., Senior Vice President, Corporate Banking for PNC Bank and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management and Policy; B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr., President and CEO of Industrial Bank N.A., the largest minority-owned commercial bank in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area; Raul R. Romero, President and CEO of Alliance Consulting Group, LLC, a marketing consulting group to public and private organizations headquartered in the District of Columbia; Rodney E. Slater, partner at Patton Boggs, LLP and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation; and Jarvis C. Stewart, Chairman and Managing Partner of Stewart Partners, LLC, a government and Public Affairs Firm headquartered in Washington, D.C.