The founders of the Altoona Curve come back home, as Chuck Greenberg and crew shift focus to management services in the sports industry.
Curve Baseball LP President & Managing Partner Chuck Greenberg today announced that his group has reached an agreement to sell the Altoona Curve (Class AA; Eastern League) to the family of Robert F. Lozinak. The sale of the club is pending approval from the Eastern League and Minor League Baseball, and review by the Baseball Office of the Commissioner.
The Lozinak family was the original owner of the Curve franchise, together with the late Tate DeWeese, when the club began play in 1999. The Lozinaks owned the team through the 2001 season before reaching an agreement to sell the franchise to the group led by Greenberg in October 2001. Most recently the Lozinak family owned the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (Class AA; Southern League).
Curve Baseball LP will maintain its ownership of the State College Spikes (short season; NY-Penn League).
"Today’s announcement marks a bittersweet day for our ownership group and management team because we have thoroughly enjoyed all of the hard work of building the Altoona Curve into one of the most innovative and well-respected franchises in the country, while enhancing the wonderful fan experience here at beautiful Blair County Ballpark," said Greenberg. "We have forged so many personal bonds and friendships that we know will last forever. Yet while it is difficult to let go of this wonderful franchise, we are thrilled to be returning the Curve to Bob Lozinak, who had never intended to part with it in the first place.
"We were not actively looking to sell the franchise, and truthfully, the only person we would have considered an offer from was Bob Lozinak. To the legions of Altoona Curve fans, who are the true foundation for this franchise’s extraordinary success and accomplishments, this announcement is a wonderful development because ownership of the team is returning to the man who, more than a decade ago, had the vision and commitment to bring Minor League Baseball to his hometown."
Greenberg also announced today the formation of his new company, Greenberg Sports Group (GSG), which will provide management, consulting and marketing services to the sports industry across the country. GSG will manage the overall operations of both the State College Spikes and Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High Class A; Carolina League). As part of the sale of the Curve to the Lozinak family, GSG will provide consulting services to the Curve for a period of three years following the sale.
Curve General Manager Todd Parnell will head the management team at Greenberg Sports Group, which will include State College Spikes General Manager Rick Janac. Curve Associate General Manager Jeff Garner and Chief Financial Officer John Donley will each relinquish their positions to join Greenberg Sports Group once the sale receives all requisite baseball approvals.
"The bond between the Curve franchise and the residents of Altoona and Central Pennsylvania is a special one and I’m proud to have been a part of it for the past seven years and to have made so many special friendships here," said Parnell. "What our ownership group and management team has accomplished over the past seven seasons is remarkable and can’t be duplicated by many other teams and fan bases across the country. We all wish nothing but the best to the Lozinaks in building upon the Curve’s legacy, which they played such a central role in establishing."
"This is certainly a great opportunity to be back in baseball and what better place than Altoona, our original Field of Dreams," said Bob Lozinak. "We are very appreciative of the outstanding accomplishments of Chuck and his group and look forward to providing great family entertainment to the best fans in Minor League Baseball."
David Lozinak will take over as the Curve’s Chief Operating Officer once the agreement is formally approved. An announcement on a new General Manager will be made at a later date.
"Today is a bittersweet day because under the leadership of Chuck Greenberg and Todd Parnell, the Altoona Curve has become one of the model franchises not only in the Eastern League, but in all of Minor League Baseball and their influence on the other 11 clubs in this league will be greatly missed," said Eastern League President Joe McEacharn. "On the other hand, it’s great to know that the Curve franchise is being returned to the ownership of Bob Lozinak, whose extraordinary vision and determination helped bring professional baseball to Altoona in the first place."
Curve Baseball LP assumed ownership of the club in April 2002 and, led by Greenberg and Parnell, took the franchise to new heights in its seven seasons. The group came to Altoona with plenty of star power, counting Pittsburgh sports legends Jerome Bettis and Mario Lemieux and well-known local businessmen Donald Devorris and Steven Sheetz among its group of investors.
Just six months after his ownership group began operating the franchise, Greenberg announced in October 2002 the first of two major capital improvement projects, which would dramatically enhance the fan experience at Blair County Ballpark. The first project, which cost over $1 million and was funded entirely by Greenberg’s ownership group, yielded the popular Third Base Picnic Pavilion, Party Deck and Left-Field Bleacher areas. Prior to the 2006 campaign, the club announced another million dollar addition to Blair County Ballpark paid for by the ownership group — a brand-new, state-of-the-art, 1,000 square foot videoboard, which immediately became one of the largest in Minor League Baseball.