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Multiple groups interested in Worcester market

Worcester TornadoesMultiple groups have expressed interest in setting up shop in Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field after the demise of the Worcester Tornadoes (independent; Can-Am League).

We’ve heard from one potential ownership quietly putting together a financial plan, while Bob Weldon, the former director of finance for the Tornadoes under previous ownership, says he’s got a killer name for a potential team — the Worcester Phoenixand thinks he can orchestrate a comeback:

Weldon plans to raise $1 million over the next two years through an ownership group that would include 20 members paying $25,000 each, 50 paying $5,000 each, and 250 paying $1,000 each. He said he would need to present the league with $200,000 by Oct. 1. 

“The nice thing is,” Weldon said, “the team would be owned by Worcester people. I think that’s so important because we’ve never had that in Worcester.” 

[Todd] Breighner lives in Maryland, and the first ownership group came from the Boston area. Weldon said he hasn’t taken any money yet from anyone, but he has commitments for about $100,000. 

In general, financing schemes like this are a nightmare (they’re pretty much a thing of the past in affiliated ball) because there’s no clean ownership structure and they don’t fit in the membership structure found in independent baseball. Plus, there’s the whole issue of raising working capital to actually launch a team: raising $1 million over two years ain’t gonna cut it. It will be interesting to see whether the Can-Am League goes for an ownership structure like this if a better-financed deal comes along.

RELATED STORIES: Can-Am League revokes Breighner’s membership, takes over Worcester market; Small crowd sees Tornadoes’ last home gameBreighner: Tornadoes are in good financial shapeLeague may take over TornadoesTornadoes locked out of offices, team shopMore financial woes for W-Tornadoes: team uniforms seizedCanseco sues Worcester Tornadoes over unpaid salaryIndy teams fighting over Canseco?Canseco signs with Rio Grande; misses first gameJose Canseco files for bankruptcyJose Canseco resurfaces, this time in Worcester


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