We have a new owner of the Wilmington Sharks (summer collegiate; Coastal Plain League), as Brad Smith and Smith Family Baseball, owners of the Kannapolis Intimidators (Low Class A; Sally League), have agreed to buy the team from Peter Freund.
Freund owned the team for a season after buying the Sharks from Lew Handelsman, but it was a successful one: the team went through a successful rebranding with a surge of almost 30 percent in attendance after hundreds of thousands of dollars was invested into Buck Hardee Field.
“When I purchased the Sharks in 2013, I certainly was intending to operate them for the long term, but the opportunity to fold the team into Smith Family Baseball made too much sense for the organization and the people of Wilmington,” Freund said. “Brad and his group bring with them a tremendous history of operating in the state of North Carolina and I am confident they will continue the trend that we started last year.”
“Wilmington is an exciting and vibrant market and the support of the Sharks from its fan base is one of the many reasons we were drawn to the city,” said Brad Smith, President of Smith Family Baseball. “We are incredibly excited to add the Sharks to our portfolio and can assure everyone that we will continue on the path that Peter and his team started. We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and preparing for the 2015 season.”
“We want to welcome Brad and Smith Family Baseball into the Coastal Plain League,” said CPL Commissioner Justin Sellers. “Peter has been a pleasure to work with and we will miss him, but we look forward to keeping in touch in case our paths cross again down the road. At the same time, we feel that Smith Family Baseball will be a great addition to our ownership body and look forward to a bright future for the Wilmington Sharks.”