The Cedar Rapids Kernels (Low Class A; Midwest League) are buying a team just up the road in the form of the Waterloo Bucks (summer collegiate; Northwoods League).
It’s basically a done deal: Minor League Baseball and the Midwest League have signed off on the purchase and the team’s bank loan to buy the Bucks. Sales discussions have been going on for several months.
It’s a concessions play for the Kernels: the team lost the concessions contract at Cedar Rapids Ice Arena and is seeking a replacement source of revenue. The existing and lean Bucks front office, led by GM Dan Corbin, will remain in place. The team’s lease at Riverfront Stadium, former home to Midwest League baseball in Waterloo, will need to be transferred to the Kernels. The ballpark has been improved by Waterloo in recent years — most notably on the concessions side.
The Bucks franchise, owned by Minnesota businessmen Steve and John Marso, has been on the market for more than a year.
These days it’s not unusual for a pro baseball team to own a summer-collegiate team. The Lowell Spinners (short season A; NY-Penn League), Pat Salvi (owner of two independent teams) and the Goldklang Group (owner of both affiliated and independent teams) all own summer-collegiate teams. We expect to see some other affiliated owners to seek summer-collegiate teams as well in coming months.
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