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Nashville MLB group, Negro Leagues Museum ink licensing deal

Nashville MLB ballpark rendering

Music City Baseball, the group seeking to bring MLB to Nashville, has signed a partnership agreement with the Kansas City-based Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM), centering on the Nashville Stars branding.

Businessman John Loar is leading Music City Baseball LLC (MCB), a group that is exploring the idea of landing Nashville its own MLB franchise. Loar is joined that effort by former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and retired MLB pitcher and former Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart, with Gonzales serving as board chairman and Stewart a board member. There is also a broad slate of advisors attached to the effort, including Hall of Fame manager Tony LaRussa and Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin.

The deal between MCB and NLBM business relationship will include revenue sharing and cooperation between marketing and social media efforts, as well as a potential spot in a new Nashville ballpark. MCB is targeting Nashville Stars as the team name, in honor of several Negro Leagues baseball teams that played games in Nashville in the 1940s. The team name also ties into Nashville as home to numerous music industry and athletic stars.

“This partnership allows us to share our baseball history. The story of the Nashville Stars of the Negro Leagues is as much a civil rights story as a baseball story. The players had no idea they were making history. They just wanted to play ball. The NLBM endorses and supports the efforts of Music City Baseball to secure a Major League Baseball franchise,” said Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

“Music City Baseball is excited about our partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The Museum will play a pivotal role in our initiative, and we believe this partnership will solidify our efforts moving forward,” said John Loar, Managing Director of Music City Baseball.

Music City Baseball has granted a license to the NLBM to continue to use the name “Nashville Stars” that includes historical references, photos, and other artifacts of the teams that played in the Negro Leagues under the name “Nashville Stars” and in connection with NLBM educational programming and exhibits.

“The Negro Leagues has played an important role in baseball’s past, and I look forward to being a part of that legacy as it lives on through the Nashville Stars,” said Dave Stewart, who serves as an advisor for Music City Baseball.

With the coronavirus pandemic impacting all of American society, MLB stands to lose around $4 billion in 2020 revenue when compared to 2019, less if some part of the schedule can be saved. With expansion fees experience to generate between $2 billion and $3 billion, the talk in MLB circles is that expansion could come sooner than later.

Rendering courtesy Music City Baseball. 

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