Randy Boyd, owner of the Tennessee Smokies (Class AA; Southern League) and operator of three Appalachian League teams, has joined the Memphis Redbirds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ownership group headed by Peter Freund.
Besides the Smokies, Boyd Sports LLC also operates the Johnson City, Greeneville and Elizabethton Appy League teams transitioning to summer-collegiate play in 2021.
“Having the opportunity to partner with an individual such as Randy Boyd is a true privilege and speaks to our ownership’s continued commitment to the city of Memphis and the state of Tennessee,” Freund said via press release. “We are thrilled to have Randy’s years of experience in both the State and the great game of baseball to further enhance our vision for the future.”
“Jenny and I love Memphis and the people here. We also love baseball and have an admiration for the Cardinals, one of the best franchises ever. The Redbirds have an amazing facility, and most importantly, amazing owners in Peter Freund, Craig Unger and the St. Louis Cardinals,” Boyd said. “Partnering with someone like Peter, who is not just passionate about the game but the impact it makes on the community, is exciting. We are looking forward to decades of creating great experiences at AutoZone Park and being an even bigger part of this great city.”
Boyd is a University of Tennessee graduate and was appointed in March 2020 to serve as CEO of the statewide university system, including the UT Health Science Center in Memphis. Previously he has served as chairman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. He was a founder and co-chair of the Governor’s Rural Taskforce, which exists to help state government and industry leaders find solutions to the biggest challenges facing rural Tennessee.
Boyd has also been pursuing a new Smokies ballpark as part of a $142-million mixed-use development in Knoxville’s Old City area. That process took a step forward on Tuesday night when the Knoxville City Council approved the creation of a sports authority to oversee the ballpark financing and creation. The next step is deliberation by Knox County commissioners on Monday.
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