Eric Edelstein, the well-respected and popular president of the Reno Aces (Triple-A; Pacific Coast League), is departing the team and Minor League Baseball to accept a position as Assistant City Manager for Reno, Nevada.
He’ll begin his new job on January 10, 2023.
We named Edelstein Executive of the Year in our annual Ballpark Digest Awards in 2015, an award fueled by his turnaround of the Aces upon joining the team in May 2013 after stints with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, Wichita Wranglers, Jamestown Jammers, Buffalo Bisons and Cleveland Indians. From our award announcement:
The Aces operation was in need of a makeover: team attendance had been on the decline since an inaugural 2009 season.
Since Edelstein’s arrival in Reno, the team experienced an attendance rise in 2014 and followed that up with several financial successes during the 2015 season, boosting group sales, corporate sponsorships and per caps. Some of the changes involved changing the team’s culture: Upon arriving in Reno, his first plan of action was to require 50 phone calls a day from his sales staff, which has grown from just a director and four full-time employees to a 10-person operation. The calls—directed at a variety of prospective clients, including non-renewals (past season ticket holders) and groups—were part of the engagement strategy designed to raise the team’s profile in Reno. He personally adopted the same strategy: Edelstein is an active social-media user, giving fans plenty of access to the face of the team in the community.
“I am grateful for the hard work and leadership which Eric has given the Aces for almost 10 years,” said Reno Aces owner Herb Simon via press release. “While we will miss him day-to-day, I am excited for him to make an impact throughout the City of Reno in this new role.”
“The Aces’ future is in good hands because of the team that has been built around Eric,” he added.
We’ve seen some high-profile departures from Minor League Baseball this year, including Greensboro’s Katie Dannemiller, and Edelstein’s departure certainly fits within the trend of a continued brain drain in Minor League Baseball. However, in all fairness, there are plenty of talented people committed to the industry. The finalists in the 2015 Ballpark Digest Exec of the Year award all remain in the industry: Mike Nutter, president, Fort Wayne TinCaps (High-A; Midwest League); Derek Sharrer, Executive VP/GM, St. Paul Saints (Triple-A; International League); and Martie Cordaro, president of the Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A; International League).
Photo courtesy Reno Aces.