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Sandler, locals buy Lexington Counter Clocks, ballpark

Lexington LegendsIt’s finally official: veteran MiLB operator Andy Sandler and a local investor group that includes former owner Alan Stein has purchased the Lexington Counter Clocks (Atlantic League) and its home ballpark, with the very likely return of the Lexington Legends moniker.

The deal was originally scheduled to close before the end of 2023, but was delayed to today. Sandler’s Temerity Baseball owns the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (Single-A; Carolina League) and the Greensboro Grasshoppers (High-A; Sally League). In Kannapolis, Temerity Baseball purchased the Kannapolis Intimidators and led development of a downtown Kannapolis mixed-use district that included the award-winning Atrium Health Ballpark.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring a new era of professional baseball to Lexington with our ownership of the Lexington ball club, which is an anchor franchise in the Atlantic League, the top-level MLB Partner League,” Sandler said. “For many years the Lexington Legends were a crown jewel franchise in minor league baseball playing in a charming stadium and at the top of the South Atlantic League in attendance and fan support. We are going to do everything we can, working with our Lexington partners, to bring back the excitement and enthusiasm of those earlier days.”

With both Kannapolis and Greensboro, development is a prime driver of the ballpark economics, and we expect the same in Lexington. In February 2024 Temerity Baseball will open Stadium Lofts, a 43-unit apartment building that will also house the Cannon Ballers’ team store and a Temerity-owned restaurant and bar, The Towel City Tavern. In addition, Temerity expects to begin construction on Kannapolis’s first hotel, also ballpark-adjacent, later in 2024.  In Greensboro, Temerity has plans to build a 300-unit apartment building with two restaurant/bars adjacent to First National Bank Field.

While the team is the Lexington Counter Clocks for now, expect an announcement on Feb. 15 that the old Legends name will return: “We hope the community will join us for that, because it will be legendary,” Sandler said.

The team and the ballpark were sold by Nashville developers Nathan and Keri Lyons of Vintage South Development, which develops, owns and operates commercial and residential properties in Nashville and other markets

And, as noted, the investor group includes Alan Stein, the founder of the Legends who originally built the ballpark. It’s a good day for baseball with Alan back in the game, and he had this to say: “I have spent much of my adult life establishing and promoting professional baseball in Lexington, and I am so excited to have the opportunity to reengage in this labor of love with the Temerity Baseball leadership team.  The expertise, financial resources and enthusiasm Temerity Baseball brings to restoring the heyday of professional baseball in Lexington gives me great hope that we can recreate the level of community support we had for the Legends and once again fill the ballpark with families on game days.”

RELATED STORIES: New for 2023: Lexington Counter Clocks; Lexington Legends makeover continues with Justin Ferrarella named president/GMLexington Legends, Wild Health Field sold

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