Unprecedented pandemic challenges force sale of Timber Rattlers, Dock Spiders
APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Fond du Lac Dock Spiders baseball teams are under new ownership after nearly succumbing to the economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Third Base Ventures, LLC has agreed to purchase the assets of Appleton Baseball Club, Inc.
“The sale is the result of the unprecedented pandemic that continues to create much uncertainty throughout the country and the world,” reads a statement from the Timber Rattlers.
Third Base Ventures is a new LLC. Principal owner is Craig Dickman. Minority owners are Rob Zerjav and Brad Raaths.
Dickman is the managing director of Titletown Tech. He also serves on the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors.
“I am excited to rejoin the Timber Rattlers and be part of this exceptional organization,” said Dickman. “We are looking forward to welcoming fans back in 2021 and building the next chapter of professional baseball in Wisconsin.”
Zerjav is the president of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Fond du Lac Dock Spiders.
“At the beginning of the year, we understood there would be major changes made in the baseball world, but, when COVID-19 caused the economic shutdown and we lost the entire baseball season, we knew it would be difficult for the team to survive moving forward,” said Zerjav. “I have known Craig for almost twenty years and his track record speaks for itself. I truly believe our new ownership group will allow the team to not only survive this pandemic but thrive for many years to come.”
Raaths is a partner with Madison-based law firm DeWitt LLP.
“To save the franchise, the current board of directors made the decision to sell the team to Third Base Ventures and a couple of familiar faces in Dickman and Zerjav to make sure that professional baseball stayed in the Fox Cities,” reads a statement from the Timber Rattlers.
Third Base Ventures is expected to close on the agreement on Jan. 1, 2021.
The new owners will purchase Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium from the Fox Cities Amateur Sports Authority.
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