Team returns to local ownership as successful minor league owners and MLB Hall of Famer join local business and sports leaders to launch new era in San Antonio professional baseball SAN ANTONIO – November 16, 2022—Designated Bidders LLC, a group formed by local San Antonio business executives, has agreed to
Team returns to local ownership as successful minor league owners and MLB Hall of Famer join local business and sports leaders to launch new era in San Antonio professional baseball
SAN ANTONIO – November 16, 2022—Designated Bidders LLC, a group formed by local San Antonio business executives, has agreed to acquire the Texas League’s San Antonio Missions from long-time franchise owner Dave Elmore and the Elmore Group. For the first time since the 1980s, the Missions will be under local ownership.
Designated Bidders, LLC was founded by Bruce Hill, Randy Smith and Graham Weston of Weston Urban, local entrepreneur Bob Cohen of Bob Cohen Strategies, and Peter J. Holt. Ryan Sanders Baseball, owned by the families of Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and native Texan Nolan Ryan, CEO Reid Ryan, and Don Sanders, will join Designated Bidders as owners and operators of the Missions.
Ryan Sanders Baseball has long been recognized as a leader in minor league sports. The group founded the Round Rock Express and built Dell Diamond in 2000 and founded the Corpus Christi Hooks and developed Whataburger Field in 2005. Both Reid and Nolan Ryan have extensive experience with Major League Baseball as Nolan Ryan served as the Texas Rangers CEO from 2008-13 and Reid Ryan served as the Houston Astros President of Business operations from 2013-19.
The new Missions ownership group also includes Spurs legends and Basketball Hall of Famers David Robinson and Family and Manu Ginobili, along with numerous San Antonio civic leaders, including Henry Cisneros, Hope Andrade, Berto Guerra, Max Navarro, and La Familia Cortez. Sports legends Roger Clemens and Craig Biggio are part of the Ryan Sanders ownership and their investment in the Missions.
Weston Urban brings deep experience from the development of new and exciting San Antonio downtown projects, including Frost Tower, Legacy Park, 300 Main and the upcoming redevelopment of the former Continental Hotel block. In addition, Holt, Hill and Cohen bring a substantial track record of sports business success to the new ownership group. Under Holt’s leadership as Chairman of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, the team has won five NBA championships. Hill is a part owner of the Spurs, and Cohen, a San Antonio native and long time Clear Channel and commZoom LLC executive, has been involved in media, sports and entertainment throughout his career.
“Local ownership is essential to ensure the long term success of the Missions for our community,” said Hill, who will serve as the point person in the Mission’s relationship with Major League Baseball. “Our group is excited to bring passionate and experienced local ownership to our professional baseball team in San Antonio and carry on the tradition of baseball in San Antonio that started in the 1880s. The investor group is pursuing this challenge out of our collective desire to keep San Antonio the vibrant, diverse and unique city that we all love. We will work hard to continue building the San Antonio Missions as an important part of the quality of life in San Antonio and an affordable family entertainment option in South Texas. Partnering with Ryan Sanders Baseball adds great strength to our efforts as we embark on this new era of professional baseball in San Antonio.”
“Ryan Sanders Baseball and the Ryan family have 25 years of experience, leadership, and success in the industry at both the minor league and major league levels,” said Reid Ryan, CEO/Owner of Ryan Sanders Baseball. “Our team’s dedication to excellence and the fan experience is in great alignment with the Designated Bidders group of investors, their vision and energy. This partnership will ensure the future of professional baseball in San Antonio for generations to come, and we couldn’t be happier to be on board for the journey.”
The Missions are members of the Double-A Texas League as an affiliate of Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres.
The new Missions ownership group is aware of the capital improvements and expenses needed at Nelson Wolff Stadium to meet the standards set by Major League Baseball for professional development league stadiums. Designated Bidders is committed to addressing the stadium issue in order to ensure that professional baseball remains in San Antonio for generations to come.
“We believe our city needs a vibrant stadium where pedestrian-friendly business, recreation, public spaces, art and culture attract the talent of today and tomorrow,” said Smith, the CEO of Weston Urban. “When developed properly, state-of-the-art developments anchored by a well-located ballpark can provide the stimulus to accelerate those critical human connections. An approachable, family friendly venue is a key component of continuing to build the city our kids will call home.”
CONTACT: Burl Yarbrough, [email protected], (210) 675-7275