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Prospective New Owner of Texas Rangers has Ties to Panthers

Nolanryan Opening Day is upon us, so it's time to talk some baseball.

For those who care, I think the Marlins are going to be pretty good.

My Cleveland Indians -- once more -- will be out of it by the end of the month. But it probably won't take that long.

Back to the topic at hand.

The Texas Rangers should have a new ownership group within the next couple of weeks.

The names are fairly familiar.

Anyone who has ever picked up a sports page knows the name Nolan Ryan. He's going to be part of this new group headed by Chuck Greenberg.

Never heard of Chuck? That's OK, he's never heard of you either.

Word is, he's a pretty smart fellow who has had success in the minor league game.

And he has ties to the Panthers.

A lawyer, Greenberg helped facilitate Alan Cohen's purchase of the Panthers from Wayne Huiznega's Boca Resorts group back in 2000-2001.

Here's a little taste of what the website from the law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP (of which Greenberg is a partner in their Pittsburgh office) states:

  • Purchase of Florida Panthers Mr. Greenberg represented a group of South Florida business leaders, led by entrepreneur Alan Cohen, in its 2001 acquisition of the Florida Panthers NHL franchise. The group also Chuck acquired rights to the management and operation of the Panthers’ home arena, in Sunrise, Fla., and ownership of the Incredible Ice skating rink in nearby Coral Springs, Fla.
  • Purchase of Pittsburgh Penguins Mr. Greenberg represented the deal team led by Mario Lemieux that purchased the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL franchise out of bankruptcy in 1999. He negotiated or renegotiated all material contracts, including equity, television, radio, arena lease, financing agreements, advertising and sponsorship rights, and agreements with governmental agencies. He successfully raised equity and refinanced debt to finance the bankruptcy reorganization plan. He prepared the Business Plan and Preliminary Projections. He worked intimately with the NHL to win the league’s support for the Business Plan and Reorganization Plan.
  • General Representation of National Hockey League Franchises Mr. Greenberg has overseen corporate reorganizations; led senior management search teams; negotiated employment agreements for coaches and other front office executives; negotiated credit facilities; successfully renegotiated arena leases; testified before a Governor’s Sports Facilities Task Force (Pennsylvania); analyzed merits of a renovation program vs. a new arena; conceived and overseen a successful arena renovation program; and negotiated with public officials the public funding of renovations.

    There's much more on his official Pepper Hamilton LLP bio (link above) that you can read.

    Pepper And, Pepper Hamilton has been a sponsor of the Panthers in past years, with their logo on the dasher boards at The Billboard.

    The ads were most likely a payoff for work the firm did for the Panthers, although they may have agreed to continue business with the team and buy more ad space (although since they don't have an office anywhere near Florida that's probably doubtful.)

    I don't recall whether Pepper Hamilton still has ads inside the arena, although I know they did as late as last year.

    The question here is: Does Greenberg hire any Panthers executives away from Sunrise once he officially takes over the Texas Rangers?


    I don't know.

    Maybe, maybe not. The rumor mill is churning right now. We'll see what happens.

    Play ball.

    (And here's hoping the Indians win at least one this month.)