12/15/09 10:15 PM EST
Greenberg group picked for Rangers sale
Ryan part of contingent given exclusive negotiating rights
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Tuesday was the deadline for Hicks to choose one of the three groups, and Commissioner Bud Selig made it clear early in the day that the process needs to come to a conclusion."All processes and sale processes like [the] stadium deal are different and often difficult [with] no set timetable," Selig said. "I would say overall that given all the things that have happened, it's had ups and downs, but we are clearly moving toward a conclusion." Hicks announced in Spring Training that he was looking for minority partners to help him reduce the substantial debt accrued by Hicks Sports Group. He has since expanded that search to consider proposals that would include buying the team outright or leaving him as a minority partner. Any sale must also be approved by the banks that hold the debt on Hicks Sports Group. "I am most appreciative of the fans' patience and support for the last year," Hicks said. "I know it's been difficult, but this new generation of ownership is 100 percent resolved to excellence and a superior fan experience for the long term."
Hicks purchased the Rangers in 1998 in an ownership group that was headed by Bush, Tom Schieffer and Rusty Rose. The Rangers won two division titles in Hicks' first two years, but have had just two winning seasons this decade. The Rangers were 87-75 this past season.
"Tom and his family have owned the team for 11 years," Ryan said. "They are passionate about the game and the team. We will benefit from continuing to have Tom as a partner and have access to his business acumen and experience."
Ryan and Hicks are among a number of local investors who have joined Greenberg's group. Greenberg has also made it clear that he will relocate his family from Pittsburgh to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Having Ryan on board was a big asset in his attempt to purchase the Rangers."Nolan has done a terrific job down there," Selig said. "The Rangers have a terrific farm system and they've done their work properly. Let's just hope it can all work out and we move on and settle these things so the franchise can move forward." Greenberg currently owns two Minor League teams in Myrtle Beach (S.C.) and State College (Pa.), and he formerly owned a third team in Altoona, Pa. His Minor League teams have won several national awards for their marketing and promotional efforts. He also heads his own company -- Greenberg Sports Group -- which provides management, consulting and marketing services to the sports industry across the country. Both Greenberg and Hicks declined to discuss the specifics of the final working ownership proposal. The Greenberg-Ryan group would be the sixth ownership group in Rangers history. Bob Short was the owner when the team arrived in 1972. He was followed by Brad Corbett (1974-80), Eddie Chiles (1980-89), Bush-Rose-Schieffer (1989-98) and Hicks.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.