The New Orleans Zephyrs will announce the partial sale of the team to former Pawtucket Red Sox owner Lou Schwechheimer at a news conference Nov. 30, two sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
The Zephyrs sent out a news release stating there would be an announcement concerning the Zephyrs’ new stadium lease and the future of the team.
“Yes, it will be announced that the team has been sold,” said a source close to the Zephyrs who asked not to be identified because the team does not want to disclose its announcement plans. “The new owner will be introduced then.”
A source with Minor League Baseball said the sale by Don Beaver of at least half of the Zephyrs, a Class AAA team, to Schwechheimer is only awaiting approval from Major League Baseball. Beaver and Schwechheimer have been in talks for about eight months.
The deal was expected to be completed after the Zephyrs and the Louisiana Superdome and Expedition District finalized agreement on a new lease in which the LSED takes over maintenance of Zephyr Field. That lease agreement was completed during the regular Superdome Commission meeting Oct. 20.
The agreement will result in continued improvements to the stadium, which was built in 1997 and has fallen on hard times. The Zephyrs have maintained the stadium year-round under a tight budget. Zephyr Field is in need of amenities that would bring it up to par with other minor league stadiums and possibly increase attendance.
Schwechheimer sold the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2014.
Beaver has owned the Zephyrs since Feb. 11, 2000, when he purchased the team from Rob Couhig. Beaver, who is from North Carolina, also owns the Class Triple-A Charlotte Knights and Single-A Hickory Crawdads. Sources said he wanted to sell interest in the Zephyrs but also wanted to retain a share of them.
“He likes New Orleans, and he likes owning a team in New Orleans,” the source said.