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December 1, 2023

Portland Sea Dogs owner may buy Red Sox affiliate in Worcester, Mass.

Photo / Peter Van Allen The Portland Sea Dogs play at Hadlock Field. The team's owner may soon add another Boston Red Sox affiliate to its holdings.

Diamond Baseball Holdings, a New York City company that owns more than two dozen Minor League Baseball teams including the Portland Sea Dogs, has reached an agreement to purchase the Worcester Red Sox, according to reporting by the Boston Globe that cited an anonymous industry source.

The newspaper — which is owned by John Henry, a principal owner of Fenway Sports Group, the company chaired by the Worcester team's minority owner Sam Kennedy — reported Thursday afternoon the deal has been reached. The agreement, which would see principal owner Larry Lucchino retain his role as chairman, is still pending approval of Major League Baseball, according to the Globe. 

A representative of the Worcester Red Sox said on Thursday night the team is unable to comment on the potential sale.

"We have no news or announcements at this time," President Charles Steinberg said in a text message Thursday.

Once any sale is finalized, the new owners can’t move the WooSox away from Worcester until 2056. The team’s lease with the city of Worcester for the WooSox use of the $160-million Polar Park baseball stadium requires the team to stay through the end of its 35-year agreement, even if the team is sold.

The Boston Globe story did not include the specifics of the sale, including whether it would involve the shares of all nine owners of the team. Led by Lucchino, the other eight owners of the WooSox are: 

  • Ralph Crowley Jr., president CEO of Worcester manufacturer Polar Beverages
  • Sam Kennedy, president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox and CEO of Fenway Sports Group in Boston
  • William Egan, founder and general partner at Boston-based Alta Communications
  • Habib Gorg, managing director of Providence private equity firm Nautic Partners
  • Terry Murray, the former CEO of Fleet Bank in Boston
  • Thomas Ryan, former chairman and CEO of Rhode Island healthcare firm CVS
  • Frank Resnek, a partner of Fenway Sports Group
  • Paul Salem, principal of Providence Equity Partners
  • Jim Skeffington Jr., president and CEO of Red Beam Partners in Chestnut Hill and the son of a former CVS executive.
  • Mike Tamburro, former vice chairman of the Pawtucket Red Sox

Earlier in November, Lucchino told former sportscasters Bob Lobel and Mike Lynch on their “UnAnchored Boston” podcast he was interested in selling the team.

"I'm 78. It's time to sell the team," Lucchino told Lobel and Lynch. "We're trying to find a local buyer."

Diamond Baseball Holdings was founded in 2021, according to the corporation’s website. Its parent company is Silver Lake Technology Management, a global private equity firm based in Menlo Park, Calif. 

Diamond Park Holdings owns 26 Minor League Baseball teams, including the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The Worcester Red Sox are a Triple-A affiliate. Until 2021, the team played in Pawtucket, R.I.

Editor's Note: The Worcester Business Journal is an affiliate of Mainebiz, and both are part of New England Business Media.

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