Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sounds Sold; New Owners Try to Convince Nashville They're Not Carpetbaggers

Posted By on Thu, Oct 30, 2008 at 4:38 PM

click to enlarge New_20Image.JPG
Welcome (one of) your new Nashville Sounds overlord(s). When you went off to college, you might have remembered the fellow coed whose parents bought them an off-campus house or apartment. These people obviously had a lot of money. They also had a pretty rock-solid rationale: Our son or daughter loves the town, real estate is (was?) a great investment, and we'd rather their rent line our pockets than some strangers. Frank Ward, the man pictured above, is one of those people. Only instead of a house, Ward, along with two of his fellow New York real estate investors, decided to buy a baseball team. Ward is one-third of MFP Real Estate, the new owners of the Nashville Sounds. According to press releases sent out by their PR group, the Sounds first came on to MFP's radar after Ward's daughter, now a junior, enrolled at Vanderbilt. Also, one of the other guys once sold hot dogs at Shea Stadium. So yeah, why not buy a baseball team? Anyway, the Vandy connection is noteworthy because it's the kind of thing you'd want to harp on if you were a bunch of out-of-town investors who just bought the Sounds. When the relationship between Al Gordon and Metro Nashville soured, many fans used it as an opportunity to play up his carpetbagger status (Gordon's Amerisports is based in Chicago). The first order of business with any disgruntled fan base is to always reinforce that you're not like the other guy. In that respect, MFP is off to a good start.

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