MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Tuesday, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats announced that they will be sold to Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH), owner-operators of 26 Minor League Baseball (MiLB) clubs across North America.
Established in 2021 as MiLB saw dozens of teams lose Major League Baseball affiliation, DBH has acquired 12 teams in 2023. Those 2023 acquisitions include Boston Red Sox affiliates such as the Salem Red Sox (Single-A), Portland Sea Dogs (Double-A) and Worcester Red Sox (Triple-A) as well as the Vancouver Canadians (High-A), the Toronto Blue Jays affiliate directly below the Fisher Cats in the Blue Jays organization. The Fisher Cats will become the third Eastern League team owned by DBH following the Sea Dogs and the Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates)
In an announcement, the Fisher Cats indicated that they will continue to play at Delta Dental Stadium, retain their status as the Blue Jays’ Double-A affiliate and retain all existing staff under current CEO Rick Brenner and General Manager Michael Neis.
Tom Silvia, New Hampshire native and one of the club’s current owners, will stay on in an advisory role once the acquisition is complete.
“I want to thank the city of Manchester, Mayor Joyce Craig and the Toronto Blue Jays for their support of this exciting partnership, which will preserve the Minor League Baseball experience in Manchester for the next generation,” said Silvia. “I am delighted to pass the torch to Pat Battle, Peter Freund and the DBH team and am confident the franchise will continue to thrive under their exceptional leadership alongside the amazing Fisher Cats staff.”
“This is an exciting new chapter for our club and the community, and I am elated to join Michael and our staff in welcoming DBH to Manchester,” said Brenner. “We look forward to continued success both on and off the field and many more nights of incredible entertainment at Delta Dental Stadium.”
“The Toronto Blue Jays would like to thank Tom and the ownership group at DSF Sports Group for their leadership and devotion to our players, staff and the Fisher Cats these past few years,” said Mark Shapiro, President and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays. “We are pleased to expand our relationship with DBH and are confident that with their vision and experience, the Fisher Cats will have a vibrant future.”
“We are thrilled to add the New Hampshire Fisher Cats to the DBH family, our second Toronto Blue Jays affiliate and one of the top teams in the Double-A Eastern League,” said Pat Battle and Peter Freund, Executive Chairman and CEO of Diamond Baseball Holdings, respectively. “We want to thank Tom Silvia, who will remain in an advisory role, for his stewardship of the franchise and we look forward to continuing to build on what is already one of the best fan experiences and Double-A ballparks in all of Minor League Baseball.”
Subject to obtaining the consent of the league and satisfying other standard closing conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed promptly.
Art Solomon was the primary owner of the franchise since it moved from New Haven, Conn. 15 years ago, adding additional owners in 2019.
UPDATE: At Tuesday’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, it was revealed that the city will have a meeting with the proposed owners, as the city owns the stadium and the city paid half of recent renovations on the stadium.
“I would look at those agreements real carefully,” said Ward 5 Alderman Tony Sapienza, adding that he did not trust the outgoing ownership group.
Alderman At-Large Joseph Kelly Levasseur said he would look to recoup funding given by the city to renovate the stadium if the new owners do not agree with existing agreements with the city.