The Vancouver Canadians are being sold to new owners.
After co-owning the Canadians for more than 15 years, Jake Kerr and Jeff Mooney are selling the team to Diamond Baseball Holdings, an organization that “owns and operates select Minor League clubs affiliated with Major League Baseball.”
The Canadians will remain in Vancouver, playing games at Nat Bailey Stadium as the High-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, the team announced this afternoon. Kerr and Mooney are remaining with the team also but in different roles. Kerr is keeping his position as the newly appointed Chair of the Vancouver Canadians, while Mooney will serve as the Chair of the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation.
Kerr and Mooney rescued a fledging franchise when they purchased the Canadians in 2007.
“I bought it on a complete whim,” Kerr told Daily Hive in 2018. “I was a baseball fan at Nat Bailey when I was a little kid, and I heard it was for sale. I’m usually pretty analytical in business and I was not at all analytical about this. I just decided that was something that I really wanted to do.”
They turned the team into a success story, following the loss of Vancouver’s Triple-A baseball team in 1999. They did it by improving the Nat Bailey Stadium experience, with things like fireworks extravaganzas, sushi races, three-foot-long hot dogs.
The result was sellout crowds regularly flocking to the ballpark. Even with a cold and rainy Vancouver spring in 2022, the Canadians averaged 5,135 fans per game at Nat Bailey Stadium last season. The team never averaged better than 3,685 fans per game from 2000 to 2006, prior to Kerr and Mooney buying the team.
“It has been the thrill of a lifetime to own the Vancouver Canadians for the past 15 years,” said Kerr. “Alongside my great friend and partner Jeff Mooney, the success of the Cs has been greatly enhanced by having Andy Dunn at the helm. This is the right time for a new owner to take the team forward, and [Diamond Baseball Holdings] will be an excellent long-term partner.”
“It has been a wonderful experience owning and building this team over the past 15 years,” added Mooney. “I am especially pleased with the work Andy, Jake, and I were able to do in the community to bring the joy of baseball to so many youngsters, improving Little League parks and supporting post-secondary scholarships in partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. I am delighted that the new owners, [Diamond Baseball Holdings], have the same commitment to the community.”
The Canadians moved up in competition last year, from Short-Season Single-A to High-A. Their season now begins in April, after years of Opening Day taking place in September. The first game at Nat Bailey Stadium is this Friday, as the Canadians begin the 2023 season with a Fireworks Extravaganza.
“Jake and Jeff have built a club that represents the best of baseball, a quality organization that cultivates deep engagement across many aspects of the community. We are thrilled to begin this next chapter of the Canadians story with them,” said Pat Battle and Peter Freund, executive chairman and CEO, respectively, of Diamond Baseball Holdings. “As DBH works to scale the baseball experience and enhance value for local fans, players, and visitors, we recognize and are committed to deepening this club’s important role in Vancouver.”
- You might also like:
- Vancouver Canadians kicking off new season with huge fireworks display