"Over the years we had been approached by a lot on interested parties desiring to acquire our Franchise," said Zucker. "SK Baseball, LLC was the only group that respected our mission and willing to give our community a chance. Although our organization no longer controls the destiny of the franchise while it's here in our community the staff will continue to operate it with the same commitment to community service as we have provided over the last eight seasons."
Manhattan Capital Sports and SK Baseball is comprised of three highly successful business partners; Stuart Katzoff, Jerry Katzoff and Herb Simon. Jerry and Stuart Katzoff are a father and son team from New York City. Jerry Katzoff owns Il Mulino USA, LLC, a high end Italian restaurant organization with nine locations throughout the United States and one based in Tokyo.
Stuart Katzoff owns Manhattan Capital, LLC a Real Estate Development company based in New York City. He will be the operating partner for SK Baseball. Herb Simon is the Co-Chairman of Simon Property Group a global mall developer. In addition, Mr. Simon is a co-owner of the National Basketball Association's Indiana Pacers.
"It has always been a dream in our family to own a professional baseball franchise," said Stuart Katzoff. "The opportunity with the Sidewinders is not only the team on the field, but the team that operates it. We have found the Sidewinders' Organization to be one of the best in all of minor league baseball and are honored to be working with some of the finest talent off the field too."
Tucson Baseball, LLC, acquired the Tucson Sidewinders franchise in 1999, guided by its principals Jay and Melinda Zucker. Tucson finished the 2007 season with a 75-67 record and the second most wins in Sidewinders history. The team won both the PCL and Triple-A Championships in 2006 and has been the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks since 1998.
"The Sidewinders' change in ownership will be a seamless process from the fans' perspective," said Sidewinders General Manager Rick Parr. "Jay (Zucker) will continue as a major influence in our organization and as far as new ownership is concerned, Jerry and Stuart Katzoff as well as Herb Simon are first class individuals. The Pacific Coast League is thrilled to have them aboard and I personally am excited about the opportunity to work with them. This is a win-win situation for the Sidewinders and the community of Tucson."