KODAK, Tenn. - The Tennessee Smokies announced today Randy Boyd, founder and CEO of Knoxville-based Radio Systems Corporation, will become the new owner after reaching an agreement to purchase the Smokies from the current ownership group.
The deal has been under discussion since January and an agreement was reached in March, followed by the application and approval process through the Southern League and Minor League Baseball. Previous principal owners Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam will retain a security interest in the team.
"We are excited to have Randy lead this outstanding team," said Jimmy Haslam. "My partners and I have been honored to own the Smokies for the past ten years, and didn't want to let the opportunity to sell to a local owner pass by. Randy is a great community leader, a quality person and a first-class businessman. I know he will be an excellent owner."
Tennessee Smokies President, Doug Kirchhofer, added, "Strong local ownership has been a key factor in our success and Randy Boyd will certainly continue that commitment to the organization and our community."
"I have wanted to get involved with the Smokies for a long time" said Boyd. "The Smokies have been part of our community since 1911, and my goal is to make sure they stay a part of our community for another 100 years. My wife Jenny and I plan to keep the team in our family for generations."
Boyd considers the purchase a community investment rather than a financial one. He says he is committed to reinvesting in the organization and wants the fans to have a great experience from the moment they arrive at the park.
"I appreciate the Haslam family, the City of Sevierville and the people of Sevier County for helping keep baseball here," said Boyd. "Communities need baseball. Seventy times a year thousands of baseball fans gather together, young, old, men and women, all races and every income, to cheer their team and enjoy the atmosphere. It brings us closer together."
Ownership partners of the Tennessee Smokies included Gary Wade, Chief Justice, Tennessee Supreme Court; Dr. Dwight Wade, retired physician and founder of Summit Medical Group; Teddy Phillips, principal, Phillips & Jordan, Inc.; Sid Blalock, owner, Blalock Companies; Jim Blalock, owner, Blalock Companies.
ABOUT THE TENNESSEE SMOKIES
The Tennessee Smokies are the minor league Class AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Members of the 10-team Southern League, the Smokies received Minor League Baseball's John H. Johnson President's Award in 2011. They have been entertaining families and fans of America's national pastime in the East Tennessee region for more than 100 years. To learn more about the Tennessee Smokies, visit www.smokiesbaseball.com.