Updated news and notes on sale of the Yokohama Bay Stars to DeNA:
- Amongst the possible candidates for the GM job: Haruki Ihara, Daisuke Yamashita, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, and Shigeru Takada. At this point, it seems Takada may be the top candidate.
- Yokohama Stadium president Hiroshi Tsuruoka said they were happy a deal was finalized and that they were looking forward to meeting the new owners. Tsuruoka also figures the new owners will want to talk about the current agreement (25% of ticket sales, all merchandising and ads).
- TBS Holdings owned 69.23% of the stock in the team and sold 66.92% of it for 6.5B yen. TBS Holdings originally purchased the team for 14B yen.
Sports Hochi has additional quotes from DeNA chairman Makoto Haruta.
What were the reasons for buying the team?
The company finally got big enough and decided on baseball to help improve the value and brand imagine. When [Motohiro] Shima made his speech after [the March 11 earthquake], I saw feel the deeply rooted power of baseball.
What kind of club do you want the Bay Stars to become?
We are a young, hardworking company. Since the team will become a part of that, we'd like it to have a positive attitude.
How would you like to teach people the power baseball has?
Every season the team manages to draw about 1M fans. We think this is an amazing product.
What kind of things will you do for the fans?
We are an internet company so we'd like to do something that the power of IT with the reality of baseball. We'd like to reintroduce baseball to those that already enjoy it, or create something new that people will think is interesting. We'd also like the help of the team and for them to give us suggestions.
Chunichi owner Bungo Shirai - I think they've passed. There were rumors they ran a match-making site, but there was no truth to that. I think this will pass without any problems.
Yakult team president / owner Tsuyoshi Kinugasa - I wasn't really sure what to think with they included Mobage in their team name. They selected DeNA and I think that's better. Looking at the big picture, attendance has fallen and being in the same Kanto area, it would be nice if we could work together.
Yomiuri Giants president / owner Tsunekazu Momoi - They came through with a solid team name and we'll accept that and make our decisions accordingly.
Hanshin owner Shinya Sakai - At this point, there aren't any major reasons for us to say no. I think there are some Pacific League teams against the sale, so we need to hear them out. As a member of the same league, I think it'll be good if we can settle this.
Hiroshima Carp owner Hajime Matsuda - I think it's fine. I know the top people at TBS and they know right from wrong. They were the one that selected [DeNA] so they've got to be a good company.
Softbank Hawk owner Kazuhiko Kasai - The business practices unit will now look into the company and some things may come to light. At this point, I don't really have any opinion either way.
Nippon Ham Fighter rep Toshimasa Shimada - I don't think it's possible to say we accept and don't accept before we've even had a chance to learn more. I'm sure they'll be a hearing where we'll be able to learn about things like how they plan to run the team.
Seibu Lion managing director Noriaki Iida - I'm sure DeNA has expectations that they'll be able to own a baseball team so I'd like to wait until the executive committee meeting before saying something on behalf of the Seibu Lions.
Orix Buffaloes PR department - This will be discussed during an executive committee meeting and an owner meeting. We'll listen to the explanations carefully and make our decisions.
Rakuten Eagle rep Jun Yoneda - At this point, the issue hasn't been officially examined or discussed so I'll withhold my comments until then.
Lotte team president Iekuni Nakamura - I think it'll be important to consider baseball's overall growth moving forward. This is something we'll need to think about before the owner meetings.