Neil Leibman, the chairman and CEO of the Hawks’ majority ownership group, Minor League Holdings, LLC, has sold the club to Agon Sports and Entertainment out of Georgia. Terms of the sale have not been disclosed and the sale is pending the approval of Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, and the Northwest League.
“We are very excited for the opportunity to be the next stewards of the Boise Hawks,” said Jeff Eiseman, president of Agon Sports and Entertainment. “Boise is a visionary city with great people and tremendous fans – we are thrilled to be a part of this community and we will work hard to win your hearts. We would also like to thank Neil Leibman and his partners for entrusting us the honor of being part of Hawks history.”
Eiseman and business partner Chris Schoen established Agon Sports and Entertainment in 2012 as a holding company and management entity to oversee minor league sports opportunities. Agon purchased the Augusta Greenjackets, the Class-A South Atlantic League affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, in November of 2012.
Eiseman has a rich history as a baseball executive, spending 20 years in various management capacities for Mandalay Sports Entertainment and Ripken Baseball. Under his previous leadership, the Aberdeen IronBirds sold out every game over a 10-year period. Eiseman also led one of the most successful launches in the Florida State League with the Class-A Charlotte Stone Crabs.
Schoen has spent the bulk of his career in the commercial real estate development business. Working with John Portman and co-founding Barry Real Estate Companies, he developed some eight-million square feet of office and mixed use development in the southeast and southwest portions of the United States. In 2006, Schoen was a co-partner in Hardball Capital, which purchased and managed the Fort Wayne Wizards of the Midwest League, overseeing the development of Parkview Field in Fort Wayne. Hardball Capital also purchased the Salem Avalanche in the Carolina League and the Savannah Sand Gnats in the South Atlantic League.
“This will be a new era for the club, we plan on investing in the team, creating some new experiences at Memorial Stadium, enriching our promotional schedule, staffing up and getting engaged in the community,” Eiseman said. “Our first step is to speak to our fans and sponsors and see what’s working and what isn’t. We are going to be more active this off-season than I imagine the club has been in a long time and our fans will notice the difference come baseball season. I promise we’ll make you proud of the Boise Hawks and see a renewed spirit and commitment. 2015 is just the first step.”
Leibman, the Chairman and CEO of Aspen Pipeline LP in Houston, Texas, has been the majority owner of the Hawks since 2006.
“We feel confident that the new ownership group will continue to run the Hawks with the same passion as well as bring a new sense of life to the team,” Leibman said.
The Hawks began Northwest League play as an independent club from 1987-89. The team was affiliated with the Los Angeles Angels from 1990-2000; the Chicago Cubs from 2001-14; and is currently a minor league partner of the Colorado Rockies. The club has made four consecutive NWL playoff appearances and won six league championships, the most recent banner coming in 2004. Season, mini-pack, bonus books, and group nights for Hawks’ games are available by calling 322-5000.