Lake Erie Crushers name new owner

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  • 12-7-15: Lake Erie Crushers name new owner

    chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2015/10/16/cincinnati-man-inks-deal-to-run-looks-to-buy-lake-erie-crushers/

    [Cincinnati man looks to buy Lake Erie Crushers]

    Filed on October 16, 2015 by Dan Gilles

    AVON -- Growing up in the Cincinnati area, Tom Kramig was, and still is, a diehard baseball fan. In his wildest dreams, he never envisioned owning his own franchise.

    On Tuesday [10-13-15] Kramig came one step closer to that reality. His company, Blue Dog Baseball LLC, signed a deal with Avon Pro Baseball LLC that allowed it to take over the day-to-day operations of the Lake Erie Crushers, with the option to purchase the team outright within a year. Financial details still are being ironed out.

    The news was confirmed Thursday by Crushers managing partner Steven Edelson, whose company has owned the team since the Frontier League granted an expansion team to Avon in 2008.

    The Crushers have played at All Pro Freight Stadium since 2009, winning a Frontier League championship in their inaugural year and reaching the league's championship series again in 2013 ...

    Kramig had been the vice president of multimedia and education for the RE/MAX realty group in Denver since 2006. He was the owner of Pro Cam Video Productions, based out of Cincinnati, from 1992-2006. He worked as a news producer at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, WKMG-TV in Orlando, and WGRZ-TV in Buffalo 1984-92 prior to joining RE/MAX in Denver. Now he is the CEO and president of the Crushers ...

    Kramig has started filling the team's front office. There were five people who quit during the last month of the regular season, so he's overseeing the filling of those positions. He has been working with Matt Moos, who was hired last year as the director of merchandising and group sales with the Crushers, to get the right people in the right places.

    Kramig would not comment if the team was going to hire a general manager or a vice president of baseball operations. However, the franchise will not change its name, nor is it in any danger of moving, he said. He also would not comment on whether he intends to exercise his option to buy in a year or whether he intends to bring on some local investors when and if he does so.

    "We're expanding the front office from what it is currently," Kramig said. "So, the team is hiring. We're looking to find the right people for the right roles.''

    Kramig did confirm one short-term goal. "The one thing I really want to do is better utilize All Pro Freight Stadium," Kramig said. "It's an awesome facility and I believe it can be utilized for more than just baseball." ...

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    www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20151023/new-manager-seeks-to-buy-lake-erie-crushers

    New manager seeks to buy Lake Erie Crushers

    By Richard Payerchin, The Morning Journal

    Posted: 10/23/15

    The team experience of the Lake Erie Crushers will improve on the field and off in 2016, said the new manager of the Avon baseball team.

    Tom Kramig, president and chief executive officer of Blue Dog Baseball LLC, started Oct. 13 [2015] as the new president and chief executive officer for the Frontier League team at 2009 Baseball Blvd.

    In 2016, the Crushers will remain at All Pro Freight Stadium and bring a new level of excitement to fans, Kramig said.

    "I'm just very excited to be here," he said. I think there's a tremendous amount of opportunity with the team and with Avon."

    Kramig has signed on to manage the team and he has an option to buy it within a year. Steven Edelson remains owner and managing member for now.

    Right now, Kramig said he is evaluating everything about the team and its stadium, known locally as the Freight.

    The Crushers entered the Frontier League and won its championship in 2009. The 2015 season saw a 38-57 record, with the team finishing 24.5 games behind first place.

    The team had overall attendance of 86,155, with average attendance of 1,795 per game, the third-lowest for the league in 2015. The team's overall summer attendance has declined every year since 2010, and last year was the first time it dropped below 100,000 for the summer, according to Frontier League figures.

    "The team has underperformed on the field; we want to address that, Kramig said. The team has underperformed at the box office in recent years, so we need to win the fans back, which means we need a better product on the field and in the ball park. And we're working hard to do that."

    Kramig will hire staff who left at the end of the 2015 season. Field Manager Chris Mongiardo will return next year.

    But the product on the field has to be better and he knows that and he agrees with that, Kramig said.

    All Pro Freight Stadium also needs to be used more, he said. Examples could range from concerts to amateur baseball to car shows to festivals, Kramig said ...

    Although change is coming, Kramig said he did not anticipate price increases for baseball tickets. That's part of the attraction of minor league baseball; it is a good value, affordable family fun, he said.

    A Cincinnati native, Kramig worked from 1984 to 1992 as a local television news producer. He was owner of Pro Cam Video Productions, an independent communications and video specialist, from 1992 to 2006.

    Kramig was vice president for multi-media and education for Re/Max LLC, based in Denver. He has moved back to northern Ohio with his wife to work for the Crushers.

    Richard Payerchin may be reached at rpayerchin@MorningJournal.com

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    www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20151207/lake-erie-crushers-name-new-owner

    Lake Erie Crushers name new owner

    By Kaylee Remington, The Morning Journal

    Posted: 12/07/15

    The Lake Erie Crushers have a new future ahead of them as they will be receiving a new owner.

    Tom Kramig, who has been president and chief executive officer of Blue Dog Baseball LLC, will be moving the minor league baseball forward and will focus on new opportunities in the future. He signed on to manage the day to day operations at the stadium, 2009 Baseball Blvd., and started Oct. 13 [2015]. He had an option to buy it within a year. A vote needs to occur, Avon Mayor Bryan Jensen said, but he is not sure when that will be ...

    About a year ago, Kramig said he started to research minor league teams as he always want to own a minor league team. I really like what I saw in the Frontier League, he said of how he ended up in Avon, the city in which his wife was born ...

    The Crushers entered the Frontier League and won its championship in 2009. The 2015 season saw a 38-57 record, with the team finishing 24.5 games behind first place.

    The team had overall attendance of 86,155, with average attendance of 1,795 per game, the third-lowest for the league in 2015. The team's overall summer attendance has declined every year since 2010, and last year was the first time it dropped below 100,000 for the summer, according to Frontier League figures.

    Field Manager Chris Mongiardo will return next year. A Cincinnati native, Kramig worked from 1984 to 1992 as a local television news producer. He was owner of Pro Cam Video Productions, an independent communications and video specialist, from 1992 to 2006. Kramig was vice president for multimedia and education for Re/Max LLC, based in Denver.

    Reach the author at kremington@morningjournal.com

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    www.cleveland.com/avon/index.ssf/2015/12/new_lake_erie_crushers_owner_tom_kramig_meets_avon_city_council_members.html

    New Lake Erie Crushers owner Tom Kramig meets Avon city council members

    By Linda Gandee Sun News on December 08, 2015

    AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers have been bought by a Westlake man, who was introduced to city council Monday night [12-7-15], though there are still a few steps to his full takeover.

    Tom Kramig told council he has been negotiating to buy the Crushers, which is a member of the independent Frontier League and not affiliated with major league baseball. He is glad to have reached an agreement on the sale.

    Avon Mayor Bryan Jensen said there are a couple things that must be done before the deal is complete, but he is confident there will be no problem. The city owns the stadium and leases it to the baseball team.

    The biggest hurdle for the city to sign over the lease to Kramig is the settlement between the city and the team owners over advertising money generated by the large sign in front of the stadium along Interstate 90.

    The city sued the Crushers, but a judge ordered both sides to try to come to an agreement. Jensen said they are negotiating and hope to resolve the issue within a month.

    Once that is resolved, the city will renew the lease of the stadium with Kramig, who is then expected to get approval for his takeover from the baseball league. Kramig said the league has already agreed to his ownership once the city signs off.

    Kramig described himself as a "very enthusiastic, lifelong baseball fan," and noted he will not be "picking players" but will run the business side of the team ...

    Kramig's former careers included working in television news and running his own video production company in Denver, Colorado. He is originally from Cincinnati ...

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