A disastrous 2017 won’t be the end of the line for the Guelph Royals.
The team pulled the plug on its operations in late June, in the middle of the Intercounty Baseball League season. At the time, they were in last place with a 1-15 record.
Owner Jim Rooney, who ran the organization as a not-for-profit company, blamed the on-field performance as well as declining attendance figures and sponsorship revenues for his decision to pull out.
Little was said about the team’s situation publicly after that point, as Rooney and league officials worked behind the scenes to find new owners for the Royals.
Those efforts evidently paid off, as two new co-owners for the organization were announced Monday.
The new co-owners are Cam Guthrie – the city’s mayor – and Shawn Fuller, who runs a St. George-based sporting goods business.
Both men describe themselves as big baseball fans.
“When I heard the news that the team had folded … it was really important to see whether or not I could be involved in trying to resurrect the team,” Guthrie said in an interview.
“It’s a very exciting day for baseball in Guelph.”
The new co-owners say they plan to improve the team’s on-field performance and get more fans attending games at Hastings Stadium.
With reporting by Randy Steinman