Sandgnats Sell Minority Stake to Crystal Lake Originals

Updated: September 21, 2013

Crystal Lake, Illinois; October 16, 2018 – Shortly after the Crystal Lake Sandgnats concluded their most disappointing season in team history, rumors began to swirl.  Rival executives and baseball insiders spoke of a massive, impending shakeup in the team’s front office; the GMthe managerremaining star players, everyone was on the chopping block and no job was safe.  Today, in a surprising turn of events, the rumors regarding the transitioning Gnats front office were confirmed, though as with any organization in the modern age, the changes began at the top.alt

In the latter half of the 19th century the Dole family controlled much of Crystal Lake, Illinois as regional business magnates; today in an unexpected move, the family rekindled their long lost legacy and purchased a 40 percent controlling stake in the Sandgnats.  Sydney C. Dole IV became the team’s minority owner partnering with Bill Ellison, the son of late Sandgnats owner Larry Ellison, who critics now speculate may be attempting to divest himself of the team as his business interests take precedence over his love of baseball.

Under the terms of the new ownership structure, announced today at a 1pm press conference at Gnat Field, Ellison will continue to maintain his role as COO of the Sandgnats with Dole and his sons taking over the majority of the marketing and public relations operations for the organization.  Sydney Dole, a fifth generation member of the Dole family, one of the founding families of Crystal Lake, spoke to reporters about his latest business venture.  “The Dole family is excited to be part of Crystal Lake’s most recognizable, most dynamic brand.  It’s something we’ve wanted since the PEBA came to the area, and we’re thankful that Mr. Ellison was willing to cede a part of this organization to one of Crystal Lake’s original families.”

Interestingly, in recent years the Dole family has largely relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina where several of their businesses are now headquartered, fueling immediate speculation from a paranoid fan base that the team may be taking initial steps to relocate following one of their worst seasons, both in attendance and record, since the team’s inception.  “We have no plans to relocate the franchise at this time,” was the only response provided by the new ownership group when posed a question regarding their long-term commitment to the city of Crystal Lake.

Still, with new ownership comes new questions, and it remains to be seen how this ownership super-group will make use of their newfound political and financial clout in the coming years.  Though PEBA teams’ financial records remain private, industry insiders have speculated that despite the clubs track record of success, the team has not been profitable for the Ellison family in recent years and many expect a shift in the way the organization is run — particularly in light of today’s announcement.

“We have no immediate plans to change the way the Sandgnats do business,” said Dole during today’s presser.  “Though the team will likely make subtle changes in the way we appeal to the region’s fanbase during the coming off-season.

The media event concluded, Dole and Ellison shook hands and posed for photos before departing the stage.  The coming months will spell out exactly how the new ownership group intends to run this new-look Crystal Lake franchise, perhaps fitting as the team on the field goes through a transition of its own.