The Akron Aeros held a contest last year to see if the fans wanted them to change their name.
Now, with a new owner, the fans may no longer have a choice in the matter of whether or not the Akron Aeros remain the same.
Yes the Aeros are under new ownership as of...well, for some time, but it was just approved a few days ago and new owner Ken Babby is getting to work. As reported in the Akron Beacon Journal over the weekend Babby will be making major renovations to the ballpark we know as Canal Park.
The good news is that with the sale, Babby is keeping the team in Akron for the next 25 years guaranteed, in addition to getting a new scoreboard and a group seating area. New ownership assumes most of the costs to renovations and maintenance of the grounds throughout the year. Not only is Akron keeping their team, they now have an owner that is willing to spend to create a special experience.
The winning has been there, with Akron taking home yet another Eastern League title last month, their fourth in team history. They're a competitive team thanks to the Indians farm system and management put in place, but a restriction on the budget has stalled their success in attendance and providing an experience to the fan. That really is what owning a Minor League Baseball franchise is all about, providing an experience.
Now with winning baseball and an ownership group ready to make improvement and perhaps re-brand the franchise, Akron can be one of the premiere franchises in the Eastern League.
The Agganis family brought the Akron franchise to the city in 1997 and since have seen success on the field, but have not made major renovations to a minor league stadium that could probably use a bit of a face-lift. With a stellar park in Columbus, the Indians Triple-A affiliate, the Aeros have room to improve. Because the city had to share costs with the franchise, minimal changes have taken place. Now with Babby assuming most of the costs, changes will be coming.
And a name change could come rather soon with the city and fan base taking part in the naming. Canal Park could also see a change in name. Either way, the Akron franchise as we know it will have some off-the-field changes to go along with their on-the-field success.