Bakersfield Blaze revert to former owner

Bakersfield Blaze revert to former owner
The Bakersfield Blaze are seen during their home opener April 12, 2013. (File photo)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The city's minor-league baseball club is switching back to former ownership.

D.G. Elmore of the Elmore Sports Group has reclaimed ownership of the Bakersfield Blaze after owners Gene Voiland and Chad Hathaway failed to deliver on a new ballpark.

Elmore sold the team, a Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, to Voiland and Hathaway, local oil-industry businessmen, in March 2012. Last fall, the duo announced plans for a new stadium in northwest Bakersfield. They planned to move from Sam Lynn Ballpark, which was built in 1941.

This month, Voiland and Hathaway announced they had failed to obtain the necessary funding to build the stadium. They raised roughly 60 percent of the money needed to build a ballpark off Coffee Road near Rosedale Highway.

Monday, Elmore said he had taken control of the team, again, after Voiland and Hathaway "were unable to complete that ballpark project and chose not to pay a loan that was due to me for the purchase of the team ..."

"... I have decided to move back into control of this storied franchise in a tremendous city, and I'm extremely excited to see what the future holds," Elmore said in a news release.

General manager Elizabeth Martin said the community should feel secure in the Blaze returning to Elmore's ownership.

"Everything that the city has grown to love about the organization over the last two to three years will stay exactly the same, and we will continue to add going forward," she said in the news release.

Next season for the Blaze begins April 3, 2014.