No one can talk about Chuck Greenberg’s ownership of the minor-league Frisco RoughRiders without talking about the lazy river. The signature feature of the Class AA ballpark in suburban Dallas isn’t one of the biggest scoreboards in minor-league baseball or the array of food options. It’s the meandering water feature above the right-field wall, an amenity Greenberg installed after a series of if-you-could-have-anything conversations with fans. “Some of the ideas, when they first surfaced, we were like, ‘Are you sure about this?’ ” said Barry McPherson, a cybersecurity executive who is one of the RoughRiders’ owners. “People love it.” That’s very much in character for the man who would buy the Carolina Hurricanes, according to those who know him: He’s still a fan first. Greenberg, who has a term sheet in place to buy the Hurricanes from Peter Karmanos, helped Mario Lemieux save the Pittsburgh Penguins, was the point man on a deal to purchase the Atlanta Hawks, Thrashers and Philips Arena and was briefly the managing partner of the Texas Rangers before focusing on minor-league baseball teams in Frisco and Myrtle Beach. Interviews with people close to Greenberg and others who have knowledge of the proposed purchase but requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks paint a picture of a front man who would be deeply concerned with the fan experience and revitalizing Raleigh as a hockey market, but lacking the money to fund the purchase himself and reliant on a group of investors to get the deal done. If the deal goes through, at a reported price of $500 million that likely includes a large amount of assumed debt while valuing the actual franchise closer to $300 million, Greenberg would move to Raleigh with the intention of making the team work here. That’s what Hurricanes fans long afraid of a move to Quebec City or Seattle during these years of ownership uncertainty as Karmanos has had the team on the market have been hoping to hear.
Potential new Hurricanes owner concerned with ‘revitalizing Raleigh as a hockey market’
Raleigh News & Observer | Jul 23