Rep. Kelly pulls offer to buy 40% stake in Butler Blue Sox |

Rep. Kelly pulls offer to buy 40% stake in Butler Blue Sox

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly has withdrawn an offer to buy 40 percent of the Butler Blue Sox, a minor league team partly owned by the city, according to the city authority that manages the team's stadium.

The Butler Republican, who made the offer in December, did not explain his decision to the City of Butler Parks, Recreation Grounds, and Facilities Authority, said Nick Ban, authority board chairman, who said at a meeting Monday that Kelly withdrew the offer.

“He rescinded his offer. He indicated that to Mr. Codi,” Ban said, referring to board member Edward Codi, who could not be reached for comment.

Kelly did not return phone calls.

The board accepted a bid from the team's majority owners to buy the remaining stake in the Blue Sox, said Ban and William Robinson Jr., a Butler lawyer and managing partner of Butler-based Perfect Game LLC, which owns 60 percent of the team.

“This will be beneficial to the team and to the community, to have one group of owners. It is something we have always wanted,” Robinson said.

The group has had an “acting offer” to buy the whole team since 2013, Robinson said. He said he doesn't know why Kelly withdrew.

In December, the authority voted to accept Kelly's $60,000 bid to buy 40 percent of the Prospect League team owned by the city's redevelopment authority, which owes at least $1.6 million to banks and $800,000 to bondholders who helped finance a 2008 stadium renovation. Kelly said at the time his offer would reduce its debt.

In January 2014, Kelly Automotive, the car dealership Kelly owns, bought naming rights to the stadium. Perfect Game plans to submit an application in the next several days seeking the Prospect League's approval of the sale.

In December, the stadium authority said it wanted to disband and turn over management of the stadium to the Pullman Board of Trust, which managed the stadium for decades until 2004. The trust has not been active in recent years.

Weeks after that vote, officials said the stadium authority is unlikely to disband as quickly as planned because it owns a liquor license it can neither sell nor transfer.

It will take about six to eight months to get another license, city officials said.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or [email protected].

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