The Chattanooga Lookouts are in the process of being sold to businessman John Hughes of Warner Robins, Ga., according to sources close to the sale.
Chattanooga's Class AA franchise has been for sale since the end of the 2010 season. Lookouts owner Frank Burke devoted his focus to potential buyers in August 2011, when he turned daily operations of the team over to current president and general manager Rich Mozingo.
In 1995, Burke purchased the Lookouts in a group that included his late father, Daniel, and Charles Eshbach.
Burke declined comment when reached today, and efforts to reach Hughes have been unsuccessful. The transfer of ownership will have to be approved by Major League Baseball as well as the Southern League.
Southern League president Lori Webb recently declined comment as well.
Last year, Hughes hired a firm to study the feasibility of bringing minor league baseball to Warner Robins. According to media reports, the Warner Robins city council offered its moral support but did not provide any financial backing.
Hughes gave up his pursuit of bringing a Class A team to Warner Robins in late March, according to published reports.
Former Lookouts general manager Bill Davidson, who is now with National Sports Services, worked with Hughes on bringing a team to Warner Robins and is believed to be active in the deal to purchase his former club. A message left recently for Davidson was not returned.
The deal to purchase the Lookouts would include the sale of AT&T Field, which was constructed in 2000. One source told the Times Free Press that the transaction is for $12.5 million, but that has not been confirmed by any other sources.
Professional baseball in Chattanooga dates back to 1885 and has been held continuously in the city since 1976. The Lookouts are in their sixth season as Double-A affiliates of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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Contact David Paschall at email@example.com or 423-757-6524.