Sounds vetting minority owners

Team affirms commitment to Nashville

The Nashville Sounds may be close to adding another owner, but the team's owners say it is not up for outright sale.

"[W]e are entertaining offers from a number of individuals and corporations who have expressed an interest in becoming a minority shareholder in the club," Sounds owner and CEO Frank Ward said in a statement. "We have made it clear that any consideration would only be made to those people who share our commitment to keep the ball club in Nashville. It has always been our intention to embrace the people of this region in the future of the Sounds, a club they have supported since 1978."

Ward, who bought the team with Masahiro Honzawa four years ago, sent the statement in response to rumors the AAA baseball team may be headed out of town.

"Both myself and my partner, Masahiro Honzawa, are passionately committed to professional baseball in this region and have no interest in selling the ball club," he said. "We believe in Nashville's rich and colorful baseball history and believe the hard work of our staff over the past four seasons proves our commitment is long-term. Despite the challenges of playing in the oldest ballpark in Triple-A baseball, we have elevated baseball's relevance within the Nashville sporting scene."

Both Ward and Honzawa are out-of-towners and — with the Sounds still in the murky purgatory of playing in the 34-year-old Greer Stadium without a path toward a new ballpark — a move to add an owner with local ties could be a step to parallel the stability the Nashville Predators found after that team was purchased by a cadre of locals in 2007.