Owners announced for Gastonia’s new baseball team

Gastonia Baseball Club

GASTONIA, N.C. — The owners of Gastonia’s new baseball team have been announced.

On Wednesday, the president of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball announced the new team will be owned by Zawyer Sports & Entertainment, which was founded by CEO Andy Kaufmann.

Kaufmann spoke in a news conference Wednesday. He said they want input from the community on what the new team name should be. For now, the team is being called the Gastonia Baseball Club.

You can submit your idea for the team name, along with the story behind it, at this link.

Despite the announcement, the old team, the Honey Hunters, is hoping to get back into the stadium they were locked out of last year. The Honey Hunters were shut out of their home field on a financial technicality. They didn’t pay league dues and owe thousands to vendors.

However, attorneys for the Honey Hunters say the city conspired with the Atlantic League to kick the team out and limit their ability to lease the stadium for events. They filed suits against both, the most recent of which was just Monday against the Atlantic League.

The city of Gastonia was prepared to replace the Honey Hunters with a new team.


Attorneys for the Honey Hunters are crying foul.

‘The city clearly has lost its way’

“It’s a bad deal for the city and for the citizens of Gastonia,” said Trevor Fuller, attorney for the Honey Hunters.

In a virtual meeting, they said the city shouldn’t do this before a judge decides if the Honey Hunters can keep control of the stadium.

The Honey Hunters is $2.5 million in debt and even if a new team comes in, team owners want to plan concerts and special events to recoup money.

“The case is about trying to pay the employees and the small business in the Gastonia area,” said attorney Donald Drescher.

He named a few.

A digital team in Gastonia is waiting for $65,000. Paramedics are waiting for $7,000. A family print-screening team is waiting for $2,500.

At one point, the team had serious issues paying several employees from players to bat boys.

The team attorneys said they had an angel funder with $1 million and hope to sell the team for $4 million. However, they said the city and the Atlantic League ignored those plans and found their team.

“The city clearly has lost its way and as a result, it has taken action out of desperation, out of spite, out of arrogance? I can’t say,” Fuller said.

The city didn’t respond directly to the claims.

The council was expected to make things official with a formal announcement Tuesday night.

“Government should not be involved in this type of behavior at all,” Fuller said.

The attorneys say they hope the city will reconsider and talk to them.

Meanwhile, they recently filed a suit against the Atlantic League and have a pending suit against the city.

(WATCH BELOW: Gastonia’s plan to boot Honey Hunters from ballpark gains support)