Ripken Baseball Receives an Investment from Harris and Blitzer Entertainment

David Blitzer and Josh Harris are both entrepreneurs who have made a lot of money in this area. They made strategic investments in Ripken MLB, Cooperstown All-Star Village, and other businesses.

Harris and Blitzer made the announcement this morning through their respective family offices. Ripken has five facilities in the United States used for baseball. Four of these are known as The Ripken Experience.

Harris and Blitzer announced this to support and accelerate Ripken baseball’s vision of big-league experiences for young players.

The pair founded Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, a sports and entertainment platform that includes the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center, while Blitzer was a former co-managing partner of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A; International League) and an investor in MLS’s Real Salt Lake.

They reaffirmed their commitment to youth sports and education in the communities they serve. A press release stated that Harris and Blitzer would invest in technology and systems to support and grow Ripken baseball’s growth.

The platform will be geared towards increasing inclusion and providing opportunities for young baseball players. One Cleveland-area team will travel to Cooperstown All-Star Village to take part in the partnership.

Harris stated via press release that “we have always believed that baseball can teach young people life skills, creating a positive effect on their lives and helping to develop critical leadership skills.” We have a unique opportunity to help more youth access these life-changing experiences by bringing together two amazing youth sports brands, and partnering Cal Ripken, Jr., a Hall of Famer, and the talented people at Cooperstown All-Star Village.

Blitzer stated via press release that “By increasing the growth of our youth MLB platform, we plan not only to enhance the quality of Ripken baseball and Cooperstown All-Star Village but also to expand its reach in order to bring Big League Experiences for significantly more young athletes, particularly those who might otherwise have not had access.” We are excited about the future, along with Cal, Bill, and the talented staff at both organizations.

Cooperstown All-Star Village, Ripken Baseball hosted over 15,000+ teams and 250,000+ players last year. There were also 750,000+ visitors across five complexes. Ripken Select Tournaments can also be found across the country.

“I am proud to have created millions of lasting memories for baseball players and their families through Ripken MLB for over 20 years,” stated Cal Ripken Jr. via a press release. Bill and I hope to continue passing on the lessons from our father to our children while providing them with the Big League Experience. We can expand our reach to other sports with this partnership and the long-term investment made by Josh and David. Josh and David share the same vision for youth sports in America and are excited to see what they can do together.

Martin Patton co-founded Cooperstown All Star Village with his wife Brenda. “The positive effect on our community has put thousands into work and supported hundreds of local businesses. Brenda and I are proud to have been partnered with Josh Harris and David Blitzer in this next chapter. We look forward to continuing to provide the best youth tournament baseball and growing the Cooperstown brand.

Through a press release, Sara Lehrke, VP of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer for the Cleveland Guardians stated that “Creating opportunities for youth to enjoy the positive effects of baseball is important not only for the future game but also for the future communities.” Programs such as Ripken Baseball and Cooperstown All Star Village are vital because they provide the necessary tools for kids to be successful on the diamond and in everyday life. We are thrilled to sponsor a Cleveland team to Cooperstown All Star Village.

This month, Harris, Blitzer and the Ripkens formed a partnership. LionTree LLC coordinated the deal. Through an affiliate, LionTree LLC made a substantial minority investment in Ripken baseball in 2018. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Cooperstown All Star Village is funded exclusively by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Harris and Blitzer first invested in Cooperstown All Star last season.

Aryeh Bourkoff, founder and CEO of LionTree, stated that Cal’s dedication to positively impacting kids through sports is unstoppable. She was previously a member the Ripken Baseball Board. As a Baltimore native, I have had the privilege of working alongside Cal, Billy and the Ripken baseball team for nearly five years. I’m confident that the partnership between David and Josh will expand access to youth sports and elevate its importance in the years ahead.

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