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South Bend Silver Hawks under new ownership

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The deal is signed and done, and the South Bend Silver Hawks have a new owner!

Former South Bend Mayor and Indiana Governor Joe Kernan announced on Wednesday at 2 p.m. that he sold the team to a Chicago businessman.

Andrew Berlin is also the CEO of Berlin Packaging in Chicago. He spoke at the Wednesday press conference and said the team will "continue to anchor the south end of South Bend."

"We are delighted at the new investment in the team and the thousands of people it will bring to downtown," said Berlin.

Berlin said that as part of the deal, the team will stay rooted in South Bend for the next 20 years.

Kernan had some tough questions to answer at the press conference.

About a month ago, Kernan said that there was no deal to sell the team and the team was not going to move. Kernan confirmed on Wednesday that he never said they were not looking for a buyer.

Kernan admitted that they incurred debt trying to keep the team in South Bend.  He said that they have been soliciting new investors and was introduced to Andrew Berlin about six months ago.

When asked if all of the taxpayer improvements were made to the ballpark just to "dress it up to sell," he responded:

"I will tell you with a straight face, just say that we have not turned a profit any year since I bought the ball club... none of the investors, including me, will not make any money on the transaction. We are selling it for less than we bought it for," said Kernan.

ABC 57's Jillian Mahen is following this story and will have more information coming up on ABC 57 News at 6 and 7 p.m.

 

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