By Brandon Smith
New ownership of the minor league baseball Provo Angels announced they will rename the team the Orem Owlz and move to the new Parkway Crossing Stadium in Orem.
Team officials also unveiled Friday the new logo and colors, which resemble the colors of their major-league affiliate, the Anaheim Angels.
“The Angels name needed to change because we needed our own brand,” said new majority owner Jeff Katofsky. “From a marketing perspective, we feel it”s the right way to go.”
The team will move from Miller Field at BYU to the new Parkway Crossing Stadium that is under construction at UVSC.
“You”re going to have some high-quality baseball, and more importantly, you”re going to have some high-quality fun,” Katofsky said.
Katofsky, an entrepreneur and self-proclaimed Little League fanatic, emphasized that the Owlz will be focused on families and on making a contribution to the community.
“The biggest change you”ll see is that this team will be out in the community,” Katofsky said. “It is my goal to have this team and the ownership group embrace the entire county.”
Orem Mayor Jerry Washburn said the change will give the city a new identity.
“This will be a new opportunity to have family activities,” Washburn said. “It gives you a sense of civic pride. Not every city can have a big-league baseball team.”
Katofsky said the move from Provo to Orem has been smooth thus far.
“I had a conversation with Mayor Billings [of Provo] and he was very congratulatory,” Katofsky said.
Team officials said they seriously considered moving the team out of Utah, but decided otherwise upon finding the new park.
“We were dangerously close to leaving the state,” said Owlz general manager Dave Jacobsen. “The single biggest factor [for staying] was the location of the stadium. It”s either the busiest or the second-busiest intersection in the state of Utah.”
The Owlz will remain in the Pioneer League, which includes teams from Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and Montana. The franchise has historically played well in the league, taking home the championship trophy last season.
“We have a new name and a new attitude, but we”re still committed to winning,” Katofsky said.
The Owlz are currently selling season tickets for $250. The team will release its schedule for the 2005 season by the end of the year.