Tuesday, April 24, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact: Zach Chartrand



Lafayette, Indiana (April 24, 2018) – Lafayette Family Entertainment (LFE) has purchased the Lafayette Aviators from Lafayette Ventures.  Principals of LFE are Sean Churchill, Bill Davidson, Brent Gutwein, Stuart Gutwein and Matt Perry.  The Gutweins are Lafayette businessmen.  Davidson and Perry are co-owners of National Sports Services, a management and development firm for the minor league and summer collegiate baseball and hockey industry.   Churchill is an Orthopedic Surgeon at Aurora Orthopedics in Grafton, Wisconsin, and is culminating his dream to join the ownership ranks in baseball.  

The Aviators new ownership group will have a distinct Purdue flavor as Bill Davidson, Brent Gutwein and Stuart Gutwein are all Purdue graduates.  The group expects to be active in the operations of the team, community enhancement opportunities and ongoing development of the new stadium project.

“We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to grow the Aviators brand of family entertainment,” said LFE Chairman Davidson.  “We look forward to providing exciting promotional events, exceptional customer service and being a significant asset to the community through our outreach efforts, while expanding the base established by previous ownership”.

Zach Chartrand, the Aviators General Manager, will remain with the organization and continue to serve as a key member of team management. The Aviators will be hiring additional, full-time personnel in the next few weeks.   

"The great fans of the Lafayette region will be proud to know of the long-standing reputation of this new group,” stated Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastein.  “I personally have known both Matt Perry and Bill Davidson for over 30 years in baseball.  They bring an exceptional reputation, credentials and track record of franchise operations to the Aviators' community.  The addition of both Stuart and Brent Gutwein and Sean Churchill, all with numerous and lifelong connections, only enhances the future of the Aviators.”

“We are excited at the opportunities presented with this next chapter in the management of the Aviators,” remarked Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski.  “Our community has embraced the franchise and is proud that the Aviators call Lafayette their home.  We commend Lafayette Family Entertainment for their commitment and we eagerly anticipate this new partnership.”

The Aviators won the 2017 Prospect League Championship and begin their defense of the title at Loeb Stadium on May 30 versus the Terre Haute Rex.  The Aviators home schedule concludes on August 2 with playoff games expected to follow as the Aviators defend their league title!

“In the 30+ years since I graduated from Purdue, I have made numerous trips back to Lafayette,” said Davidson.  “The growth of the Greater Lafayette area and the redevelopment efforts have really been transformational.” 

“When the Aviators started in 2016, I was impressed with the coverage and support the team received.  When I learned of the new stadium that the Aviators will call home in 2021, my interest was really piqued.”

“Having participated in many new and stadium renovation projects over the past number of years, I know what a community asset such venues can become.  Our ownership group is very fortunate that – in partnership with the City of Lafayette – we will have the opportunity to entertain families in the current facility and in a wonderful new Loeb Stadium.

The Lafayette Aviators are a summer collegiate baseball team, playing at historic Loeb Stadium in Lafayette, Indiana. The Aviators are proud members of the Prospect League, a top summer collegiate baseball league operating with eleven teams from Illinois to Pennsylvania.

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