It's official. The Ventura County Gulls have flown the coop.
The Gulls, who recently finished their one and only season at Ventura College with the lowest attendance in the California League, are moving to San Bernardino pending league approval. A group of San Bernardino businessmen bought the team from Ken McMullen and Jim Colborn. Terms were not announced.
Before the Gulls could be sold, however, McMullen and Colborn had to buy out another partner, Jim Biby, the team's general manager. According to McMullen, Biby tried to buy the team himself, then strike a deal with out-of-town buyers to remain general manager as a condition of the sale.
"As far as we know, he won't be general manager in San Bernardino," said McMullen. Biby could not be reached for comment, and McMullen would not reveal the identities of the San Bernardino investors.
McMullen said he and his partners lost more than $50,000 during the season, but "we should gain it back through the sale and we'll probably break even."
The Gulls' lack of fan support has been attributed to their inability to find a playing facility with lights; they played all their home games in the afternoon and drew only 38,868. The team also wasn't able to sell beer at Ventura College, which cut down revenue and presumably kept some fans away.
"We absolutely weren't going to stay here," said McMullen.