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High-profile business family buys stake in Hillsboro Hops

Ed and Adam Tonkin, whose surname is already affixed to the Hillsboro Hops' stadium, have made a major investment into the Single-A baseball team.
Credit: Andy Giegerich
Ed (left) and Adam Tonkin's involvement fits baseball's model that encourages more local ownership, said Hops co-owner Mike McMurray.

HILLSBORO, Ore. — The Hillsboro Hops have new major investors who are a familiar name to the team’s fans, as well as to Oregon car buyers.

The surname of Ed Tonkin and his son Adam Tonkin is already affixed to the team’s stadium, as their company had procured naming rights for Ron Tonkin Field in 2014 to honor the family’s patriarch.

The arrangement, which the two Tonkins and Hops co-owner Mike McMurray revealed Friday, is separate from the naming rights deal. The family sold the auto dealerships to a Spokane partner in 2017

While the extent of the Tonkins' stake wasn’t disclosed, the two will hold the second largest number of the franchise's shares.

The Hops began high Single-A play in 2020 after seven seasons as a short season Single-A Northwest League team. The Hops, an Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate, are considered a model baseball franchise, with team President K.L. Wombacher having won Baseball America’s MiLB Executive of the Year award in 2021.

The team revealed in January it will, in a $40 million project, broadly expand Ron Tonkin Field. Wombacher said the city is finalizing a contract with a design-build team. A major work session is set for May.

Mike McMurray, whose co-owner is his wife Laura McMurray, said the Tonkins’ deal came together smoothly and earned praise from Major League Baseball, which exerted more say in minor league operational matters starting last season.

“Conceptually, it came together quickly,” McMurray said, “Major League Baseball pointed out that it was really clean, this is a deal (MLB wants) to see done because they really liked the idea of concentrating local ownership.”

Read the full story at the Portland Business Journal.