Nov 15, 2013, 1:19 PM EST
Not a lot of teams do this, but the Cardinals did: they bought their Triple-A team, the Memphis Redbirds. Also, the City of Memphis is buying AutoZone Park, where the Redbirds play. They’ll in turn lease it back to the Redbirds.
The current owner is the Memphis Redbirds Foundation, a non-profit. There’s a lot of debt, however, and the ballpark needs upkeep and renovation. Part of the deal involves the city making a capital investment in the park.
The Cardinals have long been interested in buying the Redbirds, but previous efforts went nowhere, be it because of the financial or the leadership of it all. But now it’s sealed. This makes the third of the Cardinals’ four full-season minor league affiliates to be owned by the team. Also Cardinals-owned: the Class AA Springfield club and Class A Palm Beach club. The club also owns its short season Gulf Coast League affiliate.
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