Cardinals will acquire Triple-A affiliate Redbirds - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Cardinals will acquire Triple-A affiliate Redbirds

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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Cardinals.com - -

By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com

In an effort to rescue their financially-troubled Triple-A affiliate, the Cardinals will acquire the Memphis Redbirds. The club's home ballpark, AutoZone Park, will be acquired by the City of Memphis.

The Memphis Redbirds Baseball Foundation had defaulted on its bond payment in 2010, and the new agreement will help save the club from further financial troubles.

According to a news release issued Friday morning, the City of Memphis will lease the ballpark to the Redbirds through a long-term lease agreement, which "includes a significant capital investment in AutoZone Park to add features that will significantly improve the overall fan experience."

"We are thrilled that we are in a position to return the stadium back to the people of Memphis," Redbirds treasurer John Pontius said in the release. "Our team will benefit from best-in-class leadership of the Cardinals. We want to thank everyone involved and look forward to a bright future ahead as a part of this world-class organization."

Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said the move to acquire the Redbirds "opens the door to countless new opportunities for our combined organization."

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. recommended that the city council approve the measure in its upcoming Dec. 3 meeting. That would put the transaction on pace to be completed by Dec. 31.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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