(Memphis) The St. Louis Cardinals seem ready to expand their nest.
The major league baseball team is interested in buying its Triple-A club just down the interstate; the Memphis Redbirds.
If it happened, the Redbirds would stay in Memphis even after all the financial trouble its faced over the last few years, but the deal would require the city to make a large investment too.
Baseball fans in Memphis hope the deal goes through. They believe it will bring stability to AutoZone Park and secure the future of minor league baseball in Memphis.
Redbirds fans were lined up for tickets on Thursday afternoon for the season opener.
“We look forward to it this. “It’s not the greatest opening day weather that you could ask for,” Dr. Joseph Fisher said about the rain as he laughed.
He and other fans are thrilled to hear the St. Louis Cardinals could be purchasing the hometown team.
“I think that would be great news,” said Fisher. “We have been worried about the finances of the Redbirds for several years. It has been a little scary.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that talks on a deal are underway between the St. Louis Cardinals, the City of Memphis and Fundamental Advisors, who currently owns the team and stadium.
The city of Memphis owns the land.
The current deal is the Cardinals would buy the Memphis redbirds team, keep them in Memphis with a long-term lease, and the city would have to get a loan for $20 million to buy the building.
“I would expect that if the cardinals bought it, people would feel that the deal is stable, so it would be a good investment,” said Fisher.
Mayor A C Wharton says the city council would have to approve the purchase of the building.
The Cardinals would then lease the building from he city.
Sources close to the deal say they could be weeks, even months away.
“I think this park and the team have contributed greatly to the city of Memphis and will continue to,” said Fisher. “It’s been a very stabilizing influence for downtown Memphis.”