MEMPHIS, TN (Cardinals.com)–The
Louis Cardinals, the city of Memphis and the Memphis Redbirds Baseball
Foundation have completed the ownership transition of the Memphis
Redbirds and AutoZone Park as part of a multi-party transaction that
secures the long-term future of minor league baseball
are pleased to finalize the purchase of the Redbirds and are looking
forward to a long- term partnership
with the city of Memphis," added William DeWitt Jr., Chairman and CEO of
the St. Louis Cardinals. "Finalizing this deal represents a positive
move toward stability of professional baseball in Memphis."
part of the agreement, the St. Louis Cardinals have acquired the
Memphis Redbirds, while the City
of Memphis has acquired AutoZone Park. The City will lease the ballpark
to the Redbirds via a long-term lease agreement. The purchase agreement
includes a significant, multi-season capital investment in AutoZone
Park, which will be used to add state-of-the-art
features and fan-friendly amenities to the ballpark. At closing,
Fundamental Advisors LP, the Foundation's sole bondholder, retired the
original bonds issued by the Memphis Center City Revenue Finance
is a great day for the people of Memphis," said John Pontius, treasurer
for the Memphis Redbirds
Baseball Foundation. "All of us stand to benefit from the significant
planned improvements to AutoZone Park, which will enhance the fan
experience and bring renewed excitement to the City. With the Cardinal's
best-in-class leadership, the Redbirds are destined
for great things."
are proud to announce the closing of this deal. With it comes long-term
benefits for our great
city, including stabilizing the future of the Redbirds and AutoZone
Park for decades to come" said Mayor A C Wharton, Jr. "Through this
transaction we will continue our successful re-vitalization of downtown
Memphis – in fact, we are looking forward to the
festivities tonight, with the highly anticipated ‘Battle of the Birds,'
when the Redbirds are hosting the Cardinals in a sold out pre-season
exhibition game for their 2014 season opener at AutoZone Park."
the past three and a half years, together with the City and the
Foundation, we've worked hard
to stabilize the financial condition of the team and maintain the
stadium at the highest level possible," said Laurence Gottlieb, Chairman
and CEO of Fundamental. "Thanks to all parties involved, both the
Redbirds and AutoZone Park have bright futures ahead.
We are proud of what we have achieved and believe it is the right time
to pass the baton onto the City of Memphis and the world-class St. Louis
Sports Group played an integral role in advising Fundamental on the
overall deal structure.
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, PC acted as counsel
with regard to bond and financing matters and Husch Blackwell, LLP acted
as transaction counsel to Fundamental.