Memphis Redbirds Open Season amid Buyout Rumors

Memphis Redbirds Open Season amid Buyout Rumors

AutoZone Park is brightening up a dreary day in downtown Memphis with the Redbirds season opener. In addition to new food and new giveaways, this season there could also be new owners.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - AutoZone Park is brightening up a dreary day in downtown Memphis with the Redbirds season opener. In addition to new food and new giveaways, this season there could also be new owners.

For years there's been talk that the St. Louis Cardinals will buy the AAA affiliate. Speculation heated up Wednesday when members of the Cardinals organization did their pre-season walk through and a tweet was sent out saying they were close to reaching a deal.

The Memphis Redbirds opening day forecast: 45 degrees and rainy - not exactly baseball weather.

"We're not going tonight, I cant brave this weather," said Kate Pera, who's keeping a close eye on the forecast, waiting for her chance to get in one of her favorite places in downtown Memphis.

"The whole stadium's gorgeous, I don't think I can pick out a favorite part."

Despite the weather, the excitement is building as the Redbirds prepare to take the field for eight straight home games.

"This is the best ball park in minor league baseball," said Adam Goldberg, Redbirds Director of Marketing. "I've been to my fair share and nothing else compares to this."

It's one of the reasons the Cardinals organization is in talks to buy the team from the nonprofit Redbirds Foundation.

"There's a perception there. The Cards have been the only affiliate for the Redbirds, so it makes sense to have that connection, they're great partners of ours, we've been affiliated with them since we got here, since AutoZone Park opened," Goldberg said.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton says the ballpark is a critical asset to downtown Memphis, but won't say where negotiations stand. Goldberg doesn't know how close the Cardinals are to a deal, but he does know regardless of what happens, the fan experience will be better than ever.

"We just wanted to add value for the fans so we have more giveaways this year, we have 17 premium giveaways. Every Friday we have a giveaway, every Saturday we have our fireworks."

The team expects to have 500,000 fans in the stadium through the season. For the Redbirds full schedule, visit www.memphisredbirds.com.

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