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Memphis Redbirds sold to new ownership group as part of MLB minor league deal

The Memphis Redbirds will continue to be led by President and GM, Craig Unger, and remain an MLB affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Redbirds announced Wednesday it has signed a deal with Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH), a newly-created ownership group who will take over operations of several MLB minor league clubs.

DBH is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company.

According to a news release from Endeavor, the Redbirds are one of five initial clubs that are part of the deal:

  • Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A-affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals)
  • Iowa Cubs (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs)
  • Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders (Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees)
  • Hudson Valley Renegades (High-A affiliate of the New York Yankees)
  • San Jose Giants (Single-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants)

Subject to the PDL approval process, DBH said it will also operate all four affiliates of the Atlanta Braves: 

  • Gwinnett Stripers (Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves)
  • Mississippi Braves (Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves)
  • Rome Braves (High-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves)
  • Augusta GreenJackets (Single-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves)

Endeavor said it is also in negotiations for other franchises as well.

What it means for the Redbirds

According to a news release from the Redbirds, they will continue to be led by President and GM, Craig Unger, and remain an MLB affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Unger will work with DBH leadership, Pat Battle and Peter B. Freund.

Battle is Executive Chairman of DBH, and is currently Chairman of the Board of Learfield and serves as an advisor to Endeavor.

Freund, the previous owner of the Memphis Redbirds, is CEO of DBH. He and Unger are also owners of the Memphis 901 FC soccer franchise.

“We are excited to be joining DBH and furthering our commitment to contributing meaningfully to the Memphis and greater Mid-South community. This new partnership will bring Memphis a next level experience in minor league baseball, while preserving our region’s rich baseball traditions and providing family-friendly, affordable fun that our fans have come to know and love,” said Unger.

“We are now global in our ambitions but remain hyper-local in our approach as we have from day one in Memphis,” said Freund. “As CEO of DBH, I will continue to build on everything we have accomplished at AutoZone Park, from continuing to upgrade the fan experience to making sure Rendezvous BBQ Nachos remain a part of the fabric of the Redbirds. Memphis is a model for what we intend to build across this larger platform.”

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