The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Potential buyer for AutoZone Park kicking the tires

Much has been written in recent years about the long-standing financial problems surrounding the Memphis Redbirds franchise and its state-of-the-art playing facility, AutoZone Park.

Now, the city of Memphis is considering purchasing the downtown ballpark from the not-for-profit Memphis Redbirds Baseball Foundation, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. In December, the Foundation disclosed it was preparing a plan to place both the team and its home on the market and apparently recently approached the city with a proposal to sell AZP.

Considered one of, if not the best facility in minor league baseball, AutoZone opened in 2000. It came with a resulting heavy load, as its $80.5 million cost set a new record high for a minor league stadium. The combination of the high stadium debt, back tax liabilities and operating expenses out of line with declining revenues led to an untenable financial situation.

As of late last year, Fundamental Advisors LP, a private-equity firm, was owned more than $50 million in bond payments from the Foundation. The firm had spent $24 million to purchase tax-exempt bonds used to finance the ballpark after they went into default. The bonds are backed by the franchise and the stadium.

The Foundation must negotiate sale parameters acceptable to Fundamental Advisors, since the latter essentially has control of both the team and ballpark.

If the city does purchase AutoZone Park, it may make the Redbirds a more appealing target to prospective buyers as well.

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5 Responses to “Potential buyer for AutoZone Park kicking the tires”

  1. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    There is very little going on at this point………………. Greene has been give specific objectives……he is doing well with them………….. so specific that they keep him from being an idiot…….. endlessly speculating beyond any projected role……….. this is Matheny being effective………… the weight of the investment depth chart will win out here regardless of any apparent competitions…………… I see no surprises at all ……… Carp’s therapy doesn’t seem particularly astute ……… in the end I think that either Lohse or Westbrooke will open in Miami…………… they will slot Waino for game 3 with the Brewers and then the home opener…………….. it is also possible to use a 4 man rotation up front ………….that leaves the opener to lead of in Cincinnati ………… it is difficult to guess who may be focused until they start throwing all their pitches in ” meaningful combinations …………………. at this point I see Greene very likely leading off …… or second against lefties ………….. I see no purpose in throwing Sanchez 2 inning ……….. the guy should have the 8th or close ………… he is a highly perishable item …………………….. I looking for them to make a move of some kind ………… Boggs? maybe a surprise ……………

    • T8Ball says:

      Some relievers are stretched out that way in Spring Training. It’s been that way for a while. Franklin and Boggs used to throw 2 or 3 inning games. I think Franklin might have started a game, I can’t be sure.

      • T8Ball says:

        Though, I understand the concern over his shoulder. He needs to stretched out though, hasn’t thrown a bunch in a while. Did he go to Venezuela this winter?

    • T8Ball says:

      Many fans feel that Boggs and/or KMac are dead men walking. Your Surprise would be Motte? He’s my dark horse trade bait.

  2. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    “It’s a natural move. Historically, he’s hit in the No. 3 hole and appears most comfortable there,” general manager John Mozeliak said. “I think when you’re trying to optimize your lineup, getting him in a place where he’s most comfortable is the smart thing to do.”

    Holliday’s spot in the batting order has been a point of conversation with Mozeliak; however, it has never been a contentious topic.

    “I’ve talked to him about it, but he recognized that we had Albert on this club,” Mozeliak said.

    Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/holliday-takes-over-no-spot-left-by-pujols/article_58ea9688-d6aa-58f8-b1be-0b83bf16af78.html#ixzz1oyaPm5Se

    Love the message…………Mo loves his new roll as assistant manager…………….heck…when did Matt and Mo get together last year to discuss this…………????????? that was about not hitting 4th if I recall…..when was that pray tell??????????? didn’t last long did it….even though he immediately began producing from the 5 slot…………

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