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Mandalay officially takes control of OKC RedHawks

Oklahoma City RedHawksMandalay Baseball Properties will hold a press conference today to formally announce it has closed on the purchase of the Oklahoma City RedHawks (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League).

The purchase, as first reported on Ballpark Digest, gives Mandalay ownership of four minor-league teams and management deals with three more. (We’re not counting the Hagerstown Suns here, as the firm is selling that franchise.) By our reckoning, that makes Mandalay the largest operator in Minor League Baseball these days.

And perhaps the most successful. The Dayton Dragons (Low Class A; Midwest League) continued their remarkable sellout streak in 2010; we’ll discuss it more in coming days when we highlight attendance for the past season.

In any case, Mandalay will certainly be facing some challenges in Oklahoma City. The RedHawks were once a leading franchise in all of Minor League Baseball, and AT&T Bricktown Ballpark is still a top-notch facility. But the playing field is drastically different than a few years ago: the Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA) is the lead dog in town, and we expect the reborn Oklahoma City Blazers (AHL) to make a few waves as well. That means lots more competition. The golden touch that have proven to be so successful in Dayton may wear off in Oklahoma City, with Eric Deutsch reportedly heading down there to oversee operations.

RELATED STORIES: Mandalay buying Oklahoma City, selling Hagerstown

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