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Studer: We’re close to buying Double-A team for Pensacola

Southern LeagueWINTER MEETINGS — Pensacola Pelicans (independent; American Association) owner Quint Studer says he’s on the verge of buying a Double-A Southern League team to play at his new waterfront ballpark in 2012, with an announcement expected in the next few weeks.

Based on conversions we had at the Winter Meetings, the team in question is most likely the Huntsville Stars, whose ballpark issues do not appear to have any resolution in sight. UPDATE: A more likely scenario has emerged with the Carolina Mudcats making the move and an unnamed Carolina League team moving to Zebulon.

If the purchase happens, it’s most likely the Pelicans will go dark for the 2011 season.

One issue, though: territorial rights concerning neaby Mobile.

The race to put an affilated team on Florida’s panhandle appears to have been won by Studer and Pensacola. Earlier this year Panama City officials were openly seeking an owner for a potential ballpark on city-controlled land.

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