Though a sale and subsequent relocation of the Mobile BayBears (Class AA; Southern League) looks to be gaining traction, Mobile officials want to make a pitch to keep the franchise.
The Arizona-based BallCorps, LLC investment syndicate has been working on an effort to purchase the BayBears with the intention of relocating the franchise to another market. Some discussion has taken place about moving the BayBears to Madison, AL––a city that is included in the Huntsville Metropolitan Area–where a new ballpark could be built as part of the Town Madison development.
The Southern League has given its approval of the sale but, as we noted earlier this week, there are multiple steps that have to be completed before the team is relocated. First, the sale is considered in a separate vote. That is followed by a separate request to move the franchise. (You cannot just request a move of the franchise; you need to have a destination and facility specified.)
Mobile officials, for their part, say they want to make a pitch the BayBears’ perspective owners on keeping the team in the city. More from WHNT:
“Until it is a done deal, I hope the City of Mobile is in play and we will make our pitch to the new owner, whoever it may be,” said Mobile Mayor, Sandy Stimpson.
On Tuesday, Mobile’s mayor did all he could to assure his city that there’s no signed contract saying the team has been sold, or that the BayBears will be relocating.
While that’s technically true, WHNT News 19 obtained a confidential document over the summer, showing the potential new owner is interested in moving the team to Madison.
The Deputy Director of Communication for Mobile`s mayor, Laura Byrne, insisted that nothing is official yet. “There is no contract to either sell or move the BayBears team at this point.”
The BayBears have played at Hank Aaron Stadium since 1997, their first season in Mobile. The team will play there once again in 2018.
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