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Cardinals close deal to buy Triple-A Memphis Redbirds

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redbirds3ST. LOUIS (AP) – The St. Louis Cardinals now own their top minor-league team.

The Cardinals on Friday closed on the purchase of the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. As part of the deal, the city of Memphis, Tenn., acquires AutoZone Park and will lease the stadium to the Cardinals. Both are buying from Fundamental Advisors LP, the sole bondholder of the Memphis Redbirds Baseball Foundation.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Plans for the purchase were first announced late last year.

The Cardinals say the purchase agreement includes a significant investment in AutoZone Park, but did not elaborate.

The Memphis franchise has had financial struggles in recent years. The team drew more than 800,000 fans when the stadium opened in 2000, but has drawn fewer than 500,000 in recent easons.