The St. Louis Cardinals have sold the Springfield Cardinals, the Double-A franchise that calls Hammons Field home, to Diamond Baseball Holdings LLC, making the Springfield squad the 18th team in the DBH portfolio.
The price and terms of the sale announced yesterday were not disclosed. A news release from the city of Springfield stated the transaction is expected to be completed soon.
The new ownership has substantial ties that bind the team to the city for the next decade and a half. The local ball club has a lease agreement with the city that attaches it to Hammons Field through 2038.
Dan Reiter, general manager of the Springfield Cardinals, said DBH brings new possibilities for the team.
“We’re looking into multiple avenues for future growth,” he said, noting opportunities ranging from ticketing to fan experiences. “It’s going to be very exciting for the community.”
At the news conference, Reiter noted, “This is the year of big Springfield Cardinals news dropping.”
He added, “We are still the Springfield Cardinals. The team remains the same; the name remains the exact same, except, of course, those few days that we are the Springfield Cashew Chickens.”
For a handful of games this season, the team will wear uniforms with that alternate identity, though that is unrelated to the sale – a fact that tripped up some fans on social media prior to the news conference, Reiter said.
“We are still the Double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, and they will continue providing that amazing on-field talent that we’ve grown to love,” Reiter said.
He added staff and leadership at Springfield Cardinals and Hammons Field will remain the same with the purchase deal.
All team-related decisions remain under the control of the St. Louis Cardinals, said Andrew Buchbinder, the Springfield Cardinals’ director of branding and communications. That includes everything having to do with players, coaches and roster moves, Buchbinder said. The St. Louis Cardinals have a professional development league license agreement with the Springfield team through 2031.
Reiter told SBJ both the 10-year contract term with the MLB team and the city’s ownership of the park made the Cardinals a stable prospect for purchase.
“Stability is absolutely critical,” he said. “Knowing that there’s long-term stability for the St. Louis Cardinals, they feel safe. They love Springfield, and they want to stay in Springfield.”
Diamond Baseball Holdings
The new owner is a holding company founded in 2021 that also owns the Memphis Redbirds, the St. Louis team’s Triple-A affiliate.
A sampling of its other holdings, per baseball stat website Baseball Reference, include the Iowa Cubs, the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A team; the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the New York Yankees’ Triple-A team; the Hudson Valley Renegades, the Yankees’ High-A team; and the San Jose Giants, the San Francisco Giants’ Low-A team.
Baseball Reference states DBH “jumped from nowhere in the world of professional baseball to the largest operator of Minor League teams at the end of 2021.”
MLB ownership of a MiLB affiliate, like the St. Louis Cardinals’ ownership of the Springfield team, is unusual. The online publication Ryan Weiss Baseball lists examples as the Syracuse Mets, owned by the New York Mets; the Gwinnett Stripers, owned by the Atlanta Braves; and the Tampa Yankees, owned by the Yankees.
Teams are commonly owned by individuals, nonprofits or even municipalities.
Art Zone LLC, Launch Virtual Learning Center and The Permit Shop relocated.