Main event: Could OKC become Cardinals country?

The Oklahoma City Triple-A baseball franchise has been a Texas Rangers affiliate for 28 years, but that could change after this season. Ryan Aber breaks down the different scenarios and looks at the history of Oklahoma City's major league partnerships.
By Ryan Aber, Staff Writer, Modified: July 18, 2010 at 8:27 pm •  Published: July 18, 2010

There's little doubt that St. Louis has draw across the middle part of the country.

The power of St. Louis radio station KMOX, whose broadcasts of Cardinals games could be heard loud and clear across the Midwest for decades, turned baseball fans far away from St. Louis into die-hard Cardinals fans.

There are certainly a good number of Cardinals fans remaining in Oklahoma.

The Cardinals are still a media draw, with six radio and a pair of television affiliates in the state.

The Rangers, by far the closest MLB team to the city and a natural draw with their Triple-A franchise long established here, have just four, and the Oklahoma City affiliate doesn't carry weekend games.

The Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate has been Memphis since 1998, when they moved from Louisville.

And while Memphis' AutoZone Park remains a showpiece of Triple-A baseball, financial issues surrounding the park's original financing have left the ownership group on shaky ground.

The Memphis Redbirds Baseball Foundation, which owns both the team and the stadium, has defaulted on scheduled bond payments since March of last year. The management group was replaced at the request of bondholders.

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