HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-Sources tell WHNT News 19 that a proposed move of the Huntsville Stars AA baseball team to Mississippi has been approved.
Sources familiar with the Southern League confirmed that the ten owners voted to give the move the green light during a teleconference meeting on Wednesday. Stars owner Miles Prentice has been in talks with a group of interested buyers in Biloxi, Mississippi for an extended period of time.
The Stars have played in Huntsville since 1985, and are currently the AA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. It's understood they will play one more season at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville before moving to Biloxi.
How each Southern League owner actually voted is not yet known. Biloxi City Council members tabled a vote on plans for a new ballpark earlier this month while the owners discussed the proposed move at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando.
A spokesperson for the Stars said they could not confirm or comment on the owners' vote. Southern League President Lori Webb declined to offer any insight in an e-mail she sent to WHNT News 19.
"Sorry, I cannot confirm or deny these reports at this time," Webb wrote.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said, "News reports coming out of Mississippi indicate that Huntsville Stars owner Miles Prentice has received initial permission from the Southern League to move his baseball team to Biloxi. Prentice’s contract with the City of Huntsville runs through 2015, and the Stars are expected to complete their final season here next year. The City has not received official notification of the transfer."
“We have talked to baseball officials and are confident the City will have opportunities to bring in a new minor league baseball team to Huntsville,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “Our conversations with baseball leadership have been positive. They tell us Huntsville is an important market because of its demographics, location, and tradition. With the right ownership and community partnership, we know baseball will thrive in Huntsville,” said Battle.
Stay tuned to WHNT News 19 for more on this developing story.