The Mobile BayBears have been sold to BallCorps LLC, the club confirmed on Thursday.
The BayBears — a member of the Double-A Southern League — will play at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile in 2018, according to a statement from general manager Chris Morgan. The statement read in part:
"Mobile Professional Baseball, LLC, has enjoyed its long-time relationship with the City of Mobile, its sponsors and fans, and is looking forward to staging a great season in 2018."
Ralph Nelson, CEO of BallCorps Inc., confirmed to AL.com on Tuesday that Major League Baseball has approved the sale of the BayBears. The team is expected to apply to move to Madison in suburban Huntsville for 2019, though no new stadium has yet been built.
The BayBears have played in Mobile since 1997, when they moved from Wilmington, N.C. The team was affiliated with the San Diego Padres from 1997-2006 and the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2007-16 before signing an agreement with the Los Angeles Angels prior to last season.
Mobile has won Southern League championships in 1998, 2004, 2011 and 2012, but has struggled to consistently draw fans to Hank Aaron Stadium. The BayBears ranked last in the 10-team Southern League in attendance in 2017, with an average of 1,498 spectators per game.