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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -
The Southern League announced the approval of the sale of the Huntsville Stars baseball team.
Current owner Miles Prentice plans to sell the team to a group led by Ken Young. The team will relocate to Biloxi, Mississippi.
This sale must still be approved by Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball. If approved, the team will leave Huntsville following the 2014 season.
Huntsville city leaders have called efforts to work with the current owner "difficult". According to the Mayor's office, Prentice did not attend a single game in Huntsville last season.
City councilman Bill Kling echoed that statement, adding, "He wasn't really interested in promoting the team."
"Leaving Huntsville at the end of the 2014 season will be bittersweet for our league due to our long association with former Stars' owner and beloved former Southern League President, Don Mincher. But, as sad as we are to be leaving the Huntsville market, we are also excited as we look forward to opening a new ballpark in Biloxi and bringing professional baseball to that community," League President Lori Webb stated.
Grissom High graduate and former Huntsville Star Hunter Morris had fond memories of his time with the team. He said attending games as a youth was also one of the key reasons he got into baseball.
"I'd get out here and I'd see guys playing out here at a relatively high level. I knew they were professionals and just enjoyed the game. That was a big part of it for me," he said.
Morris said he thinks the city holds a portion of the blame for the Stars' move. "As far as I know, the city did not do everything in their power to keep the ownership group happy. I don't think the ownership group was too thrilled about coming to terms. So they both found it best to part ways," he said.
"Playing here was just an absolutely wonderful experience," Hunter continued. "It's something that I'll treasure forever."
City officials say they hope to bring another team to Huntsville and are looking to update Joe Davis Stadium or build a new ballpark.
"Given the demographics of the Huntsville area, I think we're going to see a new team come in," said Kling, "and we're going to have an owner who wants to become part of the Huntsville community."
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