Memphis Redbirds President and General Manager Craig Unger has joined the Redbirds ownership group, Principal Owner Peter Freund announced Friday.
In April, Freund purchased a majority share in the franchise and added the responsibilities of President to Unger’s duties. The St. Louis Cardinals remain part owners of the franchise.
“From the moment I met Craig, it was clear that we shared the same vision for the future of the Redbirds organization,” said Freund. “Craig’s energy and overall enthusiasm is contagious and I am thrilled that he will not only continue to run the franchise as President and General Manager, but also as our partner.”
“For a lifelong baseball fan and someone raising a family in this community, this is a dream come true,” Unger said. “The future of the Redbirds has never been brighter, and we look forward to continuing to provide affordable, family-friendly entertainment at AutoZone Park.”
Since being named GM in 2014, Unger has overseen the day-to-day operations of the franchise and AutoZone Park. Under Unger’s direction in 2016, the Redbirds saw a 17 percent increase in attendance from the 2015 season, which was fourth-best in all of minor league baseball. Memphis’ per-game attendance increase in 2016 led the minors. The Redbirds also successfully hosted the Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game in September, in front of a near-sellout crowd of 9,471.
Prior to arriving in Memphis, Unger worked in the Cardinals Front Office, including five seasons as an Account Executive, Corporate Sales and Marketing, and he spent six months behind-the-scenes working on the club’s acquisition of the Redbirds. Before joining the Cardinals staff, Unger spent nine years at KTRS Radio in St. Louis.
The transaction is subject to the approval of the President of Minor League Baseball and the review of the Baseball Office of the Commissioner.
The 2017 Redbirds take the field for the first time on Thursday, March 30 against the Cardinals in a “Battle of the Birds” exhibition game. Multiple season and mini-membership ticket options for the 2017 season are on sale now, and all include the “Battle of the Birds.”