St. Paul Saints being sold to national investment group

It is the end of an era in St. Paul as the Saints baseball team is being sold after a 30-year run. 

The original ownership group made up of among others Marv Goldklang, Mike Veeck and Hollywood star Bill Murray is selling to Diamond Baseball Holdings, a national investment group that owns more than a dozen minor league teams.

"Nothing lasts forever," said Saints Executive Vice President Tom Whaley on Wednesday after news of the sale broke. "I think we all know that, but this team is going to last a heck of a lot longer than we are."

Whaley is not only a member of the Saints executive leadership team, but he has also been a small minority owner of the beloved club known for quirkiness and fun in the Capital City.

"I have been with the group for 30 years so this a big change," Whaley told FOX 9’s Paul Blume. "It is all I have ever known."

Whaley is bullish on the Saints for 2023 and beyond, explaining new ownership has absolutely no desire to mess with the recipe of baseball and entertainment in St. Paul. The club has a loyal fan base after building itself up from nothing at Midway Stadium, moving into a state-of-the-art ballpark, and becoming the Twins top minor league affiliate in recent years.

"The future is really exciting and our guys, we couldn't have chosen a better buyer for this club," said Whaley.

"It is hard to overstate the unique combination of characters that came together to make the Saints what they were," said former long-time St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

Coleman, a fan of the Saints and all things St. Paul, admitted he is nervous about what the ownership change might mean for the ballpark experience so many are accustomed to.

Said Coleman, "You have a fund basically coming in, buying a team that owns a bunch of other teams. How do you keep that unique feeling of what the Saints are all about?" 

Among the other minor league clubs owned by Diamond Baseball Holdings are the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines, the Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs and the Wichita Wind Surge, the Twins AA affiliate. 

The Saints announced that its current executive management team will remain in place to run the club and ballgame experience, promising no changes in that department.