The International League voted Monday to approve the partial sale of the Ottawa Lynx to Joseph Finley and Craig Stein, who plan to relocate the Class-AAA team to a $34 million stadium in Allentown in time for the 2008 season, the Morning Call has reported.
The Phillies' Class-AAA affiliation with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons expires at the end of this season. In 2007, Ottawa will temporarily serve as Philadelphia's top minor league franchise, meaning that in 2008, Allentown will become the top farm team in the Phillies' system.
Ottawa, the only Canadian team in the International League, currently serves as Baltimore’s Class-AAA affiliate. There has been speculation that the Orioles will then move the franchise to Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Ottawa’s sagging attendance forced the team owner to make this move, the Morning Call reported.
Construction of a 7,000-seat Allentown stadium is set to begin next week. Finley is the owner of two successful minor league franchises — the Trenton Thunder (the Yankees' Class-AA affiliate) and Lakewood BlueClaws (the Phillies' Class-A team). Stein is the owner of the Class-AA Reading Phillies and co-owner of the BlueClaws.