Spartanburg says Down East Wood Ducks moving to South Carolina

Spartanburg says Down East Wood Ducks moving to South Carolina
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 10:36 AM EDT|Updated: May. 23, 2023 at 3:27 PM EDT
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KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - Eastern Carolina could be losing minor league baseball.

The Texas Rangers announced this morning that they are selling the Down East Wood Ducks to Diamond Baseball Holdings.

The team will move to Spartanburg, South Carolina, according to city officials there. The city’s communication manager, Christopher George, confirms to WITN that Spartanburg will build a 3,500-seat stadium for the new team. It is expected to relocate as soon as the 2025 season.

The Rangers brought the Wood Ducks to Kinston’s Grainger Stadium in 2017, after the city had been without a minor league team for six years.

“At the same time, we want to thank the City of Kinston for their tremendous support and assistance of the Wood Ducks franchise since 2017,” Neil Leibman, Texas Rangers president of business operations and COO said in a news release. “It has been a great partner during this run, and we will be working with DBH to explore options to keep baseball being played at Grainger Stadium in the future.”

There had been widespread speculation on the sale which is expected to be finalized later today.

A news release says the team will keep its current management and remain a Rangers affiliate.

Kinston Mayor Don Hardy this morning told WITN that Kinston will continue to have a team at Grainger Stadium. “Yes, we will have a baseball team here in Kinston at Historic Grainger Stadium,” said Hardy. “The name and the branding of the team will remain in Kinston! Whether it’s minor league or Wood Bat!”

The Rangers have a lease with the city to use the stadium until 2031.