The Peoria Chiefs are the Chicago Cubs’ Low-A affiliate no more.

We’ve known for some time that the Cubs were expected to change their affiliation from downstate Peoria to just-outside-of-Chicago Kane County, but we’ve been waiting on some official movement (things could have been delayed since the two sides let the word leak sooner than was permitted). Well, here it is, from the Peoria Chiefs:

The Peoria Chiefs and St. Louis Cardinals have announced that the two clubs have reached a four-year PDC agreement which reunites the former affiliation partners. The Chiefs were a Cardinals affiliate from 1995 to 2004 making the playoffs four times and winning their lone Midwest League Championship in 2002. The two organizations will hold a press conference on the agreement on Tuesday, September 25 at Peoria Chiefs Stadium. Details of the press conference, including the start time, will follow later in the week.

“This is a great day for baseball in Peoria and Central Illinois,” said Chiefs President Rocky Vonachen. “We are thrilled to bring the color red back to the ballpark with one of the greatest organizations and fan bases in baseball. We hope that with all the great young talent the Cardinals have produced the last few seasons to bring another MWL Championship to Peoria as they continue to bring World Series trophies to St. Louis.”

The two organizations have a history together, and the geography, I’m sure, was also very attractive. I hate the Cardinals and all that, but I’m glad that the Chiefs were able to secure what I think will be a very positive affiliation for them.

I would expect a formal announcement on the Cubs and Kane County to be forthcoming soon.

  • Jarrod C.

    What does this mean for the players on the Chiefs? Do the Cubs lose rights to all of them? Some of them? Will the Chiefs players all become Kane County players now? I never have fully understood how this works… Please clarify for me.

    • Brett

      None of that. It’s just where the Cubs’ minor league players play. The Cubs’ players are the Cubs’ players.

      • hansman1982

        Goodness, could you imagine if that were the case? The minor league affiliates would hold tremendous power with itty-bitty stadiums.

        • Mat B

          In spite of the fact that they are now affiliated with the Cardinals, you should come to Peoria & check out the ballpark. It’s a beautiful facility, and the first sign of spring is when they replant the palm trees in the outfield every year.

          • Cubbie Blues

            And I thought the Gulls at Wrigley were a problem. Is that why some of the Cubs outfielders take bad lines? They are used to avoiding palm trees?

        • Brett

          You’d also see a flurry of promotions/demotions at the end of agreements. Think the Cubs would have “left” Jorge Soler at Peoria if they were about to lose Peoria?

          • Jarrod C

            Hey now, don’t make me look like an idiot. I was just curious on how that all plays out at the end of affiliation agreements. I’m no dummy… Usually.

            • Brett

              I wasn’t. I was making a genuine point about how crazy that universe would be.

            • hansman1982

              these comments are not directed at you…just having a fun what if session.

              Basically I think that would lead to MLB teams (or their owners/affiliated ownership group/someone they trust) to own an affiliate or two where they could stash their top 50 come the day before the shuffle period.

  • Sean

    Well me being a little selfish how about the cubs just trade affiliates (move to quad cities) with the cards considering its only across the river from me and I’d love to watch that low A team next year

    • Noah

      My bet is you’ll end up seeing the Royals go to the Quad Cities.

  • scorardpaul

    I hate the cardinals!! I was just hoping for any team besides them. I hate red. I hate the cardinals

    • beerhelps

      I’m with you Paul. guess the only Chiefs games i’ll go to now is when they play Kane County. We knew this was coming but still sucks for us Peoria area cub fans

      • JK


    • cubchymyst

      Agreed I was a little nauseated when I saw it was the Cardinals moving in to central Illinois.

  • Senior Lake

    Any chance the Cubs wind up in Fort Wayne or is Kane County a slam dunk? I think I’ve read that Fort Wayne is essentially the “cat’s pajamas” of the Midwest League…and there’s also that whole Padres connection with the front office.

    • Noah

      Kane County is pretty much a slam dunk. It’s just over an hour drive from Wrigley Field, and for many Cubs fans in the northwest and western suburbs it’s more like 30-45 minutes. It makes sense economically for both teams the most. The Cubs can probably get more money from Kane County, because they can increase the number of fans there who will come to see Cubs’ prospects. And Kane County can make more money, because they’ll have more Cubs fans in attendance.

    • Senior Lake

      Nevermind, I see that Ft. Wayne has announced a new agreement with the Pads

      • willis

        My pop lives in Fort Wayne. Their stadium and experience are pretty awesome. Just a great setting with fabulous promotions and concessions. I would have peed myself if the Cubs ever agreed to play there. But Kane County it is.

  • Mat B

    This annoys the crap out of me, although the last time the Chiefs were affiliated with the Cardinals, I did get to see Pujols come through Peoria as a 3rd baseman.

  • Paul B

    Yadier also came through Peoria when the Chiefs were last with the Cards. Just annoys me more than anything. But as a true Blue and Through Cubs fan, I will still wear my Cubs gear to the games.

  • Bill

    Quick Question, Brett…weren’t the Tennessee Smokies previously affiliated with the Cardinals before their new affiliation with the Cubs?? I’m pretty sure they were, but not 100%.

    • Brett

      Yes – a couple years, back in 2003 and 2004.

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  • MoistassAlou

    Living within 50 miles of Peoria, and VERY much a Cubs fan, I doubt I will go back to Peoria to watch another game, even though it is a great facility. I HATE the Cardinals!!!!!!!!! Sad day……

  • Cards Fan

    This makes me very happy as a Cardinals fan in the Peoria area. Wow, why all the hatred…I was not happy when the Chiefs changed from Cards to Cubs. But we still enjoyed great baseball in Peoria. I always want the Cardinals to win, but I don’t hate Cubs or any other team. Heck, if the Cardinals can’t win the division, my next choice would be the Cubbies. I love Wrigley, but I love Busch even more. As my 5 year old says, we don’t want the Cubs to win, but we like them as people and fans. That is sportsmanship. We went to see the Chiefs when they were a Cubs team and we rooted for the Chiefs, unless they played the Quad Cities River Bandits (former A team). It is pretty much a lock that Cubs A level is going with Kane County. Now, I will take a stab – Cubbie fans in the Chicago area can see minor league ball at Kane County and at Wrigley now! Consider this in the 2006 World Series, there were 9 starting players between the Cardinals and Tigers that all played in Peoria, on the Cards A team in that series. Also, the majority of the 2011 Cardinals WS roster played on the Cards A team either Peoria or Quad Cities at the beginning of their careers! That is player development, which is what A level is all about! Cubbie fans in Central IL can still come to O’Brien Field in Peoria, a great facility and see great A level ball, make the trip when Kane County is in Peoria, to see a Cards – Cubs rivalry! For the love of baseball! I can’t hate any baseball team, I only love the Cardinals more than all others! :-)

    • JR

      Well, thats cool you don’t hate the Cubs, Cards Fan. But I don’t think most Cubs and Cards fans feel the same way. Personally, I would rather see any other team in the world win the World Series instead of the Cards, including the Reds, Brewers, Yanks, and even the Packers haha..

    • TWC

      This makes me very happy as a Cardinals fan in the Peoria area. Wow, why all the hatred… I only love the Cardinals more than all others!

      Then I suggest you head down the hall to the Mullet Nation website…

      As my 5 year old says, we don’t want the Cubs to win, but we like them as people and fans.

      This is the most bizarre form of trolling I’ve ever read. You’re trolling with niceties. Does. Not. Compute.

      • hansman1982

        No it’s a passive agressive attack on Cubs fans…he is saying that we all suck by saying that he is the model standard of which to follow. We do not follow that standard but he has hopes.

  • Karena

    Let me just say, I’ve had the pleasure of watching the Quad Cities River Bandits (Cardinals) play the last 4 years. I hate the Cardinals as much as the next person, but it was good young talent that I was going to see. For some to say, they will never go to Peoria, as long as they are a Cardinal affiliate, saddens me. I encourage you to go to the games because you love the game itself.

  • daveyrosello

    The Cardinals suck. Their fans suck. St. Louis is a cesspool that is beyond suck. Ugh.

  • Myles

    I want the biggest troll in the world and for the Cubs to move their affiliation to Indianapolis (even though it’s a AAA affiliate, a guy can dream)

  • Cards Fan

    JR – I hear you, and you are probably right. I can say that the Reds get the least amount of love from me right now, at least until Cueto and Phillips are off of their rosters, all due to the scuffle that they started with Yadi a few years ago.

    daveyrosello – Sorry you feel that way, your message actually made me smile and chuckle! Smiling keeps my blood pressure down. I can’t wait to see a good game at Wrigley on Saturday when the Cards are visiting. This will be my third trip this year to see the Cards play at Wrigley. You should consider coming down to Busch to see a game, you would love it, you know you would! There are usually about 40% of the seats filled with Cubs fans at a Cubs – Cards game in Busch and all have a good time.

    Have a great weekend, looking forward to the series this weekend between the Cards and Cubs! I need to get back to work for now!

  • Luke

    This is just about the best case for Peoria. So long as they are a Cubs or Cards affiliate, they will be in good shape attendance wise.

    I liked Peoria’s stadium, but it was a little odd to go watch future Cubs in a place that had Albert Pujols decorations and memorials everywhere you looked…

  • gratefulled

    The Cardinals can have that dump of a city…match made in heaven.

    TWC, could you please provide a link to the “Mullet Nation” website. Sounds like a good ‘ole time.

    • Cubbie Blues

      You will have to contact this guy.

  • Tommy

    “This is a great day for baseball in Peoria and Central Illinois,” said Chiefs President Rocky Vonachen.

    I humbly disagree, Rocky.

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