No surprise: Major League Baseball today approved the sale of the San Diego Padres to a group led by Ron Fowler and Peter O’Malley, ending John Moores’ tenure as team owner.
The vote this morning was seen as a formality by many in baseball; a new owner doesn’t get this far if the skids weren’t greased. And it’s not as though Fowler — a minority investor in the Padres — and O’Malley — the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dodger Stadium — were unknown entities in Major League Baseball.
In any case, it’s a done deal. Fowler will be the franchise’s control person. Also in the ownership group: Kevin O’Malley and Brian O’Malley; Peter and Tom Seidler, owners of the Visalia Rawhide (High Class A; California League); pro golfer Phil Mickelson; and some of the existing minority owners of the team. Not involved; Jeff Moorad, whose bid to buy the team failed after he did not receive MLB approval.
The team didn’t sell for as much as many assumed. The official sale price is around $800 million, but the Fowler/O’Malley group is only putting up $600 million or so. John Moores and the minority investors cashing will receive $200 million from existing team coffers — the first payments made by Fox Sports on a $1.2 billion, 20-year media-rights deal. So the new owners are basically buying a team for $600 million where there is already a billion dollars of media rights booked.
RELATED STORIES: Will Padres sale affect San Diego development?; O’Malley group reaches agreement to buy Padres; Mickelson joins potential Padres ownership group; Three groups approved to negotiate purchase of Padres; O’Malleys may make run at Padres; Moores puts San Diego Padres back on the market
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