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Moorad: Leaving Padres in Tucson a possibility

Tucson PadresSan Diego Padres owner Jeff Moorad says there’s a good chances the Tucson Padres (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) will end up staying in Tucson if a new ballpark in Escondido doesn’t happen — a proposition that still looks pretty iffy.

In town for the T-Pods season opener, Moorad admitted there were numerous hurdles facing the Escondido ballpark proposal, including a tapped-out economic-development department and a site in need of cleanup. While it doesn’t look like Gov. Jerry Brown will succeed in his plan to tap economic-development funds to pay for basic state services, the other problems are still in play.

“We made some progress, but frankly, the progress has slowed over the last year,” Moorad told the Arizona Daily Star. “At this point, we’re excited to be in Tucson. I’m not sure how long it will last. We started talking about a year. That’s turned into two years. I suppose I’d make a mistake if I tried to say an exact amount of time. We’re just excited to have the two cities linked together.”

Moorad brought in a pretty good team to run the team — Mike Feder and Jack Donovan gave the team instant credibility — and it may actually be a plus for the franchise that there’s no spring training in Tucson: the market is fresh come April, not saturated. The T-Pods drew 6,460 to Kino Stadium last night, a pretty decent opening-day crowd.

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