This pretty much wraps it up: the Pacific Coast League has preliminarily approved the purchase of the Tucson Padres by MountainStar Sports Group, which plans on moving the Triple-A franchise to El Paso in 2014.
The ownership group received approval of its Preliminary Application Review (“PAR”). Branch B. Rickey, president of the PCL, sent a letter dated July 30 to El Paso City Manager Joyce Wilson confirming that the ownership group received “unanimous” approval of its PAR application from the Pacific Coast League Executive Committee: “The Ownership Group has begun the next phase of baseball’s approval process by submitting a Control Interest Transfer (“CIT”) application to Minor League Baseball and the PCL.”
A partner in MountainStar Sports Group, Josh Hunt, said the PAR approval letter from Rickey was a very positive sign from the Pacific Coast League and Minor League Baseball. “This is all part of the baseball process, and it’s a big step forward,” said Hunt. “There are other necessary steps of approval, but we’re getting very close.”
MountainStar and the PCL have not formally announced which team is in the process of being sold — and, indeed, there are other PCL teams on the market — but sources have confirmed the team in question is the Tucson Padres, as Jeff Moorad and his investors are selling the former Portland Beavers for $20.5 million after a new ballpark failed to materialize in Escondido, Cal.
The ownership group consists of El Pasoans Woody Hunt, Josh Hunt, Paul Foster and Alejandra de la Vega Foster.
If approved by the PCL and MiLB, MLB could theoretically oppose the sale — but that’s never happened.
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