The San Diego Padres have been for sale for the better part of the last five years, but the saga of the team’s ownership appears to finally be over.
The majority owner of the team, John Moores, has signed an agreement to sell the team to a group headed by San Diego businessman Ron Fowler. The group also includes the children of former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley and golfer Phil Mickelson.
The sale is now on the agenda for the August 16 owners meeting in Denver and would have to receiver 75 percent of the vote from the 29 other owners to pass. Major League Baseball is currently vetting the ownership group and hopes to have the work done by that owners meeting.
Moores said that the sale price will be $800 million. That figure will include a 21 percent stake in the recently created Fox Sports San Diego network.
Peter O’Malley and his father Walter owned and ran the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles from 1950 until 1998. This move will be fantastic for baseball in San Diego because it brings a proven baseball family into the mix.
In addition to that, Fowler will be the first locally-based person in control of the Padres since the team’s original owner, C. Arnholdt Smith. Smith eventually sold it to McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc in 1974, which saved the franchise from moving to Washington D.C. Kroc’s family eventually sold the team to a group headed by Tom Werner, who most San Diego fans couldn’t stand.
Moores bought the team from Werner’s group at the end of the strike season in 1994 for $80 million. He was a decent owner for much of his tenure, until circumstances forced him to sell the team.
While Moores was a decent owner, most Padres fans are looking forward for a new, energetic group to get control of the franchise.