San Diego Business Journal

Padres CEO Withdraws Application to Buy Team; Club Looks to Complete TV Deal

Friday, March 9, 2012

San Diego Padres CEO Jeff Moorad said he’s withdrawn a change of control application to Major League Baseball so that the league can expedite approval of its new broadcasting contract, according to a team announcement March 9.

Moorad and a group of 12 investors were expecting to take over the full ownership of the Padres in January when they accelerated their phased $520 million purchase of the team from Chairman John Moores. But the owners wanted more details about the sale, causing what then appeared to be a minor delay.

“With Opening Day less than one month way, John Moores and I believe our top priority is to ensure that Padres fans will be able to watch broadcasts of what we believe is an exciting baseball team,” Moorad said in the release.

The Padres have negotiated a multiyear contract with Fox Sports West to take over the television broadcasting of games previously provided by Cox San Diego, according to numerous published reports, although the team has not confirmed that. Some reports estimate that the TV deal could be worth more than $25 million annually.

Moorad’s group, which includes sports announcer and former quarterback Troy Aikman and businessman Wayne Seltzer, began the purchase of the Padres in 2009 with a down payment of $100 million in a deal that was supposed to close by 2014. The group owns 49 percent, with Moorad’s stake at 40 percent.

Moores, who has since relocated to Austin, Texas, decided to sell the team in advance of divorcing his wife, Becky, which was official in 2011.

— Mike Allen