New owners take control of Padres, Mickelson not yet included
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The sale of the Padres to heirs of the late Dodgers
owner Walter O'Malley, San Diego businessman Ron Fowler and other limited
partners is now complete, the team announced Wednesday.
The ownership group includes Peter O'Malley, his sons Kevin and Brian,
and his nephews, Peter and Tom Seidler.
“We could not be happier,” Peter Seidler told reporters. He said the
new owners feel a “great sense of responsibility” to provide “stable,
successful and enthusiastic ownership” and a “sense of urgency” to put a
winning team on the field at Petco Park.
He said pro golfer Phil Mickelson, who was expected to be a limited
partner, has been too busy on the tour to join the group, but might be able to
finalize arrangements in a couple of weeks. A place remains open for “Lefty,”
a San Diego native and longtime Padres fan, he said.
The $800 million sale by former owner John Moores was green-lighted
nearly two weeks ago at the Major League Baseball owners meeting in Denver, and
closed on Tuesday. The purchase included the Padres and minority stakes in
Petco Park and the Fox Sports San Diego cable channel. A quarter of the sales
price paid to Moores was up-front broadcast rights fees from FS San Diego,
according to news reports.
“We are thankful to have completed the sale process and to now be able
to turn our attention to the future,” said Fowler, who was appointed the
team's point person for dealings with the league. “We plan to create an
organization and a team that San Diego fans can be proud to support, developing
upon the foundation Tom Garfinkel, Josh Byrnes and others have built.”
For the first time, some of the other minority owners were identified,
including financial manager Rick Barry, investor Glenn Doshay, Ron Fowler's
wife Alexis, Patrick Graham, Mexican billionaire Alfredo Harp Helu, investment
manager Harvey Jabara, Lee Ross and businessman Wayne Seltzer.
Fowler said ownership's priorities were winning, providing a good fan
experience and expanding the team's already strong community outreach.
“The Padres are a civic treasure and we're going to treat them as a
civic treasure,” Fowler said.
He said the owners have agreed to support a plan currently in place to
run the franchise, with Tom Garfinkel remaining as president and Josh Byrnes as
Support was also expressed for manager Bud Black in the face of a losing
record caused, in part, by a string of injuries that have landed nine
starting pitchers on the disabled list.
He also said the new owners would work to resolve a dispute between the
Fox Sports and the Time Warner cable system that has blocked telecasts of the
team's games in many areas north of Interstate 8.
Peter Seidler said that despite the heavy price tag, the owners have
plenty of money left over to adequately fund the operation.
The Padres are on a “very sound financial footing,” he said.