Jeff Moorad and his investor group has
moved into an exclusive agreement to
purchased 100% of the San Diego Padres.
The San Diego Padres announced today an agreement to sell the team to a California-based ownership group led by Jeff Moorad, who resigned last month as CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Moorad and his group will buy the franchise over a period of up to five years, ultimately acquiring 100% ownership, subject to approval by Major League Baseball. Under the terms of the agreement, the sale is expected to close and Moorad to assume the role of CEO by Opening Day.
A UCLA graduate with strong roots in Southern California, Moorad has a 25-year history in professional sports, working for many years as a player representative for top athletes in baseball and football. He purchased an ownership stake in the Diamondbacks in 2005
(Read The Biz of Baseball interview with Moorad).
"Jeff Moorad will not only bring to the Padres his unique experience, passion for the game, and proven leadership, but an unparalleled commitment to the City of San Diego and its dedicated fans," said Padres Chairman John Moores. "I speak for our entire organization in saying that we look forward to working with Jeff to reach the ultimate goal of winning a World Series title for America's Finest City."
"It is an honor to enter into an agreement to purchase the San Diego Padres, a team with a rich history of great players, terrific fans, and a strong commitment to the community," said Moorad. "I consider it a privilege to have worked out an agreement that allows for the orderly transition of ownership of the franchise over the next several years."
"As a lifelong baseball fan and a native Californian, I know that with this privilege comes the responsibility to field a consistently-winning team with an absolute goal of winning a World Series championship," Moorad added. "I also know that we have a responsibility to our fans, as they are the spirit and heart of the Padres, and I look forward to providing an affordable, rewarding fan experience for all. It will be a hallmark of our ownership group to continue the same organizational commitment to the San Diego community that the Moores have spearheaded so admirably. We look forward to being on board by Opening Day."
John Moores, mired in divorce proceedings and coming off a 99-loss season, officially announced in mid-December that he had hired Goldman Sachs in an effort to sell the team to potential buyers. Moores, who has owned the club since 1994, has seen four postseason appearances (won the NL West in '96, went to the World Series in '98, and won the NL West back-to-back in '05 and '06). He also was able to get a new ballpark in PETCO Park built in 2004 amidst lawsuits and voter referendums.
The key reason for Moores' desire to sell centers on the divorce from his wife, Becky, with whom Moores has been married to for 44 years. The two own 90 percent of the Padres, but based upon community property laws in the state of California, Becky will be sharing 50 percent of the assets with John. Moores’ daughter, Jennifer, owns 5%, with the remaining 5% owned by San Diego-based businessman Glenn Doshay.
With Moorad becoming CEO of the Padres, questions remain as to whether current CEO Sandy Alderson will remain with the club.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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