SBD/Issue 25/Franchises

Portland Beavers Sold To Moorad, Likely To Relocate To SoCal


Triple-A PCL Portland Beavers Owner Merritt Paulson Thursday announced that he has "reached an agreement to sell the team to the North County Baseball ownership group" led by Padres Vice Chair & CEO Jeff Moorad, according to Aaron Fentress of the Portland OREGONIAN. The deal is "expected to close in December," and a source said that the sale price for the team, a Padres affiliate, is "to be in the range of the $15-16 million Paulson paid for the team" in '07. The transfer of ownership is the "final step in the demise of a franchise that's played in Portland with few interruptions since 1903." The team's fate was "set last year when proposals to construct a baseball-only stadium in Portland and Beaverton fell through and the Portland Timbers soccer team, which Paulson also owns, was granted entry" into MLS. Moorad's group is "negotiating to build a stadium in Escondido, Calif., about 30 miles north of San Diego." Escondido is "prepared to spend all of the $40 million it will take to build a stadium." City Manager Clay Phillips said that the hope is to have a ballpark "built in time for the start of the 2012 season." Fentress notes the team in the meantime "could be temporarily relocated" to Tucson (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/15).

SHOW OF CONFIDENCE: In San Diego, J. Harry Jones notes the announcement "signals that Moorad is confident the city of Escondido will agree late this year to build a $50 million ballpark where the Beavers -- or whatever their name might become -- will play starting in 2012" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/15). Escondido Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler said of the announcement, "This just confirms what we already knew. This is the umbrella we've been working under." Pfeiler said that a Escondido City Council vote on a "memorandum of understanding with Moorad has been delayed from Oct. 27 to Nov. 30," after the vote "had already been delayed from Oct. 13 to Oct. 27." Pfeiler said that she now "expects the council to vote Nov. 30 on the memorandum, environmental documents and an agreement to build the ballpark" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 10/15).

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