SBD/May 15, 2012/Franchises

Moores Pleased With Interest In Padres, Expects Team To Be Sold By '13

Padres Chair John Moores said there is “interest at the highest possible level” regarding the sale of his club, according to Nick Canepa of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. Moores said, “The interest level is better than you’d expect. I hate to say it, but it pretty much looks like we guessed right.” Among those “said to be interested” are SAC Capital Advisors Founder and Mets investor Steve Cohen, Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull, former Dodgers Owner Peter O’Malley and White Sox Special Assistant Dennis Gilbert. Gilbert is “known to be a favorite of Commissioner Bud Selig and White Sox boss Jerry Reinsdorf,” however, he “apparently doesn’t have the cabbage of a Cohen or Tull.” While there may have been “ulterior motives in the $2-plus billion paid for the Dodgers” by Guggenheim Baseball Management, it “certainly didn’t hurt the current value of all major league franchises.” Moores said, “I thought I’d live to see a big-market club trade for a billion dollars. But that’s just stunning. And I never really understood what’s going on with TV. That, too, is stunning. I don’t get it. But you have to be optimistic about new TV contracts, and this happened to be the year when our TV contract came up. Obviously, it helps us a lot, lot more.” It is still uncertain whether Minority Owner Jeff Moorad’s group “will remain involved with new ownership,” but one of his partners, Liquid Investments Chair & CEO Ron Fowler, “is involved in the new deal.” Moores said that he “doesn’t expect to own any part of this team” in ’13. He said, “I’m hoping we get it done this season” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/15).

GOOD SEATS STILL AVAILABLE: In L.A., Bill Shaikin wrote any new Padres owners will need to “try to bridge the widening gap between the cuddly little Friars and the newly capitalized Dodgers.” The Angels and Dodgers “each visit Petco Park this week, with plenty of good seats available.” The Padres have sold “fewer than 20,000 tickets to 12 of their first 23 home games” (L.A. TIMES, 5/13).

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