SBD/September 6, 2012/Franchises

Moorad Near Deal To Sell Triple-A Tucson Padres For $20M; Club Would Move To El Paso

Jeff Moorad is near a deal to sell the Triple-A PCL Tucson Padres to Mountainstar Sports Group. The estimated $20M transaction also calls for the minor league club to relocate to El Paso, Texas, but the sale is not contingent on approval in a vote next week in El Paso to build a new downtown ballpark. "We're in the ninth inning of that process, and hopefully El Paso will put their final blessings on the deal," Moorad said. "We're excited to have this deal, and we believe the new owners will be great custodians of the franchise." The team will play in Tucson next year and has a lease option for '14, with the lease terms covering an expected ballpark construction period in El Paso. Moorad made one of his first public appearances today at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit since his bid to buy the Padres from John Moores failed. He declined to comment on that situation or his future business plans. Had a prior effort to build a new ballpark in Escondido, Calif., for the Triple-A club succeeded, Moorad said he and his partners would have entertained keeping the club and working with the parent club and new owner Ron Fowler.
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