Padres Ownership Affirms Team's Stability, Commitment To Payroll Spending
The Padres' "failure to make a major acquisition during their first off-season under new ownership has stirred questions with fans and critics about the club’s financial stability," according to Bill Center of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. A recent report "went as far as to claim the Padres 'are broke' based on the fact" that the $200M up-front money from the 20-year, $1.2B TV contract with Fox Sports "was divided between former owners John Moores and Jeff Moorad and his minority partners." Padres owners "insist the team is not in financial distress." The owners said that "all offseason roster decisions were made for baseball, not monetary reasons." Padres investor Peter Seidler said, “That $200 million was never part of our deal. We never saw that money. The $200 million was never discussed when we were negotiating with John Moores and had nothing to do with what we did.” Padres President & CEO Tom Garfinkel said, "Ownership has been nothing but supportive. They've indicated that they'll deficit spend beyond the revenues if the right deal is there.” Garfinkel added, "We have to be very disciplined about how and when we make those (free agent) decisions. We're not going to do it just to prove something or make a splash." Center noted the Padres' ownership has "spent more money on and off the field since taking over last winter than Moores or Moorad did during the past five seasons." A capital improvement program at Petco Park "began this winter." The team's payroll total for '13 "is around" $68M. That number is "significantly higher" than the $58M figure of '12 and $30M above the "low-water level" of '10. Still, it will be "among the lowest in the major leagues" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/2).
WORK IT OUT: In San Diego, Matthew Hall reported San Diego City Council Member Sherri Lightner, whose district includes much of Time Warner Cable's coverage area, announced that she "would hold a public hearing soon to pressure the company to televise Padres games this season as the impasse between it and Fox Sports San Diego drags into a second year." TWC Media Relations Dir Dennis Johnson said, "We always welcome an open conversation, but this is a dispute between two private parties" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/1).