Major League Baseball owners Thursday approved the sale of the San Diego Padres to a group that includes ex-Dodger owner Peter O'Malley, his sons and nephews, and golf star Phil Mickelson.
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The $800 million deal was given the green light at the MLB owners meeting in Denver.
It was not immediately clear how many of the owners voted in favor of the deal, but 22 "yes" votes out of 30 were needed for it to pass. The vote came during the second of two days of meetings that began Wednesday.
In addition to O'Malley and Mickelson, the new purchasers include O'Malley's sons Kevin and Brian, and nephews Peter Seidler and Tom Seidler.
"We are grateful to have completed a significant step in the sale process," Ron Fowler, a San Diego businessman who will be a minority owner, said following the vote. "On behalf of the Seidler and O'Malley families, I would like to thank the commissioner and MLB owners for their vote of trust. We want to thank San Diego fans for their patience and support as we await the final closing."
Peter Seidler said he was excited to continue their family's "deep baseball tradition." The sale will become official when it closes, which is expected on or before Aug. 31, according to the Padres.
"We feel a sincere responsibility to support the franchise in a manner that will make the Padres' loyal fans proud of our organization and, most importantly, proud of the ball club on the field," Seidler said.
Sports agent and attorney Barry Axelrod of Encinitas told 10News he's optimistic about the ownership change.
"The O'Malleys carry with them that aura of having been one of the early, original, dynamic great leadership baseball families. In baseball and professional sports today, there are too many people in it for the profit and not in it as viewing it as a public trust for the good of the community. I think the O'Malley family might bring that, along with Ron Fowler," said Axelrod.
XX 1090 Sports Radio talk show host Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton had good words to say about the man selling the team, John Moores, and his top executive.
"I thought the man did a heck of a job in San Diego, saved baseball for San Diego. His money and [Larry] Lucchino's creativity got Petco Park built," Hamilton said.
Hamilton also focused on economics in a small market, referring to the target audience.
"I think that becomes the real big issue for the O'Malleys and Fowler going forward -- 3.5 million, that's it. You've got desert to the east, Shamu to the west, soccer fans to the south and Artie Moreno, Albert Pujols and Vin Scully to the north. How do you grow this marketplace?" said Hamilton.
This was now-former owner John Moores' second attempt to unload the team this year. Jeff Moorad, who led a group that agreed to buy the franchise in installments beginning in 2009, dropped his bid in the face of opposition by owners to his taking majority control.
The purchase includes the Padres and minority stakes in Petco Park and the Fox Sports San Diego cable channel. One-fourth of the sales price being paid to Moores is up-front broadcast rights fees from FS San Diego, according to news reports.
Kevin O'Malley and Tom Seidler, who own the minor league Visalia Rawhide -- a single-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks -- are expected to run the day-to-day operations of the Padres, U-T San Diego reported last week.
The Padres said no more statements would be made on the sale until it is completed.
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