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Longtime Owners of Los Angeles Dodgers Ease the Pain of Failed Bid for Reacquisition by Buying Small-Market Neighbor and Moving it Right Next Door.

"Hey, we did it to Brooklyn; why should San Diego be any different?"

Commissioner Selig: "Maybe San Diego can make a play for the Angels? They're not doing so hot right now, and Los Angeles probably doesn't need three Major League teams."

It took longer than expected, but the sale of the Padres to a group headed by heirs of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley, San Diego business and civic leader Ron Fowler and professional golfer Phil Mickelson was completed Monday night. The O’Malley Group purchased the Padres from majority owner John Moores and a group of minority owners formed by Jeff Moorad in 2009 to buy the Padres. Immediately following the sale, the group announced its intention to move the team north to Los Angeles.

“Earlier today, our group signed the purchase agreement,” said Peter Seidler, the spokesman for the new Padres owners. “Assuming we receive approval, there will be a prompt, efficient and smooth transition to Los Angeles. For decades the Padres have been an exciting and entertaining part of San Diego, but now it's time to take things to the next level, and also to the next town. We will field exciting and winning teams, thanks largely to our new, larger market. We will reserve comment on the sale of Petco Park until the proper time.”

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig last month seemed to endorse the O’Malley Group as owners of the Padres even before the final details of the sale were completed. “Padres fans deserve great ownership and I think the O’Malley tradition in Los Angeles baseball is remarkable,” Selig said. “This would be an excellent development for baseball. Plus the San Diego club’s minority partners in the last deal were a very solid group and all San Diego people eager to move to Los Angeles themselves, which means a great deal to us.”

"I think it's great," Padres manager Bud Black said of the sale after the Padres defeated the Cubs 2-0 at Petco Park Monday night. "Everything I've heard about Los Angeles is positive. I'm looking forward to a smooth transition, maybe a couple of league titles, plus a house in Pasadena. Everyone, the players are excited about the transition to a city that cares about its hometown teams even when they aren't winning."

The O’Malleys’ ties to MLB date to 1950 when Walter O’Malley purchased the Brooklyn Dodgers. The O’Malley family owned the Dodgers from 1950-98. Walter O’Malley moved the franchise from Brooklyn to Los Angeles after the 1957 season and eventually turned the team over to son Peter. Peter put together a group that was among the failed bidders for the Dodgers this year, when they sold for $2.15 billion. Said Seidler, "The O'Malley family has a proud tradition of buying baseball teams and moving them to Los Angeles, and they are eager to carry on that tradition."


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Visduh Aug. 9, 2012 @ 2:35 p.m.

"Everyone, the players are excited about the transition to a city that cares about its hometown teams even when they aren't winning." If that's true, it might explain the UCLA football team and its last four seasons, or its last seven or eight, or maybe longer.


lolhahahaha Aug. 9, 2012 @ 2:39 p.m.

So much for these guys being good for the Padres fans here in San Diego. HAHAHAHAHAHA


Leosurf1 Aug. 9, 2012 @ 2:46 p.m.

Can you take the Chargers along too Walt?


David Dodd Aug. 9, 2012 @ 2:48 p.m.

Actually, the O'Malley's have a long standing tradition of allowing their best talent to move on, right about when they are due to make a lot of money. This fits well in San Diego, where most team owners seem to do the same thing.


SurfPuppy619 Aug. 9, 2012 @ 5:27 p.m.

The O'Malleys have not owned the Dodgers or some time, they sold the team to Fox for $450 million, a price I thought was way too high.......the recent sale by Mccourt for $2.15 billion is the dumbest move I have ever seen.......


tomjohnston Aug. 9, 2012 @ 7:31 p.m.

Peter O'Malley sold the team to Fox for $311 million in 1998; Fox sold the Dodgers to McCourt for $421 million in 2004. If you were a life long Dodgers fan such as I, then you would understand that: A) So what it's someone else's money and B( the mccourts are gone, so it's worth the price.


SurfPuppy619 Aug. 10, 2012 @ 9:53 a.m.

Here is the problem when you say it is someone else's money and not to worry. $2.15 billion is a ridiculous price, at least $600 million above market based on the kindest estimates, and much more IMO. Now that the investors have spent that money-and McCourt still has a half interest in the parking lot development!!!!!!- they need to get a return on it, they didn't buy the Dodgers to lose money. A low 5% return on $2.15 billion would be over $100 million, there is no way they are going to get that kind of return, or anything even close to it at current prices. So the prices are going up-way up, and once again the average fan base will lose out.


tomjohnston Aug. 10, 2012 @ 10:56 a.m.

The reason they paid that extra $600 million was to retire about $640 million of debt. They could have just assumed the debt, but I'm sure in the long run it was cheaper to pay it off. There have been some convoluted explanations of mccourt and the parking lots, but to me it seems that the only way to get the Dodgers was to work that in some how. Again, I guess they thought it was worth it in the long run. As for prices, I think your wrong. I absolutely do not think price are going to go way up, enough to price out the average fan. They are on track to draw over 3 million again which will put a lot more in the coffers than a team lika say oh, San Diego, which will struggle to draw 2 million. But the big dog is the new tv contract. Much of the value in the Dodgers is in the team's TV rights, which have the potential to be worth as much as $4 billion. So when you consider a team that will draw 3 million AND probably get at least $4 billion for their tv contract, at least to me, it looks like a pretty good deal. And as a bonus, they are in the pennant race with my othe favorite NL team. The Padres can barely get 20k to come to a game, might be able to stay ahead of the Rockies and out of the NL West cellar, and half of San Diego apparently can't even get the home team on cable. I would think the group buying the Padres would be happy if they were in the same position as the group that bought the Dodgers. Just my opinion. Opinions vary.


SurfPuppy619 Aug. 10, 2012 @ 4:40 p.m.

why assume any debt? Why not make Mccourt take the loss? Why allow McCord development rights to any of the land-especially at that price. Sorry-it was a foolish deal, and mark my words, prices are going thru the roof very soon.


tomjohnston Aug. 14, 2012 @ 1:20 p.m.

I forgot that you're not a pro sports fan and definitely not a Dodgers fan. And from comments you made last year re the Dodgers, you haven't followed the mccourt saga. As a life long Dodgers fan, I have. The reason they assumed the debt instead of making mccourt eat it is simple. They couldn't make him eat it. He didn't have the money. That’s why he filed BK Here are the basics. mccourt owed his wife a lump sum $130 million payment by the end of April. He had a $3 billion offer on the table from Fox for a new TV contract. It included $385 million up front. MLB went to court and got it blocked because they wanted the money to go to the team, not in his pocket. That’s when he filed bk. Under the MLB constitution and by laws, that gave MLB the right to take the team away from mccourt, which almost every expert agreed, the courts would not block. The court allowed him a period of time to try and sell the Dodgers. There were only 2 scenarios. In one, mccourt agrees to sell the Dodgers. The only way that happens is if he gets cash in his pocket to pay off the ex and the Dodgers are sold as is, debt and all. ANYONE who bought the Dodgers would have to assume the debt. Period. There was no other way he would or could sell. Second option was he didn't sell and MLB takes the team. They run it, they pay the bills and they sign the checks until they find a buyer. Again, whoever bought the Dodgers in that scenario also assumes the debt. That's it. There was no way anyone was buying the Dodgers without assuming the debt. The plum though, is the new TV contract. Last year, Fox put an extension offer on the table: $3 billion for another 17 yrs. THAT is why so many were interested. At this point, the new contract is expected to bring in at least $4.5 billion, if not more: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dodgers-tv-rights-359221

According to Forbes, the Dodgers operating profit is about $35 million, most of it was going to interest on the debt and the new contract would add in the neighborhood of $150 million to that figure. There were at least 10 groups in the bidding in January so apparently some people with a lot of money think it’s a good deal.


SurfPuppy619 Aug. 10, 2012 @ 9:59 a.m.

I could not recall teh exact sales price, but when the O'Malleys sold, for $311 million in 98 I think that was a record then.........shows how crazy the top 1% are at driving bubbles. I remember Fax wanted them so they coudl broadcast all the games on their cable station like Ted Turned was doing with the Atlanta Braves....and Turned was the only wner that voted against the O'Malley/Fox deal.


tomjohnston Aug. 10, 2012 @ 11:07 a.m.

At the time, it was a record for any US sports franchise. What I have always though ironic is that a large part of the reason O'Malley decided to sell is because that he was pissed off that the city basically slammed the door in his face when he wanted to build an NFL stadium adjacent to Dodger Stadium, using private financing by the way. The powers that be still thought they could get a team in the Coliseum. Fifteen years later and STILL no football in LA. As they say, OOOPS.


tomjohnston Aug. 9, 2012 @ 7:40 p.m.

Yes, the Dodger's let some players get away instead of giving them a big paycheck. But during Peter O'Malley's 27 years as president, the Dodgers finished first or second 19 times and had more than 3 million in attendance a major league-record 11 times and won 2 World Series.. (Ironically, the Dodgers finished 2nd to the Padres in O'Malley's last full season, 1996.) They didn't fair too badly under Walter O'Malley either, with 8 NL pennants and 4 World Series. I could be wrong, so correct me if I am, but I believe since the Padres graduated to the big leagues, the Dodgers have been to the World Series and lost more times the the Padres have been? And as for attendance, well I guess we should probably skip right over that one, huh?


David Dodd Aug. 10, 2012 @ 4:16 p.m.

Nope, the Dodgers have been more successful. And they've spent a lot more money being successful at being successful. And it can be argued that they would have beaten teams like the Yankees and the A's if they would have spent the money they earned rather than have pocketed it.


tomjohnston Aug. 14, 2012 @ 1:37 p.m.

Can't argue with that. But couldn't that be said of most teams other than the Yankees and A's, depending on the particular period of time?


smshinn Aug. 9, 2012 @ 9:57 p.m.

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


SanDiegian Aug. 13, 2012 @ 2:24 p.m.

I have been a long time PADRES fan and have my fingers crossed that the team will not be moved. I lived in LA for 5 years and constantly had DODGER fans make remarks about me as I always wore my PADRES hat to show my pride for the team and city while I walked around LA. Try going to a DODGER vs PADRES game in LA. The fans would throw soda, beer, peanuts or whatever they have at me during the entire game. A female Hispanic DODGER fan even threatened to beat up my 5'1 wife before the game because she was wearing a PADRES hat. MY POINT IS WE ARE RIVALS WITH LA!!!!! HAVEN'T YOU EVER HEARD THE BEAT LA CHANTS? This is the stupidest thing I have heard in a long time. Come on PHIL MICKELSON, YOU ARE FROM SD AND CLAIM YOU GREW UP LOVING THE SAN DIEGO PADRES. People in LA can't stand the PADRES. What is next the RED SOX moving to NEW YORK? Anyone who is being serious that they think this is a good idea is not from SAN DIEGO. The PADRES will have a very hard time selling tickets in LA. The only games that might attract a large crowd is if they are playing the DODGERS.


tomjohnston Aug. 13, 2012 @ 2:31 p.m.

SanDiegian Perhaps you missed the name of this blog, right above the title of this week's entry. Here, let me help you: Almost Factual News


SanDiegian Aug. 14, 2012 @ 8:36 a.m.

They got me! This would have been the worst thing ever. Thank goodness it was all a joke. I can sleep at night again. Not really funny, however, for some reason I have a smile on my face. That got me good.


mjfromsd Aug. 26, 2012 @ 11:15 a.m.

Bud Black seems like a sell out. His quote shows he has no regard for the fans of the Padres that have been here since it's inception. How about being excited to win a pennant for San Diego? If the Padres do stay they need to consider bringing a manager in that will want to win for us. Wanting a house in Pasadena makes me question his judgement and motive as well.


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