BOB: Padres sale finalized

San Diego Padres sale is approved

When it comes to selling the San Diego Padres, it looks like the second time is the charm, as John Moores sold the team for $800 million to a group led by John Fowler, a local San Diego businessman. The ownership group has some familiar names because Kevin and Brian O’Malley, the sons of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley, are part of the team, and it also includes PGA golfer Phil Mickelson. The sale is expected to close August 31.

This isn’t the first time Moores has “sold” the team though. Back in 2009, when he was finishing up his divorce, he sold the team—in a fashion—to Jeff Moorad. Moorad took control, but he was supposed to buy the team for $500 million over the course of five years; however, he never was able to finish the purchase. The reason for the large bump in the sales price between now and then is mostly due to a television deal with Fox, as well as the $2 billion sales price for the Dodgers that set a new standard when it comes to valuing a team.

Athletics’ stadium drama seems to point back to Oakland

You have to give the city of Oakland an “A” for effort. After MLB rolled into a town a couple of weeks ago, it looks like the city once again is coming up with a potential spot for a new Oakland Athletics stadium. This time it’s an old idea that people thought long dead—the Howard Terminal, which is a waterfront site not far from Jack London Square. This was one of the first sites presented several years ago to the Athletics, but it didn’t look like a viable option at the time. Now, because of a legal dispute with the terminal’s tenant, the city thinks it could come back into play.

Athletics’ owner Lew Wolff doesn’t like it, and he said it’s not a viable spot for a ballpark. At this point, we’re looking at the MLB committee for guidance but Wolff isn’t out of bullets if he’s denied his San Jose dream home.

Newballpark.org, which has done a fantastic job of tracking the Athletics’ stadium story, speculates that Wolff’s trump card could be to just not renew the team’s lease with Oakland Coliseum. This is a similar strategy to what the Minnesota Vikings did to get a new stadium, but the speculation is that MLB could then take over the team for not going with the party line. There’s also mention of a Jayson Stark story that talks about how sticky the situation is with the San Francisco Giants and their territorial rights.

Rays stadium story takes an odd twist

Based on all of the rhetoric, it seemed like the Tampa Bay Rays, if they got a new stadium, would get it built outside their current home in St. Petersburg. Now a local real estate developer, Darryl LeClair, has come forward to say that he’d like a new Rays ballpark on land that he owns. He began designing the ballpark last year, but his plans were rejected. However, after going public with some of his ideas, it now looks like St. Petersburg is taking him seriously since they plan to meet with him. It’s not certain if LeClair actually will get to talk to the Rays, but he’ll present his ideas at a public hearing of the city council with county officials invited as well.

Field of Schemes thinks it’s win/win for St. Petersburg because it lets the city discuss the stadium situation on its terms as well as establish some of the ground rules behind the lease and how it prevents either side from negotiating with other parties. There’s also skepticism because, while I’m sure there will be some good ideas thrown around, it will come down to how the ballpark is paid for, and that’s been the major sticking point in the Rays getting a new stadium.

Coca Cola Park to host 2013 Triple-A National Championship

What used to be the Bricktown Showdown is now the Triple-A National Championship. This one-game, winner-takes-all title game is played between the winners of the International League and Pacific Coast League, and in 2013 the host will be the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The location makes a ton of sense because Lehigh Valley has led the minors in attendance over the last three years. It also hosted the 2010 International League All-Star Game, so this event will make Lehigh Valley the first team to host both events.

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