MLB approves SD Padres sale

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San Diego Padres

(AP Image)

(CNS) – Major League Baseball owners today 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. 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.

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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