Amidst the general uncertainty about the impact of the new redevelopment laws on new projects, Padres owner Jeff Moorad announced that he will sell his recently acquired AAA franchise if a deal to build a ballpark in Escondido doesn’t come to fruition. Moorad stated that he will give the situation “until the end of the season,” a loose timeframe which lines up well with the legal resolution of redevelopment’s fate.
Despite the setbacks, Moorad may have a Plan B in place with an unnamed North San Diego County city:
“We are committed to Escondido at the momentMoorad said. “Nothing has changed there. There is still one other city in the North County being aggressive. We would need the other city to move quickly if Escondido withdrew.”
The Padres’ AAA franchise was based in Portland for years until it was kicked out of its old stadium in favor of the Portland Timbers MLS franchise. At least for this season and the next, the team will play in Tucson. It’ll be interesting to see if a local ownership candidate surfaces in Tucson should the North County ballpark plans fade away. Until recently, Tucson was a AAA and spring training home, and it’s possible that it’ll have neither in the future. Having a AAA franchise in town would be good for Tucson baseball fans, even if it pushes out an independent league team.
Great news for Padres fans. I never understood why Moorad wasted money on a AAA team and then cried poor about trying to keep players for his MLB team. Hopefully he’ll make a little profit on the sale and then sink the whole kit and kaboodle back into where it should have been spent in the first place, the real Padres. And as the article states there are apparently at least two groups at least preliminarily interested in both Tucson and Texas for the team.
I liked the Escondido Padres concept better than I ever did the idea of A-Ball in San Jose…
I didn’t. Escondido is too close to the big Padres (who already are only 18th in MLB attendance) at only 28 miles from PETCO Park to the Escondido Stadium site. That and it was also too close to the Padres already close Single A affiliate up in Lake Elsinore being only 44 miles from the Escondido site to the Lake Elsinore Diamond. It was just too much Padres related baseball to each other cannibalizing parts of the existing MLB and Single A markets.