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Escondido Vying to Be Padres’ Minor League Team Hometown

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Aired 7/12/10

A North County city could become the hometown of a minor league baseball team owned by the San Diego Padres. Escondido may be positioned to land the team.

A North County city could become the hometown of a minor league baseball team owned by the San Diego Padres. Escondido may be positioned to land the team.

The Padres are angling to buy Portland, Oregon’s Triple-A team and relocate it to North County. The team first announced the plans in the spring. Land available near Cal State San Marcos was mentioned as a potential site for a new stadium.

Now an Escondido plan to emulate the downtown San Diego development anchored by Petco Park may be turning The Padres’ heads.

Land use attorney David Ferguson is representing the city in discussions with the Padres. That city has developed a plan to turn an industrial area near the intersection of Interstate 15 and Highway 78 into a ballpark district.

“What we would be looking at is planning a broader are of probably 75 to 100 acres in which the ball park would become the central attraction, but would include stores and restaurants, condominiums. Perhaps even a hotel,” Ferguson said.

The Padres may find out as soon as next week whether Pacific Coast Minor League officials will approve the franchise’s purchase of the Portland minor league team.

Even if the Padres' deal falls through or the team decides to locate in San Marcos, the completion of the Sprinter train line in 2008 has turned Escondido into a more attractive location for development.

“We’ve been approached by and are talking to representatives of the biotech industry," Ferguson said. "We’re getting interest from a number of different sectors where the easy access of this area to rail lines and the freeways is a benefit.”

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