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New Padres Owner May Be A Group

A University of Southern California researcher says the next owner of the San Diego Padres probably won't be just one person. Current owner John Moores is shopping the team again, after Jeff Moraad's bid to take over the team fell through.

— Padres Majority owner John Moores announced this week that he's employing two consultants to help him find a buyer for his 51 percent share of the team. Moores bought the team for $80 million in 1994 and agreed to sell it three years ago for about $500 million.

That deal fell through this spring, after baseball owners declined to allow Jeff Moorad to complete the purchase of the team. Moorad is the head of an investment group that has already bought 49 percent of the Padres. Moorad has since left the group.

Complicating the chance of a sale is the soaring value of professional sports teams, which exploded in the last decade. That might make it tough for the team to have a single person buy it.

"It's pretty difficult to do it alone. It might require a consortium," said David Carter, a professor of sports business and sports marketing at USC. "It might require a group that has a strong corporate presence. But right now you are seeing the value of these franchises has become so great that it's pretty difficult for one individual to take down the entire team by himself."

A lucrative long-term television deal with Fox Sports could significantly boost how much the franchise it worth. The TV contract is still being negotiated.

Forbes magazine says the Padres are worth $458 million. It also lists the value of the LA Dodgers at $1.4 billion. That team recently sold for $2 billion.

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