The California State Supreme Court has ruled that the legislature can kill redevelopment agencies with AB 26 which they passed earlier this year. And the court further ruled those agencies cannot buy their way around the AB 26 dismantling as was allowed under AB 27. The court ruled that to allow that to happen would violate Proposition 22 which is supposed to protect local agencies funds from state government raids. All of this essentially ends redevelopment agencies in cities like Escondido, San Diego, San Jose and Oakland. One of the first projects that is a casualty of this change is the AAA Padres plans for a ballpark in Escondido which was wholly dependent on redevelopment money. The mayor of Escondido has already come out and said the $50 million ballpark (pictured below) is dead.
What is unclear is what this means for the future of the Padres AAA franchise which is currently housed at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. Jeff Moorad has gone on record as stating that he doesn't want to own the T-Pads if they're not in Escondido and thus far he's owned them in Tucson in anticipation of that move which is no longer coming. He came out late Thursday (Dec 29) admitting that if he hadn't heard from anyone in the North County within 90 days with a plan to move the team there he'd begin the process of selling. He purchased the then Portland Beavers from Merritt Paulson last year for a reported $23 million dollars. Their value has presumably held during that time and there are takers out there in cities such as El Paso, Texas and Boise, Idaho that are trying to lure a AAA team to their potential ballpark (rendering below).
There are also potential takers in Tucson reportedly, though none have contacted Moorad as of yesterday. With Moorad still in the midst of trying to fully secure the Big Padres and our one field woes last year it might behoove him to let the Little Pads go now and put that 23 million toward his final purchase of the San Diego club or *gasp* into our payroll. However it doesn't appear he'll be hanging onto the AAA club if he stays true to his stated intentions.