San Diego Padres vice president and CEO Jeff Moorad has withdrawn his application to complete his purchase of the National League franchise.
In a statement, Moorad said that he and current Padres majority owner John Moores were withdrawing their application in order to focus on securing a television contract for the team, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Moorad's group owns 49 percent of the Padres.
"With Opening Day less than one month away, John Moores and I believe our top priority is to ensure that Padres fans will be able to watch broadcasts of what we believe is an exciting baseball team," Moorad said in the statement, according to the report. "I remain fully committed to the San Diego Padres and our fans, and am looking forward to the 2012 season."
Moorad is not stepping down from his position as CEO and still has two years to acquire the 51 percent interest in the team still controlled by Moores and his business partners, the Union-Tribune reported.
In a statement, baseball commissioner Bud Selig said he had spoken with Moores and Moorad, who had informed him they were withdrawing the application to focus on the TV contract.
"I am pleased that John and Jeff are working on ensuring that the club's games will be televised this season and beyond, and I know that they are acting in the best interests of Baseball, the franchise and the great fans of San Diego," Selig said in the statement.
The sale of the Padres to Moorad, a former player agent who previously owned a minority share of the Arizona Diamondbacks, was slated to have been approved at baseball's winter meetings in January. But that vote was deferred "to get more clarity and technical information," Selig said at the time.
"There were a lot of economic concerns. The most important thing that we do is bringing in new owners, so we have really become very, very fastidious about the economics of who can make it. And I'm not suggesting there were any negatives. There were just questions that we didn't have time to answer here," Selig said in January of the decision to defer a vote on the sale.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.