San Diego Padres owner Peter Seidler dies
San Diego Padres owner and chair Peter Seidler died Tuesday at age 63.
What they're saying: "Peter was a kind and generous man who was devoted to his wife, children, and extended family," Padres CEO Erik Greupner said in a statement. "He also consistently exhibited heartfelt compassion for others, especially those less fortunate."
- "His impact on the city of San Diego and the baseball world will be felt for generations. His generous spirit is now firmly embedded in the fabric of the Padres. Although he was our Chairman and owner, Peter was at his core a Padres fan. He will be dearly missed."
What's happening: The Home Plate Gate at Petco Park will be open starting Tuesday afternoon for people to gather to pay their respects.
Details: Seidler had been battling an illness for months, and his family requested the cause of death remain private, the Union-Tribune reported.
- His wife and children were with him as he passed away peacefully.
Of note: Seidler, a cancer survivor, said in July the Padres will remain in his family for generations, per the U-T.
Flashback: Seidler was part of the ownership group that purchased the Padres for $800 million in 2012.
- That group included business person Ron Fowler and Peter O'Malley, Seidler's uncle and a former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Seidler became the Padres chair and largest owner after Fowler stepped down in November 2020, weeks after the team made the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
Background: Despite a disappointing 2023 season, Padres attendance in recent years has soared alongside its payroll.
- The Padres had a $118 million payroll in 2019, but put together the third most expensive roster in the league this season, at roughly $250 million.
- Attendance at Petco Park increased from 14th in MLB in 2019 to 3rd in the league last year, at over 40,000 fans per game.
- That rise coincided with the team's appearance in the National League Championship Series in 2022, the franchise's best season since a 1998 World Series appearance.
The intrigue: Seidler was asked at spring training in February about whether the Padres' spending was "sustainable."
- "People love that word," Seidler said. "Let's find a different one.
- "Do I believe our (World Series) parade is going to be on land or on water or on both? Putting a great and winning team on the field in San Diego year after year is sustainable."
Zoom out: Seidler committed to helping solve San Diego's homelessness crisis in recent years.
- In 2017, he and local business person Dan Shea spearheaded an effort to increase temporary shelter options for people living on the streets, culminating in a $1.5 million donation of shelter facilities to the city.
- Those efforts contributed to the Union-Tribune naming him the San Diegan of the year in 2022, and Voice of San Diego calling him one of its "voices of the year" in 2017.
What they're saying: "As Chairman of the Padres, he made the organization about so much more than baseball; he made the team an incredible community partner," Mayor Todd Gloria said in a statement.
- "Peter was perhaps best known for his great compassion for people experiencing homelessness, and everyone who worked with him will remember him for his kind and humble spirit."
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