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Payroll Reaches New Highs for the Padres

Just five years ago the Padres had a bottom-three payroll in MLB. In 2023 they are projected third. Here’s how they’ve done it.

In 2017 the Padre’s total payroll was just over $71 million.  In 2023, the opening day number jumped to $237 million. That comes out to an increase of 233% in just five years.

For context, the average increase across MLB in that time frame comes to 2%.

So how has a small market team risen to the top competing with cities like New York and Los Angeles?

Peter Seidler

Peter Seidler is the exact kind of owner any MLB team would want. Someone dedicated to winning and willing to spend big to do it.

In 2012 he bought the Padres for $800 million. In the first four years of ownership, they saw an increase in player payroll every year.

“I kind of like spending money,” said Seidler in an article with the San Diego Union-Tribune. “You can’t take it with you.”

With a net worth of approximately $3 billion, he has the funds to do it.

Since 2018 the Padres have signed the largest franchise contract three times with Eric Hosmer, Manny Machado, and Fernando Tatis Jr.

Even with such a large net worth, Seidler only ranks as the 14th wealthiest owner in the MLB.

It goes to show that finding an owner willing to spend big to set yourself up for success is not an easy thing to do.

Look at the Oakland A’s. Their owner is worth an estimated $2.3 billion and the 16th wealthiest owner yet has a projected $40 million payroll which puts them last in MLB.

A One Team City

On Jan. 12, 2017, the San Diego Chargers announced they were moving to Los Angeles.

In 2016 the Chargers gained $355 million in revenue.

Where were fans supposed to turn for professional sports in San Diego with the Chargers gone? The most obvious choice and the highest-profile team was the Padres.

In 2016 the average home game attendance was just over 26,000 fans. For 2022 that number skyrocketed to 36,882 per home game. That is the second-highest average in Padres history.

The 2004 season is in front, but it was the first year of Petco Park’s history. It is expected that the record will be shattered in 2023, as the team enters with high expectations.

Due to such high demand, the Padres have capped their season ticket sales for the first time in 2023.

With the Chargers moving up north to join a city the Padres’ rivals also play in left an extra bad taste in any San Diego sports fan’s mouth.

It comes as no surprise that the city of San Diego has rallied behind the Padres.

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