Fowler was a member of a minority group that owned 49.32 percent of the Padres. The group, headed by then-Padres chief executive Jeff Moorad, attempted to buy the Padres from controlling owner John Moores for $530 million, but the deal fell through in April 2012. Fowler then replaced Moorad as the general partner of the minority group, and he served on the Padres executive committee.
Fowler joined a new group to purchase the Padres that included four heirs to the O’Malley family—who owned the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise for five decades. Kevin and Brian O’Malley are the sons of former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley and grandsons of Walter O’Malley, the owner who moved the Dodgers west from Brooklyn after the 1957 season. Peter and Tom Seidler are the nephews of Peter O’Malley. MLB approved the $800 million sale, which completed on August 28, 2012. As much as $200 million of the sale price included the team’s 20-percent stake in Fox Sports San Diego, a cable channel that pays the Padres annual fees as part of a $1.2 billion, 20-year agreement. Fowler was named the ownership group’s executive chairman and was designated to represent the Padres in all league meetings. He became the first locally based control person of the team since founding owner C. Arnholdt Smith.