Magic Johnson made his intentions known to the Los Angeles Times Friday that he is interested in bidding on the Dodgers.
“I love baseball,” Johnson told the Times. “I’ve been a Dodgers fan and gone to the park many, many times.”
With the Blackstone Group LP ready to send prospective buyers bid books next week, there is quite a mix of interested parties. Mark Cuban, Peter O’Malley, Dennis Gilbert, Steve Garvey, and Orel Hershiser are some other names swirling around.
Johnson’s investment group includes Stan Kasten who used to be the President of the Braves and Nationals and Mark Walter of Guggenheim Partners, a financial service firm which has a reportedly $125 billion in assets under its control. The sale of the Dodgers has been estimated to fetch up to $1 billion.
Magic formerly owned a 10% stake in the Lakers, but he has since sold his share. He’s also spoken about his personal interest of bringing a NFL team to Los Angeles. Johnson has been involved in business ventures since he retired from basketball, and he focuses on rebuilding the inner city. He owns Starbucks stores and theaters among other investments.
“The Dodgers are my next big thing,” Johnson said. “This is not just millions of my money, this is dear to my heart. This is bringing back the brand for the people of Los Angeles.”
I’m loving this sentiment put out by Magic. We need a owner who has the best interest at heart for the team and one who also has a love for the game. Magic Johnson additonally has love for the city of Los Angeles, and that’s another trait that we need from a new owner.
Coming up next in the bankruptcy proceedings next Wednesday and Thursday, the contract rights between FOX Sports and the Dodgers will be heard in court. FOX has a contract to televise Dodger games through 2013 and maintains they have the rights to exclusively negotiate a contract extension, but McCourt wants to sell the rights to the highest bidder.