Now that I have finished my wahoos, fist pumps, and woohooing all night, I took a seat to analyze the Dodger auction agreement with the Magic Johnson Group. It is important to note, that Frank McCourt is gone. It’s over. The ordeal is over. I have noticed there a few fans that are still skeptical. They say things like “I will believe it when I see it,” or that McCourt will cling to the Dodgers for another year trying to battle in the courts. This is false. Frank McCourt is no longer the owner of the Dodgers. He is gone. The bankruptcy court will approve the deal on April 13th, and the deal closes on April 30th, which is when Frank McCourt must pay his wife Jamie 130 Million dollars as part of their divorce settlement.
A few things about the deal. First the Dodgers actually sold for a little over 2 billion dollars. This is of course the largest sale amount for a professional sports team in the world or North America or whatever. Some people are asking whether Magic and the Guggenheim guys will ever make their money back. Was this a good investment for the Guggenheim people? I think so. I don’t think these people would buy the Dodgers if they didn’t think they would make a profit. Of course they will, it’s the Dodgers for crying out loud.
Let’s be clear about the parking lots, because many Dodger fans are still wondering if McCourt will still own the parking lots and property surrounding Dodger Stadium. It was part of the original deal, however the parking lots and DS property will be sold to Frank McCourt and a group that is headed up by Magic Johnson and the Controlling group that has bought the Dodgers. This means Frank will be just a minor investor and may own a small part of the parking lots. According to Bill Shakin, the parking lots will be controlled by Magic’s group, but Frank McCourt will invest in a small part of the lots. In other words he is gone!
Magic Johnson will be a part owner of the Dodgers. He will own a percentage, although we don’t know exactly what percentage he will own yet. Not all of the details of the sale have been released. While Magic is a part owner, it is really The Guggenheim Partners, also known as the GBM, or Guggenheim Baseball Management that owns and will control the Dodgers. CEO and director of finances Mark Walter, will be the Dodgers new CEO and controlling partner. I figured I should get to know Mark Walter a little bit since he is the new boss. There wasn’t a whole lot of info on him online that I could find. The Guggenheim partners sure do have a ton of cash though, rest assured. They are a private financial firm with about 14,00 employees. They have main offices in Chicago and New York. They also have other offices located throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. They have over 125 billion dollars in assets, according to reports.
For the Baseball Operations side, Stan Kasten, the former executive of the Braves and Nationals will be coming in possibly as team President. He is well respected, and he ran the Braves during the 90’s when they won five NL pennants and one world championship. What do you think the new ownership group’s first decision will be?
Also coming in to help is former Hollywood producer Peter Guber. Hey this is LA, we have to have at least one movie producer type associated with this deal right? According to Stac he is old school Hollywood guy and would be good for marketing help.
The next move for the new ownership group might be to secure a new TV deal. The new guys will negotiate and let Time Warner and FOX duke it out for untold millions. The new TV deal could mean lots of cash on hand streaming into Dodger Stadium. Much like the Angels new TV deal helped fund the crazy contracts to Albert Pujols, and C.J. Wilson. This should put the Dodgers back in the headlines. Angel fans have been getting rather smug of late. This should wipe those annoying grins off their faces. Yeah yeah yeah Angel fans, you might have Pujols, but the Dodgers have some Magic!
Yes I do know that at some point the GBM will want to renovate Dodger Stadium. I am fine with some minor upgrades and repairs to the restrooms and concessions, however I am confident that the GBM and Magic will do everything in their power to preserve the core and integrity of Dodger Stadium for many years to come.
Apparently from what I am hearing through the grapevine is that Magic wants to win right away, and that the Dodgers will be adding players this summer if they are within contention. This is the best things for everyone. This is what’s best for the Dodgers, MLB, and the city of Los Angeles. We don’t have to deal with anymore out of towners, who would no doubt try and mess with Dodger tradition. We don’t have to deal with anymore shady billionaires with questionable pasts. Joe Torre goes back to his MLB offices, and Frank McCourt goes far far far away forever! After all was said and done, there was no auction yesterday. McCourt already had a deal with the Magic group, making the actual auction not necessary. Dodger fans long nightmare is finally over. Perhaps Frank McCourt wanted to leave the Dodgers on a good note with the fans. This was a good way to do it. Whatever the case is, Magic and the Guggenheim guys are the new owners. Plus all the new Laker/Dodger jokes everyone will be making will be funny.
This is best for everyone. Magic and the Guggenheim people are more likely to preserve and protect Dodger tradition. Eventually we will have a winning team again, but Dodger Tradition and Dodger Stadium should be forever. We are entering a bright blue future. I remember the tumultuous FOX years, and that sale which happened when I was in high school. I remember how sad it was seeing the O’Malleys leave. This ownership transition is the exact opposite. 98% of Dodger fans are elated right now. Frank McCourt is nothing more than a lame duck. Quack Quack Frank.
Opening day is less than ten days away! Very soon we will hear those five beautiful words that we love to hear every season. IT’S TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL!
And with that I will leave you. I was writing up a post about Jerry Sands being sent down to the minors camp, but I think this news overshadows that just a little bit, don’t you think?