The internet blew up last night with news that one of LA's favorite sons, Magic Johnson, will be part of the new ownership group for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Wall Street Journal has the sober analysis of the deal that will bring in a new ownership team including Johnson, controlling partner and financial services exec Mark Walter, and partners Peter Guber (a movie producer), Stan Kasten (former Washington Nationals president), Bobby Patton (president of Walter's firm Guggenheim Partners), and Todd Boehly (an investor). The winning bid came in substantially higher than the other bids, taking the franchise off the block almost immediately with a "100 percent" cash offer for $2.15 billion (The previous record sale for a Major League Baseball franchise was $845 million for the Chicago Cubs in 2009.). Unfortunately for Dodger fans who feel a little burned by his ownership tenure, Frank McCourt will still have a stake in the land surrounding the stadium, including the parking lots: "he and 'certain affiliates' of the new ownership will be 'forming a joint venture, which will acquire the Chavez Ravine property for an additional $150 million,'" reports the LA Times via an unattributed statement. They add that "Johnson's group will control the parking lots for Dodgers games and work with McCourt on any future development." That last part is interesting, considering McCourt had extensive development plans for the land.
As for the very famous minor stakeholder, Magic Johnson says in a statement that he is "thrilled to be part of the historic Dodger franchise and intend to build on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt as we drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section in our wonderful community of Los Angeles." There is still a little work left to be done by the courts to finalize the sale, reports the LAT: "The sale must be confirmed by the court in a hearing April 13. The transaction is set to close by April 30, the same day McCourt must pay his ex-wife $131 million in a divorce settlement."
· Dodgers Sold at Auction [Wall Street Journal]
· Magic Johnson-led group is picked as Dodgers' next owner [LA Times]
· Frank McCourt Not Giving Up the Dodgers Parking Lots [Curbed LA]