‘Magic’ part of new Dodgers ownershipMarch 28, 2012 8:31 AM by Staff & Wire Reports
A group that includes former Lakers star Magic Johnson and longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten agreed Tuesday night to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt for a record $2 billion.
The price would shatter the mark for a sports franchise,, Stephen Ross paid $1.1 billion for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins in 2009, and in England In Malcolm Glazer and his family took over the Manchester United soccer club in 2005 in a deal then valued at $1.47 billion.
Mark Walter, chief executive officer of the financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, would become the controlling owner.
The deal, revealed about five hours after Major League Baseball owners approved three finalists for an intended auction, is one of several steps toward a sale of the team by the end of April. It is subject to approval in federal bankruptcy court.
"I am 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," Johnson said in a statement.
As part of the agreement, the Dodgers said McCourt and "certain affiliates of the purchasers" would acquire the land surrounding Dodger Stadium, including its parking lots, for $150 million.
The acquiring group, called Guggenheim Baseball Management, has several other investors, among them Mandalay Entertainment chief executive Peter Guber, Guggenheim Partners president Todd Boehly and Bobby Patton, who operates oil and gas properties among his investments. Kasten is the former president of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.
The NFC East has been largely unpredictable the past three seasons, with the team carrying the longest division odds at midsummer finishing first. In 2012 it was Washington at 10 to 1, in 2013 Philadelphia at 5-1 and last year Dallas at 4-1.