Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Get To Know The Dodgers' New Owners
Local legend Magic Johnson needs no introduction. He's one of the greatest NBA players of all time, has sports ownership experience as a former co-owner of the LA Lakers and is beloved for his philanthropy and HIV activism. As a longtime and well-known Angeleno, he provides that crucial "local" stake that Dodger fans have been clamoring for in a new owner.
But who are the others in Johnson's bidder group, now known as the Guggenheim Baseball Management? Thankfully, the team includes Stan Kasten, an MLB vet with decades of baseball management experience under his belt. And since this is LA, there is a touch of Hollywood in the form of mega-producer Peter Guber of Mandalay Bay Entertainment. Lastly, there is money -- lots of it -- both from global investing firm Guggenheim Partners and some oil fields.
As for those who are saying "good riddance" to previous owner Frank McCourt, don't break out the champagne just yet. The official announcement notes that while McCourt is shedding ownership of the team, he also sold the Chavez Ravine (that means the land that the stadium and the parking lots are on) -- to himself. He and affiliates of some of the new owners have formed their own joint venture, buying the property for $150 million.
It's not exactly clear how that will play out when it comes to those infamous parking lots (in the past, McCourt has vowed to retain ownership even to the point of losing some bids), but LA Times baseball reporter Bill Shaikin tweets that Johnson and McCourt would have to agree on any new parking lot decisions, but that Johnson has veto power.