SOLD: Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten acquire Dodgers

“The Dodgers have reached an agreement to be sold to Magic Johnson’s bidding group, according to a baseball source,” tweets Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.

Update: “Breaking from WSJ: Magic Johnson-led group buys LA Dodgers for $2 billion, shattering all previous prices paid for sports franchises,” tweets Dennis K. Berman of the Wall Street Journal.

That has to include the parking lots, right? Right?

Update 2: From the Journal:

… With a bid of $2 billion, Johnson and partners Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly beat out a group of some of the wealthiest businessmen in the country to land a team that is one of Major League Baseball’s flagship franchises. The sales figure shatters the previous record sales price for a U.S. sports franchise, Steve Ross’s purchase of the Miami Dolphins for $1.1 billion three years ago. …

Update 3: Official statement:

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Frank McCourt Announce Agreement With Guggenheim Baseball Management

LOS ANGELES, March 27, 2012 – The Los Angeles Dodgers and Frank McCourt today announced an agreement under which Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC (“GBM”) will acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion upon completion of the closing process.  The purchasing group includes Mark R. Walter as its controlling partner, as well as Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly.  Mr. McCourt and certain affiliates of the purchasers will also be forming a joint venture, which will acquire the Chavez Ravine property for an additional $150 million.

The Los Angeles Dodgers stated, “This transaction underscores the Debtors’ objective to maximize the value of their estate and to emerge from Chapter 11 under a successful Plan of Reorganization, under which all creditors are paid in full.”

Frank McCourt stated, “This agreement with Guggenheim reflects both the strength and future potential of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and assures that the Dodgers will have new ownership with deep local roots, which bodes well for the Dodgers, its fans and the Los Angeles community.  We are delighted that this group will continue the important work we have started in the community, fulfilling our commitment to building 50 Dream Fields and helping with the effort to cure cancer.”

Earvin “Magic” Johnson stated, “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.”

“Fantastic foundation.” Yeah, that’s what it says.

Update 4: The initial report from Bill Shaikin of the Times is live.

  • http://twitter.com/Erik951 Erik951

    Shocked and happy. Thought they had to have an auction tomorrow?

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    They don’t have to have an auction – it just was assumed to be a necessary part of the process. 

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    This post has been updated. 

  • http://twitter.com/mattmier matthew mier

    Shocked Cohen didnt win the bidding. 

  • http://twitter.com/Erik951 Erik951

    Magic is a winner

  • Anonymous

    Forbes richest sports franchise last year in their ratings was Manchester United at $1.86 billion.

    Here is the website of the Dodgers real owners: http://www.guggenheimpartners.com/

    • Anonymous

       Speaking of which, Matty made it on the cover, didn’t he?

  • Anonymous

    What? Wow!

  • Anonymous

    And you cut off my prediction thread post for this? :o)

  • Anonymous

    That figure best include the lots– otherwise, Mcparkinglots’ lawyers will bleed them to death.

  • http://twitter.com/RAntonette Ron Antonette

    (deleted)

  • http://twitter.com/RAntonette Ron Antonette

    The release reads that Mr. McCourt will form a joint venture to own the Chavez Ravine property. Worried.

    • http://twitter.com/BakoInd Grant Baker

      I agree, it is very troublesome. He’s still there.

  • Anonymous

    So McCourt still has his tentacles in the Dodgers it seems.

  • http://twitter.com/RAntonette Ron Antonette

    The most stunning part of this: The Dodgers are curing cancer, according to McCourt’s quote. Amazing.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2BVIIRBV3UDBO3NLO35DAQKLZY Jah

    McCourt still keeps his hands in the parking lots? Freaking scumbag!!

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    My childhood favorite basketball player is going to co-own my favorite baseball team. I’d say I’m happy, yes.

  • Anonymous

    This is all just adding to Jon’s afterglow from Stanford’s win in the NIT semis tonight.

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       Like a good tag to a sitcom.

      • Anonymous

        Overtime in the second semi between Washington and Minnesota. It could be an all Pac-12 final!

        In New York City.

      • http://twitter.com/RAntonette Ron Antonette

        “Troy and Abed in the morning.”

  • Landon Kelt

    I’m dumbfounded by this deal. I’m not worried – you don’t spend this amount of money and don’t spend the money it takes to be a competitor – but $2 billion with no land!? It just makes little to no financial sense to me. Even with an assumed mega rich media rights deal coming. I AM worried that we have not completely cut ties with McCourt.

  • R H


    the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt”

    What?  Seriously?

    BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    I know he has to be pragmatic, but C’mon Magic.  Don’t insult our intelligence.

    • Anonymous

      Magic classy as always has always refused to say anything bad in public about McCourt. No reason for him to say something everyone already knows….

      • Anonymous

        There is being gracious, and there is being laughably fake. 

      • R H

        No, I understand the reasoning behind Magic’s statement.   I just would have chosen words a bit more carefully.

  • Anonymous

    Three things worry me:

    1.  Parking lot issue

    2.  $2 billion is a lot of money to pay for the team.  Will there be anything to pay the players?  How much will a beer cost? 

    3.  How much of this is debt?  We just dumped an owner that couldn’t afford the debt.  I’m not too eager to see another one at the Ravine.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/I6VPNDSS44KRBC2K4A5XMWANTI David

      I don’t think the $2 billion is an issue. It is kind of shocking, but the Dodgers will make back about twice that amount when the cable deal comes through in about a year or so. If the Angels got $3 billion, the Dodgers will fetch AT LEAST that much, too. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000720684984 Red River Rover

     .

    Bring it on Magic!

    I’m a lifetime Dodger fan, ever since the Dodgers signed our hometown Van Nuys boy Don Drysdale. We haven’t stepped inside Dodger Stadium since the Fox deal, although we have always continued to support the players and the actual working staff of the team

    Don’t worry too much about McCourt keeping the rights to the parking lot.

    Do the words Imminent Domain ring a bell?

    The city and county of LA will step in and strip that property right out from under the butt of the Boston con-man if he attempt to do anything but use it for it’s intended purpose of a car lot.

    Bye Bye Frankie!

    ~Red~

  • Anonymous

    The Houston Astros were just sold for less than half of what the Dodgers went for: $615 million.

    The average market capitalization for a company on the S&P 500 is a little over $12 billion.

    • http://twitter.com/RAntonette Ron Antonette

      Bob – Agreed, probably still a good value at $2B. I’m sure the net-net on the land issue is that we’re going to have a downtown baseball stadium before too long, and McCourt gets to share in the building of whatever replaces Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine.

      • Anonymous

        I’m still disappointed that you called in sick to my workplace today.

  • R H

    McCourt keeping lots is going to remain a huge PR problem.  Even Magic won’t be able to smooth it over easily.  

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Just to reiterate the main point in the release above, (via Molly Knight): Mark Walter, CEO of the financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, will become the controlling owner of the Dodgers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Vashkan Anthony Forkush

    I said it would be Patton and Beihly from day one!!!

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to put the over/under on a new stadium at 8 years

  • http://ken.arneson.name/ Ken Arneson

    FYI, this news is putting a strain on our modest little web server.  Apologies in advance if you experience any performance issues.

  • Anonymous

    Although it’s great that a positive, popular and notable figure head such as Magic Johnson now owns the Dodgers,  Can anyone here quell my concerns with this deal?

    - Frank McCourt sold the Dodgers for almost 5x the value in which he purchase the franchise.  And, from what I am led to believe, he STILL owns the parking lots and will make money from fans and visitors.  As a fan, I want him gone.  What will it take for him to sell the parking lots and just leave?  I’m uncomfortable my money is going to the pocket of such a crooked individual, or family for that matter.

    - The Magic Johnson-led group paid a handsome sum for the franchise.  Is the franchise even really worth that much? (or is that question taboo to the purest fan??)   By shelling out +2 Billion, how does that factor into the contracts for upcoming free agents and homegrown stars?  Or the employees who accomplish modest tasks around the stadium?   Part of me feels like Frank really hoodwinked the buyers?  Am I out-of-line in thinking that?

    I guess one thing Frank did do correctly was sell the franchise to a familiar face for LA.

    Anyhow, any constructive comments or answers are welcome.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000720684984 Red River Rover

       The heck with paying for parking.

      We’ll be take the Redline from North Hollywood to Union Station and transfer to the Dodger Stadium shuttle …

      They can even market the shuttle with the song, “The Magic Bus.”

      http://youtu.be/bl9bvuAV-Ao?t=16s

      ~Red~

  • Anonymous

    MLB.com: Besides the farm system, what else makes a championship club?

    Kasten: A ballplayer is more than simply batting averages and ERA. A ballplayer has heart, makeup and competitiveness. The more of those qualities you have, the more successful players you are going to have. 

    Uh oh..

  • http://twitter.com/carlosadecastro Carlos

    1. Great day to be a Dodger fan. Cant complain about that.

    2. Very Sad by the fact that McCourt gets to keep the parking lots. Parking lot + McCourt makes me think of Bryan Stowe. The worst part is say Magic and Stan build a great team, the stadium will be full and guess who can raise parking prices again and again with no consequences. Even if we boycott, what does he care, the dude is RICH now. At least before paying $20 per game felt like it was going to the team, now paying $30 to McCourt is going to be a slap in the face. I guess they assume in time we will forget, or stop caring, but i am not sure that will happen for me.  

  • Anonymous

    Say what you want about him but Frank is a genius.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713935344 Jason Ungar

      Yep!! He bought the team with borrowed money.
      Stole from the team. Paid himself and his family and then sold the team
      for 3X as much as he bought it. He may be a bad baseball owner but
      that’s pretty good!

      • Anonymous

        And gets to keep part of the property. He never could have reasonably expected to do this well. Nice payday for Blackstone as well.

  • Anonymous

    A $2 billion team can’t go 80-82, right?  Right!?

  • Anonymous

    Also, this is bit of a problem for Bud going forward. Doesn’t every owner who wants to sell (and maybe more are considering it today than yesterday) demand the exact same sales procedure Frank negotiated or sue to get it?

    • Anonymous

      Didn’t he only get this through the Bankruptcy court ruling? If that was the case only an owner who filed bankruptcy could get the same deal? Am I wrong? Anyone? Good question though.

      • Anonymous

        I think the threat of litigation and equal treatment may be enough. But the real issue is Bud alread demonstrated he is not prepared to go to trial against an owner who challenges his authority where the antitrust exemption is at risk.

  • http://twitter.com/Cut_2_the_Chase Tanner Hasse

    The biggest thing here is Stan Kasten will be president most likely. In ’86 he took over the Braves and from 1990 through 2005 they won the division every single year. He builds strong farm systems and international scouting. The Dodgers will have big market money again with small market farm systems. Think the Rays with money. Very exciting. Trust me, Magic and the Guggenhiem guys are sharp business people. They have this all penciled out especially with how strict MLB is now. Its a high price, but they could do it. Good day for baseball all around.

  • Anonymous

    Seems like a steep price, but its a leap in the right direction.

  • R H

    ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Tony Jackson said that means the group will purchase half the Dodger Stadium parking lots, which were deemed to have a total value of $300 million, with McCourt keeping the other half…???   And just how is THAT going to work? 

    • Anonymous

      They better not disclose which half Frank owns cause the stadium will look pretty funny with every car parked in the other half.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    Thought I’d share something with those you not as well versed in underground hip-hop. 

    There’s a line in the song “L.A.” by Murs where he says, “Magic Johnson be ownin’ everything like he should,” and I must say never has this line meant more than it does tonight.

    Edit: Here’s a link to my tumblr where I posted the song if you’re interested – http://wearenotforthem.tumblr.com/post/20049050758/magic-johnson-be-ownin-everything-like-he

  • Anonymous

    How can the Dodgers possibly be worth $2B?  I..how can…what the…where…holy cow!

  • Anonymous

    Right, the Times article says McCourt and “certain affiliates of the purchasers” will buy the surrounding property. Will those affiliates be able to keep Frank in check? What if Jaimie is an affiliate!!!! How great would that be?

    • Anonymous

       Or perhaps it is Josh Macciello.

  • Andrew Shimmin

    I don’t like Frank McCourt.

  • Jack Dawkins

    Just shows how much a Dodger Tv channel is gonna bring in.  They are really purchase a TV channel, with a team on the side.

  • Anonymous

    Some perspective (as if it were needed for this): If you were lucky enough to win tonights $380M MegaLotto, you could buy about a 9% stake (after taxes) of the Dodgers.

    I don’t know what this means, but my head hurts just thinking about it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000720684984 Red River Rover

      What that means? Simple…

      Winning $380M would make a common person rich. $2.3B would make that person wealthy.

      Look at it this way. Kobe is rich. The folks that sign his checks are wealthy.

      That’s the difference between rich and wealthy.

      Cha-Ching…

      ~Red~

  • Anonymous

    According to http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com, the lots are included.  “With the $2 billion for the team and stadium, plus $300 million for the
    surrounding land and parking lots, the selling price is a total of $2.3
    billion…”  Unfortunately, no mention on Ned leaving yet…

    • Anonymous

      Um, yeah, that’s a bit confusing. 

  • Anonymous

    Apple had enough cash on hand to buy the Dodgers 50 different times.

    • Anonymous

      Free iPad Give Away Night?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MHRLJUABETAGHFFSECYR2KRNBQ John

    If McSlime owns the parking lots or any part of anything to do with the Dodgers, for this lifelong Dodgers fan the boycott will continue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=616945879 James Lo

    So does this mean Magic is better than Jordan at baseball?

  • http://twitter.com/adamluther55 Adam Luther

    What are the Yankees and the stadium worth? $5B?

    • Anonymous

      The Yankees get more value out of YES than the Stadium.

      • http://twitter.com/adamluther55 Adam Luther

        What “value” would be placed on NYY as a team?

        • Anonymous

           If you included the new stadium and the network, it would have to be >$3.5B wouldn’t it?

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Kasten brings vast experience to Dodgers  http://atmlb.com/HfnKZq

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Bill Shaikin @BillShaikin:
    #Dodgers deal allows Magic group to control parking lots for games, Magic and McCourt to jointly pursue any development of lots.

    So will some of you boycotters boycott only during off-days and off-hours?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah I refuse to park there when there’s no game.:)

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    I wonder how much of that $2.3B is going to pay off debt. I don’t remember the details of the bankruptcy.

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       When you add the debt to the Jamie payment, about a billion I’d say.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT

  • Anonymous

    “Failing Upwards” will need to be a course taught as part of a masters in business admin.