Magic Johnson is now the proud owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The NBA legend and investment group Guggenheim Baseball Management has purchased the Dodgers from Frank McCourt for $2 billion.
The SF Gate reports that the $2 billion deal is huge for a sports franchise. Stephen Ross bought the Miami Dolphins in 2009 for $1.1 billion. The Manchester United soccer club was purchased in 2005 for $1.47 billion. Frank McCourt paid $430 million for the team in 2004
“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.”
USA Today reports that the Guggenheim group also include NBA executive Stan Kasten and Peter Guber, the head of Mandalay Entertainment and financed by Mark Walter, CEO of the financial services for Guggenheim Partners, will become the controlling owner of the Dodgers.
“I am truly honored to have partnered with such talented individuals and to be associated with the Dodgers organization. We look forward to building upon the legacy of the Dodgers and providing long-term stability to one of the most revered franchises in baseball.”
McCourt has been trying to sell the team while holding onto the parking lots that surround Dodger Stadium since taking the team into bankruptcy last year. McCourt and “certain affiliates” of the new owners will be “forming a joint venture, which will acquire the Chavez Ravine property for an additional $150 million.” According to the Chicago Tribune, Johnson’s group will control the lots during game days and will work with McCourt on future plans.
McCourt said that the sale “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.”
The deal is set to be finalized at the end of April.