Frank McCourt didn't waste any time picking a winning ownership group. On the day the Major League Baseball ownership committee approved the final three bidding groups to purchase the team, the choice has apparently been made, and the front man is perhaps the most beloved icon in Los Angeles sports history.
With the number one pick in the Dodgers 2012 ownership draft, McCourt selects Earvin "Magic" Johnson from Michigan State, 6'8", 200 pounds.
Johnson's group, which includes longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten, has reportedly agreed to purchase the Dodgers for a whopping $2 billion, per Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal and Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. From the Wall Street Journal:
With a bid of $2 billion, Mr. 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.
The Dodgers just last week were valued by Forbes at $1.4 billion. The previous record for the sale of an MLB club was $845 million, the price the Ricketts family paid for the Chicago Cubs in 2009.
Here is the official press release, which suggests that McCourt in some capacity will still own the land, along with the new ownership group:
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."