May 2, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Members of the Guggenheim baseball management team pose with former Los Angeles Dodgers players at a press conference to announce their sale of the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. From left: Stan Kasten and Tommy Davis and Mark Walter and Tommy Lasorda and Magic Johnson and Bobby Patton and Steve Garvey and Todd Boehly and Ron Cey and Peter Guber and Don Newcombe. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Dodgers Sale To Guggenhiem Baseball Partners Finalized

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New Dodgers Ownership Group Introduced In Press Conference

The Los Angeles Dodgers introduced their new ownership group on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, as Guggenheim Baseball Partners formally took over the franchise. New controlling partner Mark Walter said, "I viewed it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to own the most fantastic franchise in all of sports."

But many of the questions were about former owner Frank McCourt and his ongoing role in the land surrounding the stadium.

"Every aspect of the operation at Chavez Ravine that relates to baseball, parking and everything, is controlled and managed by us, and all of those revenues go to this organization," Walter said. "The former ownership does have an economic interest in a certain amount of the profits that might come from potential development in the future."

"We own it 100%. He doesn't get a dime from the parking," said Magic Johnson.

The group said the Dodgers have no plans to develop the land, though in the future that could change.

"If he's a part of future development so what? What's important is that there's new owners sitting here," said Johnson. "There's new direction, there's a new era, and we're moving this franchise forward."

Legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully emceed the event, and as someone who has been around since 1950 he had a message to the new ownership group.

"I am telling each and every one of you right now. This is the last new ownership press conference I will ever attend," Scully said.

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Magic Johnson And GBM Officially Take Over As Owners Of Dodgers

According to a press release from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the sale of the team from Frank McCourt to Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC (GBM) is now completed for $2 billion. The Dodgers are now officially owned by Mark Walter, Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten.

The Dodgers said this about the sale.

"The Dodgers emerge from the Chapter 11 reorganization process having achieved its objective of maximizing the value of the Dodgers through a successful Plan of Reorganization, under which all claims will be paid. The Dodgers move forward with confidence - in a strong financial position; as a premier Major League Baseball franchise; and as an integral part of and representative of the Los Angeles community."

The sale overcame its biggest final hurdle when a Delaware Bankruptcy Court formally approved of the sale in mid-April.

The Dodgers are currently 16-7 and first in the NL West.

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Dodgers Sale Lacking Key Details, MLB Growing Concerned

The Los Angeles Dodgers were sold for an insane amount of money last week. Whenever that much currency is exchanged in any transaction, there is always plenty of fine print that needs to be reviewed. According to this latest report from Sports Illustrated, Major League Baseball is growing concerned with a lack of concrete details that surround the $2 billion dollar purchase.

The group was expected to file a Purchase and Sale Agreement with MLB earlier this week, but postponed the filing for two days before submitting a short form agreement that lacked what MLB regards as most of the necessary details. Of particular interest to MLB is a breakdown of where the money is coming from to cover the $2.15 billion sale price and what role McCourt has in the ownership, control and profit-sharing of the Dodger Stadium parking lots.

Until MLB knows and reviews those details, according to sources, concern mounts about how the deal is financed and especially if McCourt stands to continue to profit from Dodger-related operations under the new ownership.
Some answers may be forthcoming as soon as Friday, when terms of the sale are expected to be filed in bankruptcy court. The court is expected to approve the sale on April 13 in advance of a final closing April 30, when McCourt must pay his wife, Jamie, $131 million as a condition of their divorce settlement.

Most believe that the details will get hammered out in the coming days and the deal will be finalized shortly after, but this is definitely something the MLB offices will be all over until then. This is simply too much money to just glance over and you can bet Bud Selig and Co. will want everything smoothed out before they sign off.

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Dodgers Sale: Frank McCourt Considered A Spring Training Winner

Yahoo! Sports' Steve Henson recently picked out some 2012 MLB Spring Training winners and some losers. While most in Los Angeles, or around the country would consider former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt one of the biggest losers, Henson considers him a winner, as long as you look at it from a business standpoint.

Many consider him the biggest loser in Los Angeles, but he's leaving town with his pockets stuffed with hundreds of millions of dollars after selling the Dodgers for $2.15 billion. McCourt and his ex-wife, Jamie, ransacked the team coffers, enjoyed the fruits of a bountiful farm system that provided cheap talent for years, then had their nefarious ways exposed in an ugly divorce.

McCourt was humiliated and is despised. All the other owners turned on him. Yet he more than quadrupled his 2004 purchase price, which from a strictly business point of view makes him the most successful owner in baseball history.

McCourt has now walked away with $2 billion of a group including Magic Johnson's money which is the most a major league team has ever been sold for. Businessmen from all across the country would pat McCourt on the back for the deal he made.

The question is how much the money matters to him compared to his reputation.

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Dodgers Sale: $2 Billion Price Tag 'Craziest Deal Ever,' Affects Other Teams Value According to Experts

With the news of the Magic Johnson-Stan Kasten group purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers for a reported $2 billion comes a number of extracurricular repercussions, including having an affect on the valuation of other franchises around the league as well.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York is reporting that the New York Mets could actually now be worth upwards of $1.1 billion after this Dodgers deal, only a week after Forbes gave them a price tag of around $719 million.

Spots Business consultant Marc Ganis with the commentary:

"Let me tell you, if the Dodgers are worth $2 billion, the Yankees are worth $3.5 to $4 billion," Ganis said. "The Red Sox are worth $2.5 billion. And the Mets go from being worth, say, in the low $1 (billion)s to the mid- to high-$1 (billion)s."

"This only relates to the top, top of the food chain," Ganis said. "It's really just the big-market clubs that have unique local broadcasting opportunities."

The Dodgers new TV deal is certainly factored into to the team's approximate value, but as Michigan sports management professor Rosentraub told ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi, this deal wasn't necessarily based on on balance books, or even logic for that matter.

"It's the craziest deal ever; it makes no sense. That's why you saw so many groups drop out...Nobody came up with this number. Under the most favorable circumstance you broke (even at) $1.1 billion, with $1.4 billion getting crazy. Now you're up in the $2 billion range, which is over $800 million more than what pencils out for a profitable investment for a baseball team. If making money doesn't count, this is a great move. But now we're into buying art and I can't value art. I can just run the model numbers and this doesn't make sense."

By diving head first into this deal Magic Johnson and Co. have created great elation and expectations for the Dodgers and their fanbase, but also the skepticism that comes along with throwing billions of dollars at an entity coming out of bankruptcy. Only time will tell if this deal will be lucrative for the new owners in the long run.

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Dodgers Sale: $2 Billion Deal Is All Cash, No Financing According to Report

Now, you may be asking yourself just what the heck Randy Moss has anything to do with the Los Angeles Dodgers being sold? Three simple words.

Straight cash homie.

That's right, as reported by the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin, the reported $2 billion dollar deal to take over the Dodgers includes absolutely no financing, ergo, straight cash homie.

Per Bill Shaikin on Twitter:

After all the headaches that came along with Frank McCourt's tenure as team owner, it certainly will be a nice change of pace for MLB to know they have about as easy a $2 billion deal that you could possibly have. Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten and Co. are certainly putting smiles on league officials faces right now.

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L.A. Dodgers Sale: Magic Johnson Eager To Revitalize Historic Franchise In Los Angeles

After months and month of negotiation, the Los Angeles Dodgers have finally been sold to a group led by L.A. Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and controlling partner Mark R. Walter. The deal is reportedly for $2 billion dollars, which would shatter any previous deals to acquire a professional sports franchise.

A messy divorce led owner Frank McCourt to look for a group of suitors to purchase his team. Attendance in Los Angeles was at an all-time low last season with the club struggling to stay competitive throughout the summer months.

Among the potential buyers were Mark Cuban and Joe Torre. Neither had comment on Tuesday evening.

Said McCourt, "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."

The new ownership group has very strong ties to the SoCal area, and this looks like a very successful purchase on paper. The Dodgers can now look forward to an expanded budget and the freedom to pursue trades and free agents for years to come, something they had been severely limited by with a sale pending of the organization.

"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." said Johnson.

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Dodgers To Be Sold to Magic Johnson-Led Group, Per Reports

Several sources are now reporting that the Dodgers have been sold to the Magic Johnson-led group for a staggering $2 billion.

As you can see, this price is significanly richer than any previous franchise transactions and will likely (or should, anyway) include Frank McCourt's parking lot revenue stream as well.

Major League Baseball owners had previously approved three groups for purchase bidding- 1) the group led by billionaires Steven Cohen and Patrick Soon-Shiong; (2) the group led by Magic Johnson and longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten; and (3) St. Louis Rams team owner Stan Kroenke. If these reports prove correct, it looks like Johnson's group was the winning bidder.

More to follow soon as details emerge.

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Dodgers Sale: Three Bidders Approved By MLB Owners

There are three bidders remaining to become the new owners for the Dodgers. The remaining groups are: (1) the group led by billionaires Steven Cohen and Patrick Soon-Shiong; (2) the group led by Magic Johnson and longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten; and (3) St. Louis Rams team owner Stan Kroenke. Now they will be the last three standing to try and obtain ownership of the team.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times files this report.

Final negotiations with Frank McCourt and investment bank representatives now will begin in earnest for the acution to take place. There could be new team owners for Los Angeles within the next week, ending this long and painful nightmare. Who will end up prevailing in the end?

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Dodgers Sale: Only 3 Bidders Remain, Winning Bid Could Be Announced Next Week

Another day, another update in the saga of the court-ordered sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The list of potential buyers is down to the three finalists.

According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the list of bidders in the hunt was cut from five to three on Friday. The remaining groups are: the group led by billionaires Steven Cohen and Patrick Soon-Shiong, the group led by Magic Johnson and longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten and St. Louis Rams team owner Stan Kroenke.

MLB owners will vote on the three remaining bidders next week before final negotiations with Frank McCourt and investment bank representatives. It is possible that we will know the identity of the new team owners within the next week.

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Dodgers Sale: Stanley Gold / Roy Disney Estate Back In Bidding, Five Groups Remain

The sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers is scheduled to close by April 30, but we don't yet know exactly who the new owner will be. However, the process is ongoing and the field is down to a final quintet of ownership groups. The group led by Stanley Gold and the estate of Roy Disney was rejected by MLB last week, but a federal mediator reinstated the group on Monday, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

"The Gold/Disney bid had been rejected last week by a committee of Major League Baseball owners, amid concerns over the structure of an offer that included private equity financing to back the launch of a regional sports network," Shaikin wrote.

That puts back at five finalists to purchase the team from Frank McCourt, with the winning bid to be hopefully identified by the end of March. In addition to Gold/Disney, the other four groups still alive are Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten; Steve Cohen and Arn Tellem; Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley, and St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

Shaikin also reported that all 30 MLB owners are expected to vote to approve these five ownership groups within the week. McCourt has final authority to pick from the pre-approved groups. The sale price is expected to be north of $1.6 billion, which would double the previous record for the sale price of a major league franchise.

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Dodgers Sale: Patrick Soon-Shiong Joins Steven Cohen's Bidding Group

The competition is still stiff among the groups vying to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers from outgoing owner Frank McCourt. A new favorite among the bidders may have emerged on Sunday, after it was reported that Los Angeles' richest resident plans to align himself with one of the groups.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Patrick Soon-Shiong has joined the bidding group led by billionaire Steven Cohen. This might be the boost Cohen needed to make his interest more alluring (read: profitable) to McCourt.

If McCourt were to accept the Cohen bid, he would be rejecting one led by local icon Magic Johnson. Soon-Shiong has held several meetings with McCourt since the Dodgers were put up for sale in November, according to people familiar with the process.

Soon-Shiong had been widely expected to join the bid group led by Johnson, from whom he bought a minority share in the Lakers two years ago. Soon-Shiong's decision to join Cohen was confirmed Sunday by two people familiar with the sale process but not authorized to comment.

Soon-Shiong would be a minority owner if Cohen's group emerges as the winning bidders.

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Dodgers Sale: Tony LaRussa Could Join Steve Cohen, Arn Tellem In Los Angeles Per Report

As the deadline nears for the Los Angeles Dodgers to be sold, USA Today is reporting that the ownership group of hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen and sports agent extraordinaire Arn Tellum have the strongest bid in on the team, and would like to hire Tony LaRussa to a major front office position.

Cohen's bid is said to be upwards of $1.6 billion with at least half of the sum to be paid in cash, which is likely a very large deal-sweetener along with having guys like La Russa and Tellum along for the ride. There now are four finalist left for the sale, including Magic Johnson's group, St. Louis Rams and Denver Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke's group, Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley's group and Ares Capital co-founder Tony Ressler's group, who is also a minority investor with the Milwaukee Brewers.

One of the recently eliminated groups consisted of former TV personality Larry King, who had this to say about Cohen and his chances:

"Hiring Tony La Russa would be a great start," King said. "After talking to Steve, my own hunch is that Tony La Russa would become club president..."I could see Steve (Cohen) starting his own network," King said. "Look at the (New York) Yankees. YES is worth more than the Yankees. He can do the same thing here with the Dodgers."

I'm sure Dodgers fans certainly wouldn't fight any of that.

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Dodgers Sale: Magic Johnson, Steve Cohen Ownership Groups Reportedly Favorites

The various prospective bidders for the Los Angeles Dodgers began meeting with Major League Baseball's ownership committee on Monday, and the candidates appear to be whittled down to either five or six groups according to reports. The group of Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten, and the group of Steve Cohen and Arn Tellem are supposedly the favorites.

The Johnson and Kasten group have submitted the highest bid at $1.6 billion per Mike Ozanian of Forbes. The group of Cohen and Tellem are believed to have submitted a bid of $1.4 billion, but has more cash in the deal, which could appeal to Frank McCourt, who has final say in this rather unusual process.

In a normal MLB team sale, the team would field bids and MLB would have final say, with the highest bidder not always winning. Under a deal between McCourt and MLB that was approved by the Delaware Bankruptcy Court, MLB gets to pre-approve from the list of bidders for the Dodgers, but McCourt has the final call, which shows just how badly commissioner Bud Selig wanted McCourt out of Dodgers ownership.

But McCourt might not necessarily be out, in a sense. Yes, he has to sell the team by April 30 per court order, at which time he is to pay ex-wife Jamie McCourt $131 million per their divorce settlement. But reportedly none of the remaining bids on the table include the parking lots at Dodger Stadium, meaning McCourt will continue to make money from the Dodgers based on current long term lease contracts signed between different entities currently under the McCourt ownership umbrella.

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Dodgers Sale: Seven Ownership Groups Remain, Including Magic Johnson

The Los Angeles Dodgers are still on the verge of trying to find a new ownership group. At this point, it's anyone's game. The most prominent name out there involves a former LA sporting great.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times files this report.

The remaining bidders proceed to a multi-layered review by Major League Baseball, including consideration by two committees of owners. Each bidder then will be subject to a vote of all owners, with three-fourths approval required.

If a bidder is not cleared to proceed to the ownership vote, McCourt can ask a court-appointed mediator to intervene. If a bidder is rejected in the ownership vote, McCourt has no recourse.

MLB is expected to inform McCourt which bidders have been approved in mid- to late-March. McCourt is then expected to hold a final round of bidding before selecting the winner.

Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles does a good job talking about each of the bidders. Magic Johnson is of course the most prominent bidder, with most of his funding for the bid coming from Guggenheim Partners CEO Mark Walter. Stan Kroenke, owner of the St. Louis Rams, probably has the most experience in running a sports franchise. A bunch of other prominent LA names on the sporting scene are also involved in the bidding, and you'd figure any of them has as good a chance as anyone else.

Owner Frank McCourt is expected to sell the Dodgers for over a billion dollars at least, so you have to expect that the winning bidder will be flush with cash to try and keep the team in place.

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Dodgers Sale: Joe Torre, Rick Caruso Withdraws Bid Because Of Frank McCourt

The Los Angeles Dodgers are ready to move on from the Frank McCourt era. The sale of the Dodgers is going to hopefully purge the memories of the dirty ending to the last ownership, and move on quickly.

But it looks like it won't be easy to cut ties with him completely. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times filed this report.

Rick Caruso and former Dodgers manager Joe Torre have withdrawn a joint bid to buy the Dodgers, three people familiar with the sale process said Thursday.

Caruso cited owner Frank McCourt's refusal to include the Dodger Stadium parking lots in the sale, according to the people, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the sale process.

Caruso could reenter the bidding if McCourt were to agree to sell the parking lots, the people said. McCourt has told people he has at least one bid in which the buyer would let him retain ownership of the parking lots.

The key here with all of this new news is McCourt won't be fully going away. He would under his preferred scenario still own the land around Dodger Stadium, including parking lots, and charge the new owner rent. He'll still be around even if he isn't in charge anymore.

So Dodgers fans might have to get used to the McCourt stench for just a little bit longer. Because it won't be that easy to get rid of him.

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Dodgers Sale: Bidders Schedule Meetings With MLB Ownership Committee

The Los Angeles Dodgers are moving closer to finding their future owner. Ronald Blum of AP has more on how things are progressing for the bidders of the Dodgers.

Remaining bidders for the Los Angeles Dodgers have been told they will be scheduled for meetings with Major League Baseball’s ownership committee early next month.

The exact date of each group’s meeting has not been set yet, but the range of dates for the sessions has been given to the bidders, a person familiar with the process said Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the parties have signed nondisclosure agreements.

This is the stage of the sale that makes it different from most MLB sales, as the MLB is pre-approving the bidders (that made it to the second round of bidding) rather than picking the winner at the end. McCourt gets the ultimate final say of who the owner will be, choosing from among the groups pre-approved at this step by the MLB.

There are eleven groups left up for bidding according to this LA Times article, with the likely favorites being the Magic / Stan Kasten and Joe Torre / Caruso groups. Each of these groups will pay MLB approximately $25,000 to run their background investigation.

There’s a lot of negotiating left soon, but the long nightmare for Dodgers fans seems to be nearing an end.

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Dodger Sale: Michael Heisley, Owner Of Memphis Grizzlies, Newest Bidder For Dodgers

According to the L.A. Times' Bill Shaikin, current owner of the Memphis Grizzlies Michael Heisley has thrown his hat into the ring as a potential buyer for the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, and brings his billions of dollars along with him.

Heisley, 75, is now one of 11 possible groups that could take over the Dodgers by April 30, the deadline set forth by Major League Baseball in which the team must be sold my Frank McCourt. He'll be competing against ownership groups with the likes of Magic Johnson and Joe Torre.

Heisley purchased the then-Vancouver Grizzlies back in 2000, promising to do "everything in my power to make this franchise a success in Vancouver." He wound up moving the team to Memphis a year later.

Heisley has also considered bidding on the Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Vikings in the past according to one source.

Heisley's net worth was estimated at around $1.5 billion last September by Forbes Magazine. His Chicago based company controls over 30 businesses, largely based in construction and manufacturing, and He built his empire by buying and improving struggling companies.

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Dodgers Sale: Mark Cuban Calls Sale 'A Media Rights Deal'

The sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers has attracted some of the wealthiest people in Los Angeles and in the country, as well as several well-known figures in the sports world. One of the people who was part of the initial round of bidding, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, dropped out after deciding the price for the team was too rich for his blood.

The price of the team is expected to top $1.5 billion, an exorbitant amount considering that Frank McCourt paid a reported $371 million for the team in 2004. Cuban on Monday, speaking with Access Hollywood, called the sale of the Dodgers "a media rights deal."

The driving force behind the escalating price of the team is their upcoming television rights deal. The Dodgers are under contract with Fox through 2013 in what is seen as a below market deal - roughly $38 million per year to televised two-thirds of the team's games - and a new television deal is expected to be valued as high as $4 billion over a 20-year period. The Angels signed a new 20-year, $3 billion deal with Fox Sports, giving them a revenue windfall that helped fund the Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson signings, and the Dodgers' new deal is expected to eclipse that mark.

"The economics got so out of control because the Dodgers’ TV deal’s up for bid and so there’s a lot of groups coming in going, ‘This TV deal’s worth so much money that we’re gonna pay whatever it takes to get the Dodgers’," Cuban said on Monday. "And so they’re buying the TV rights deal first and the team second."

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Dodgers Sale: Field Of Potential Dodgers Buyers Is Narrowing Down, Joe Torre Group Still In Running

Sunday, January 22 was the deadline to submit opening bids for the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week that the Dodgers received over 10 opening bids.

That list of bidders included Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, a group including the family of the late Roy Disney, a group including former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Magic Johnson and a group including former Dodgers manager Joe Torre.

Shaikin reported on Friday that eight of those groups had advanced to the second round of bidding. A follow-up Twitter message on Friday revealed that two of the suitors who did not advance were Cuban and former sports agent Dennis Gilbert.

The franchise is projected to be sold at anywhere between $1 billion and $1.5 billion. If the groups including Disney, Torre and Johnson are among those that still remain in the mix, that makes three very strong, very deep ties to the area attempting to take over the Southern California institution. At this point, it is likely that Dodgers fans are of the opinion that any new owner would be a vast improvement over the Frank McCourt era.

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Dodgers Sale 2012: L.A. Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong Likely To Join Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten Group

As a new ownership group and the Los Angeles Dodgers continue to court amongst themselves, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman is reporting that Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong will likely join the group of Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten as possible suitors for the Boys in Blue:

They most definitely won't be alone at the negotiating table though, as upwards of 12 groups have come out of the woodwork as potential buyers of the Dodgers, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, sports ownership savant Stan Kroenke, former manager Joe Torre, and YES Network CEO Leo Hindery, just to name a few. This could get ugly.

I imagine the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers going something along the line of an episode of 'Storage Wars.' A screaming frenzy of bidders, except billionaires will bid against millionaires and there will be a lot more zeros involved. Should be a good time.

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Joe Torre Resigns From MLB, Joins Local Developer To Bid On Los Angeles Dodgers

Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre liked the team so much, he has decided to try to buy them. Torre, who managed the Dodgers from 2008-2010, announced on Wednesday that he is teaming with billionaire developer Rick Caruso in a bid to purchase the Dodgers, who are currently in bankruptcy.

Bids are due from potential parties by January 23, and the team is to be sold by April 30 by agreement between Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball.


Be sure to read True Blue LA for local reaction to the potential Torre/Caruso bid to buy the Dodgers.


Torre resigned his position as an MLB executive in order to join forces with Caruso. "I have great confidence in Rick Caruso’s unique qualifications and his ability to lead a successful bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers," Torre said in a statement on Wednesday. "In Rick I found a partner who understands consumers and fully appreciates that the Dodgers are a treasured LA institution. Since moving to Los Angeles, I have seen firsthand Rick’s dedication to business and the people of Los Angeles. I am very excited about this new opportunity and also want to thank Commissioner Selig and Major League Baseball for providing me with invaluable baseball operations experience over the past 10 months."

Caruso is probably best known for developing The Grove at Farmers Market in Los Angeles, and was considered a potential candidate to run for Mayor of Los Angeles. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported on the money source behind the Torre/Caruso team:

The banker in the Caruso/Torre group is Byron Trott of BDT Capital in Chicago, called by Warren Buffett "the only banker he trusts."

"The Dodgers are an iconic Los Angeles franchise, and I am thrilled to partner with Joe Torre, one of baseball’s all-time greats, to launch a bid for this storied organization. Joe has a proven track record of fielding winning teams and I am looking forward to our group benefiting from his unique experience," Caruso said in a statement on Wednesday. "I am a lifelong Angeleno; I love this city and have dedicated my career to creating world-class destinations that support this community and foster great customer experiences. Joe and I believe in the Dodgers and Dodger fans and know that together we will foster a winning culture and deliver a premier, fan-focused baseball experience at Dodger Stadium."

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Dodgers Sale 2011: Magic Johnson Will Bid On The Dodgers

According to the LA Times, former Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson will be in on the bidding for the Los Angeles Dodgers, along with a power packed investment group. Magic will be the public face the ownership group including Stan Kasten, the former president of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals, along with Mark Walter, chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, a financial services firm with $125 billion in assets. The firm is headquartered in Chicago and New York, though they have an office in Los Angeles as well.  

Johnson was asked why he chose Kasten and Walter as his partners:

"Both guys are about building a winner and making a difference in the L.A. community."

Theses three will have a lot of dough to throw at the Dodgers and have it lined up ready to go , putting them amongst the leaders in the clubhouse if you will because of it. Kasten has even been rumored to be Bud Selig's replacement as MLB Commissioner.  

Other possible bidders include Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Southland baseball executive Dennis Gilbert, LA developers Rick Caruso and Alan Casden as well as former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano.    

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Mark Cuban Reportedly Interested In Buying Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers are for sale, there is one name that comes up most often from fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers when asked whom should replace Frank McCourt as owner of the team. Mark Cuban, currently the owner of the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA, said on Thursday he is interested in buying the Dodgers, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

The process could begin next week, when the investment bank handling the sale of the Dodgers is expected to provide prospective buyers with confidential financial data in a so-called "bid book." A party that receives a book is not obligated to bid.

"[I] will see a book," Cuban wrote in an email.

Cuban was part of a team that bid for the Texas Rangers in 2010, but lost out to the group led by Nolan Ryan.

In the 11 full seasons since Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks in January 2000, Dallas has a .687 winning percentage, never winning fewer than 51 games in a season, including the NBA championship in June. In the 11 years prior to Cuban's ownership, Dallas had a .329 winning percentage and made the playoffs just once.

The sale of the Dodgers is expected to extend through spring training, which means they won't have a new owner in place in time to make any moves for 2012. Though the club did extend Matt Kemp for eight years and $160 million, the team is not likely to be significantly different in 2012 than the team that went 82-79 in 2011.

For more news and information on the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Sale: Joe Torre Reportedly Interested In Joining Bid To Buy Franchise

The bidders are lining up for their chance at buying the Los Angeles Dodgers and more and more big names are potentially entering the mix. The latest: former Dodgers manager, Joe Torre.

While nothing has been confirmed, a story out of the LA Times indicated Torre has considered joining LA real estate developer Rick Caruso in pursing the team. Now a member of Major League Baseball's front office, getting into an ownership role with the franchise could be very appealing to the 71-year old.

"There've been a number of people who've reached out and inquired, but I've made no alliance, no commitment, as of this minute," Torre told the New York Times.

Torre is obviously doing his part here to keep the rumors to a minimum, but this could become a compelling story should he decide to seriously pursue owning a portion of the Dodgers organization. With all of his ties and connections to the game, he, Caruso and whoever joins their team would have to be considered among the favorites to win the bidding.

For more on the Dodgers and the sale of the team, head on over to True Blue LA.

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Fred Claire Latest With Dodgers Ties To Want To Buy Team

Judging by the prospective owners that have expressed interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt, it would seem like having Dodger ties is a prerequisite. Former owner Peter O'Malley wants in, as do former players Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser. Now the architect of the 1988 World Series winning team, Fred Claire, wants to buy the Dodgers, too.

Claire was a guest on ESPN Radio 710 in Los Angeles, and noted that his group is still in search of a primary financier, but as Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles noted, Claire thinks the group he has assembled so far is worthy:

"We will have to be pre-approved by Major League Baseball and I think the team we have assembled is one that will draw the favor of Major League Baseball," Claire said. "With my 30 years of experience with the Dodgers, Andy Dolich, a longtime sports executive in baseball and other sports and Ben Hwang, a very success business person at a young age, we will continue to add to that team."

Claire was with the Dodgers for 30 years, including the first 19 years in public relations and the last 11 as general manager. He was fired in 1998 by Fox in their first year of ownership of the Dodgers. He told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times hhe just wants the Dodgers to be back in prominence. "My interest is to play whatever role is needed to get the Dodgers back to where they need to be -- on the field, in the community, and internationally," Claire said.

For more news and information on the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Steve Garvey, Orel Hershiser Part Of Group That Wants To Buy Dodgers

One of the negative side effects of the McCourt ownership that manifested itself in 2011 was reduced fan interest in the team, as the Los Angeles Dodgers sold under 3 million tickets for the first time in 11 years. Now that Frank McCourt has agreed to sell the Dodgers, one of the first concerns for a new owner will be to restore fan interest and excitement.

Having two franchise greats as front men probably won't hurt in that regard. Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser are part of a group that wants to purchase the club, reported Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles:

Garvey said his group needed to examine the Dodgers current financial situation before submitting an offer for the team.

"We feel we're capitalized to be in the game. We don't know what the final number will be," he said. "We have to be able to look at the books, look at future potential revenues and make a sound business decision. With that said, this is a baseball deal for us.

Garvey, who played for the Dodgers from 1969-1982, was a part of the community relations department for the Dodgers for 15 years before getting fired for his very public comments about his willingness to purchase the club and the state of current ownership.

Shelburne also reported that there are other former Dodgers in the investment group but have been quiet because of their current association with the team. Ron Cey and Lou Johnson are among other former Dodgers currently employed by the club in the community relations department.

For more news and information on the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Sale: Peter O'Malley Wants Back In

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the hot new item for sale, and many new suitors are likely to come out of the woodwork. However, one of the suitors has a history with the club, a very storied one. Peter O'Malley, the longtime former owner and president of the Dodgers, has decided to throw his hat in the ring, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

"I am confident I can restore [the Dodgers] to respectability quicker, sooner and probably better than — or at least as well as — anyone else."

O'Malley, 73, called the revival of the Dodgers his top priority beyond his family and said he hoped to run the team for several years.

O'Malley is still immensely popular among Dodgers fans, a link back to the days of family ownership in sports. Before the 2010 season, there was an event with Joe Torre and Sandy Koufax at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. It was a wonderful and rare event simply because the very private Koufax opened up for 90 minutes. But one of the biggest cheers of the night was for O'Malley, who was sitting in the crowd and acknowledged on stage.

As far as money, Shaikin reports O'Malley has said he would have "no concerns about assembling a group that could pay the $1 billion or more that might be necessary to buy the Dodgers." It would be an interesting blast from the past, that's for sure. Whether or not O'Malley would be successful remains to be seen.

For more news and information on the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Ownership Search: Mayor Villaraigosa Wants An LA Owner, Maybe His Old Boss?

The Los Angeles Dodgers need new leaders at the top, and if Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had his way, he'd get someone from inside the city to do it. Dan Weikel of the Los Angeles Times filed this report.

He called current owner Frank McCourt's decision to sell the Dodgers a "new chapter."

"I'm looking forward to local ownership," Villaraigosa said. "I want the owner to be from Los Angeles. I want someone who loves this town and believes in this city."

It's funny that Villaraigosa would stand so hard for someone from his city when one of the potential bidders is his former boss. From the same article, check out one bidder for the Dodgers.

Southern California businessmen Ron Burkle, Alec Gores and Alan Casden also could be bidders. Burkle and Gores have ties to professional sports, and Casden pursued the Dodgers before McCourt bough the team.

If the name doesn't sound familiar, let me refresh your memory.

He befriended a few Assembly speakers who came later, among them Antonio Villaraigosa, who worked for Burkle during his brief time out of office before becoming Los Angeles mayor.

So it's quite possible the mayor has a vested interest in having his old boss take over the team, even over such luminaries like Mark Cuban. Why the mayor would want an inside interest rather than someone who could potentially draw the big bucks to his franchise like Cuban is beyond me, but sometimes that's how things work in the politics of the MLB.

For more on the Dodgers and their potential ownership sale, go to True Blue LA.

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Fox Not Interested In Buying Los Angeles Dodgers

As the Los Angeles Dodgers will soon search for its next owner, maybe it won't be Fox after all. From Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

Confirmed: Fox not interested in buying #Dodgers at this time..

Once more for emphasis, from Jon Weisman of Variety:

Fox confirms that it is not going to pursue a purchase of the Dodgers.

Carry on then. Carry on.

For more news and information on the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Fox Reportedly Interested - Again - In Buying Dodgers

Now that Frank McCourt has reached a settlement with Major League Baseball to sell the Los Angeles Dodgers, it is open season to find the potential bidders for the team. The team is expected to fetch somewhere in the $1 billion range, which is nearly two and a half times the amount paid by McCourt in 2004. One of the new bidders could be an old bidder, Fox, who owned the Dodgers from 1998-2004.

"If it comes down to paying $3 billion for telecast rights or $1 billion for the team, the math may mean you buy the team," a person familiar with Fox's thinking told Steven Church of Bloomberg News. Darren Rovell of CNBC also thinks Fox could, and should be in play:

The reason Fox sold the Dodgers is that they thought buying TV rights were a better financial move. They were reportedly losing tens of millions of dollars managing the team. But now, that just might be the cost of doing business in a marketplace that is much more competitive than it was just seven years ago.

Fox currently has a television contract with the Dodgers that runs through 2013, so a new TV deal is of paramount importance to any new owner. It is also why any media companies, such as Time Warner, that would bid on the Dodgers TV rights would also potentially be interested in purchasing the team as well.

For more news and information on the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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Mark Cuban Could Buy Dodgers If Price Is Right

Los Angeles Dodgers owner and chairman Frank McCourt is close to securing a bankruptcy settlement with MLB that will allow the Dodgers to be sold. According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Mark Cuban displayed interest in buying the Dodgers months ago and could be a factor moving forward.

Cuban reportedly offered to buy the Dodgers several months ago but was deterred by McCourt's asking price of over $1 billion. Cuban, owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, has a passionate interest in sports and is constantly looking to extend his sports ventures further. The $1 billion price tag, however, kept Cuban at bay at the time.

Now that the Dodgers may be sold, Cuban could once again become the franchise's new owner. In Cuban's words, "At the right price, I'm interested."

A settlement with MLB would give McCourt some control over the sale of the Dodgers. The sale would likely include Dodgers Stadium and the parking lots around the venue.  

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