The Los Angeles Dodgers and MLB have reached an agreement to put the Dodgers up for sale. Frank McCourt has agreed to sell the team through a “court supervised process.” The eleventh hour agreement avoided a court hearing that would have determined McCourt’s fate in the matter. MLB had accused McCourt of misappropriating team funds and had assumed operations of the team earlier this year. McCourt recently reached a $130 million divorce settlement with his estranged wife and former team president, Jamie McCourt.
Some believe that the Dodgers may sell for as much as $1 billion. The package includes Dodger Stadium as well as some media rights to the team. One has to wonder if a sale of the Dodgers can eventuate a little more smoothly than the sale of the Astros. It seems like Commissioner Selig is getting what he wants here. But the court involvement may actually strip Selig of some of his power.
The front-runner to buy the team has to be the Garvey-Hershiser Group. A couple of years ago, former Dodger Steve Garvey began putting together a group of investors with the goal of buying a professional sports franchise or franchises. Another former Dodger, Orel Hershiser joined Garvey’s group this June. Shortly thereafter, Garvey was fired by the Dodgers. The former All-Star had been working for the team for the past fifteen years, most recently in the area of public relations. Garvey had expressed interest in purchasing the team if it were to be put up for sale.
Will Garvey-Hershiser (or anyone else) be willing to pay $1 billion for the storied franchise? It wouldn’t surprise me. There is no stadium lease to worry about and the parking concession alone brings in enough to pay two starting pitchers. I bet those $5 Dodger Dogs have a pretty nice profit margin. The team is decent too. Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw just picked up Gold Glove Awards and could soon be adding more hardware to their collection as award season plays out.
Attendance at Dodger Stadium took a downturn this season when fans learned about McCourt’s alleged misdeeds. Feeling slighted, many Dodger fans headed a few miles south to Anaheim. But a change in ownership would probably bring most of those fans back.