After eight grueling years, Los Angeles is finally rid of Frank McCourt as Dodgers owner, and Magic Johnson has swooped in as the franchise's savior. The NBA Hall of Famer's bidding group, which includes film producer (and Golden State Warriors co-owner) Peter Guber, former Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten, and the deep-pocketed Guggenheim Partners, has agreed, pending MLB approval, to purchase the club for—deep breath, now—$2.15 billion. The deal was first reported by Matt Futterman of the Wall Street Journal and MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
However, Los Angeles is not totally rid of McCourt. As part of the deal, McCourt will be part of a new joint venture with the ownership group to buy the surrounding land—primarily for the Chavez Ravine parking lots—for $150 million. (Even in that, McCourt will be a minority owner.) The Texas Rangers and former owner Tom Hicks recently ended an ugly spat that resulted from disputed ownership over the Rangers Ballpark lots, so it appears that all parties sought to avoid a repeat of that debacle here.
In a statement, first reported by ESPN's Molly Knight, Magic Johnson said he's "thrilled to be part of the historic Dodger franchise and intend to build on the fantastic foundation as we drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section in our wonderful community of Los Angeles."
McCourt also released a statement:
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.
Magic Johnson Wins Auction for Los Angeles Dodgers [WSJ]
Magic Johnson-led group is picked as Dodgers' next owner [Los Angeles Times]