Frank McCourt’s tenure as owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers came to an unceremonious end as bankruptcy and the senseless beating in a Dodger Stadium parking lot of San Francisco Giants fan Brian Stow cast dark clouds over the storied franchise.
In an auction-style bidding-war, McCourt sold in 2012 to the Guggenheim Baseball Management group, which was led by controlling owner Mark Walter, Stan Kasten in a president CEO role and Magic Johnson. Although McCourt may have worn out his welcome, he took a positive outlook on his time as owner of the Dodgers, via Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg.com:
We took a franchise losing almost $60 million per year and ended up selling it for the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise. We created value there and we plan to do the same thing here.”
The ‘here’ McCourt references is his purchase of a 50 percent stake in Global Champions Tour, which is an international show jumping series for equestrians.
McCourt purchased the Dodgers in 2004 and despite pressure from MLB to sell, which included commissioner Bud Selig’s denial on a new television rights deal between the Dodgers and FOX, was allowed to orchestrate the terms of the sale.
McCourt’s persistence paid off as the auction led to a bidding war that resulted in the Dodgers selling for a record price of $2.15 billion. While McCourt no longer owns the franchise, he is remotely involved with respects to the area surrounding Chavez Ravine and the stadium parking lots.
Since assuming control of the Dodgers, the Guggenheim group has added over $200 million on player salaries and completed an array of stadium upgrades, all the while attempting to repair the damage done under McCourt’s watch.
Guggenheim also signed a lucrative television rights deal with Time Warner to launch a network dedicated to the Dodgers. While that move was a smart financial investment for the team, it has also resulted in fan frustration given the lack of distribution agreements with other carriers.
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