Magic Johnson's group is buying the Los Angeles Dodgers
Is this a good deal for the Dodgers and their fans? Will there be extra “magic” for the team and their fans now with such a recognizable name part of the ownership group?
It's not a great deal for the Dodgers, because it's an exorbitant amount of money. The Dodgers just suffered through a number of years with an owner who bought the team on a loan he couldn't pay, then bankrupted the team. Will they be able to make team payroll, afford free agents, upgrade the stadium which is now the third oldest in baseball after Fenway and Wrigley?
However, Magic Johnson and Karstens are better businessmen than McCourt was. Johnson is well-loved in the community instead of an outsider, he has sports business acumen.
Most importantly, they managed to buy the parking lots, which McCourt was trying to hang onto so that he could continue gouging fans with $20-$25 parking fees. If McCourt had kept the lots, fans would have continued to boycott indefinitely, and might have given up on their beloved team. Los Angeles has routinely had the second highest attendance in baseball after New York, for decades, coming in at over 3 million. Last year was the first year they did not in the lifetime of many fans, due to fan outrage over McCourt's personal misuse of team funds. The boycott had teeth and resulted in financial losses. Fans will now return to show their support, which should help recap the losses of this huge sale.
Three million fans eager to show financial support is a hefty amount of cash. If Johnson's group can hold on a year, that and an upcoming TV deal should make the sale worthwhile.
I think it's a great move. Magic genuinely cares about the community and won't run a shoestring operation. And Stan Kasten is a great baseball man who help build the Braves into a winner, and did a lesser job helping the Nats along. However, under him, the Nats got Strassburg, Jordan Zimmerman, Ryan Zimmerman, and several pieces of the puzzle which will make the Nats competitive in the near future.
Talent-wise, the Dodgers can win the N.L. West. They're not that far away, with the reigning Cy Young Winner in Kershaw and the guy who should've been the MVP in Matt Kemp, plus Andre Ethier, James Loney, Dee Gordon,...in that division, they could win it. I think they won't this year, but they'll be in the mix.
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