With a bid of $2 billion–shattering the previous highest price paid for a U.S. sports franchise–the Los Angeles Dodgers have been sold, reports the Wall St. Journal. [Note: the WSJ is behind a firewall and you may be charged to read its story.]
According to the report, "With a bid of $2 billion, [Magic] Johnson and partners Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly beat out a group of some of the wealthiest businessmen in the country to land a team that is one of Major League Baseball’s flagship franchises. The sales figure shatters the previous record sales price for a U.S. sports franchise, Steve Ross’s purchase of the Miami Dolphins for $1.1 billion three years ago."
On the media side of the equation, the Journal writes, [B]uying the Dodgers now comes with a unique opportunity to launch a potentially lucrative regional sports network in the country’s second largest market, or sign a new local broadcast deal with the current broadcaster, News Corp.’s Fox unit, which has already offered the team a 17-year extension valued at nearly $3 billion."
The New York Times version of the story, written by our good friend Rich Sandomir, said, "The Johnson group will spend $2 billion for the team and $150 million for a joint venture with the beleaguered seller, Frank McCourt, on the land surrounding Dodger Stadium, including the parking lots. McCourt had until recently resisted selling the lots, preferring instead to lease them to the new owner. McCourt bought the team in 2004."
The Times also noted that the deal will be "financed largely by Guggenheim Partners."
Said retired Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson in a statement, “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.”
The NY Times story added, "The deal will have to be approved by the judge overseeing the Dodgers’ bankruptcy."