LA Dodgers sold.


It is amazing. I remember thinking Magic would be dead soon when he announced he was HIV positive. Now he’s the 1st black co-owner of a Major League Baseball team as part of the Magic Johnson-Guggenheim Group. It’s Jackie Robinson’s team. Another reported co-owner: the Jackie Robinson Foundation!

Note: when people argue that public funds should go to sports teams stadium construction, they should point to the Dodgers:

1. You can run a franchise into the ground and sell it for a huge profit. A profit so huge, it’s worth using accounting tricks to get your foot in the door to buy a franchise. (McCourt bought the team for $430m. Mostly of that was debt. Sale price for the team currently in Bankruptcy court: $2.5b Valuation: $1.4b). I’m not selling you a team product, I’m selling you a TV and marketing product. Pay Me.

2. None of that profit from sale or operation of a franchise re-pays public financing of stadium renovations, construction or infrastructure modification goes to the municipalities or states that are told to pony up or else. It’s just free money from tax payers in the worst sense.The Dodgers shook down Las Vegas (aka real estate/credit crisis ground zero) for a new minor league stadium in 2008, right after the crash. Pay for this, I stay. But in a little while: Pay me.

3. If you don’t have the money to buy or run the team, you can use the advantages of being a member of a monopsony (e.g. MLB) to extract financial aid and unfair stop gap measures. Bankruptcy? No Problem. Pay me.

4. Public financing is justified as revenue boosters for the city where a franchise is placed, but it’s a taxpayer money grab. And stadiums and the entertainment complexes that open replace local businesses through direct competition, not augment them. Your local bar, restaurant or store close? Good. You’ve already complied with “Pay Me”. Now, since your local haunt is gone, you can…Pay Me or I leave.

If owners don’t want to build a stadium on their own dime, the right thing to do would be for them sell the franchise to someone that can. But who says that’s the business thing to do.