Johnson/Kasten Group Agrees To Purchase Dodgers

WEDNESDAY, 7:40am: The Dodgers sold for $2.15 billion, the world record price for a sports franchise, Bill Shaikin of the LA Times reports (Twitter links). The Cubs had set the previous record for an MLB team with a sale price of $845MM. The new deal allows the incoming ownership group to control parking lots for games, but Frank McCourt and the new group will jointly pursue any development of the lots.

TUESDAY, 11:48pm: The Magic/Kasten/Guggenheim Partners group will in fact control the Dodger Stadium parking lots, reports Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). There was no auction between the three bidding groups; McCourt struck a deal with Walter after the owners vote today.

10:01pm: The Dodgers have reached an agreement to be sold to the bidding group led by Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and Guggenheim Partners according to's Ken Gurnick. Dennis Berman of The Wall Street Journal reports (on Twitter) that they will pay $2 billion for the team, by far the most ever paid for a North American sports franchise. The Dodgers have confirmed the sale.

"I am 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," said Johnson in a statement.

“This transaction underscores the Debtors’ objective to maximize the value of their estate and to emerge from Chapter 11 under a successful Plan of Reorganization, under which all creditors are paid in full," said the team in a statement.

Former owner Frank McCourt purchased the Dodgers from NewsCorp for $430MM in 2004. He will form a joint venture with Guggenheim Partners to acquire the Chavez Ravine property for an additional $150MM according to ESPN's Molly Knight (Twitter links), indicating that the Dodger Stadium parking lots were not included in the sale. McCourt's debt has been estimated at $1.1 billion, so he'll still turn a significant profit with the sale.

The Dodgers are getting the best of both worlds with the new ownership group. Magic brings unmatched local starpower while Kasten provides decades of baseball experience. He has previously served as the president of the Braves and Nationals. Mark Walter, CEO of Guggenheim Partners, will become controlling owner of the team according to Knight (on Twitter).

The Johnson/Kasten group was competing with Stan Kroenke and a group led by Steve Cohen and Patrick Soon-Shiong. All three bidders were approved by the other MLB owners just today.

75 Responses to Johnson/Kasten Group Agrees To Purchase Dodgers Leave a Reply

  1. East Coast Bias 3 years ago

    oh snap!

  2. Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

    And there was much rejoicing..


    Monty Python works on so many levels.

  3. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 3 years ago


  4. nathan118 3 years ago

    Parking lots included?

    • Snoochies8 3 years ago


    •  “the Dodger Stadium parking lots were not included in the sale.”

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

        The new deal allows the incoming ownership group to control parking lots for games.”

  5. Snoochies8 3 years ago

    woohoo! it’s about time! and i think it’s also even more awesome since magic johnson is not just a legend, but an LA legend at that. absolutely awesome, congrats magic and kasten

  6. DT Flush234 3 years ago


  7. Lastings 3 years ago

    Just what the Dodgers needed to start winning again; a little bit of Magic…

  8. vtadave 3 years ago

    $2 billion according to WSJ.

  9. ultimate913 3 years ago

    2 billion? When Yankees are supposedly worth 1.8? What the….

    • DrToast 3 years ago

      The Yankees don’t own the land. That’s a big part of the Dodger’s wealth.

    • If the Yankees were sold it would be for well over 2 billion.

    • Taskmaster75 3 years ago

      When you’re buying a company, you don’t pay for necessarily what it’s worth. In most cases, for corporations in business, you would sell it for 25-35% more, based on growth potential and other factors.

  10. more McCheese!

  11. dgrfns 3 years ago

    parking lots have to be included for for 2B!

  12. rpoabr 3 years ago

    And people wonder why the Angels made the splash with Pujols… Magic will put the Dodgers back on the map, if they can afford 2B for the team, they aught to be able to sign some players!

  13. vtadave 3 years ago

    “Mr. McCourt and certain affiliates of the purchasers will also be forming a joint venture, which will acquire the Chavez Ravine property for an additional $150 million.”

    Magic, say it isn’t so???

  14. bleedDODGERblue 3 years ago

    That’s what we need, a sportsminded Los Angelian running our team

    • Gumby65 3 years ago

       Angeleno imported from East Lansing, but not being picky 😀

      • bleedDODGERblue 3 years ago

        Beats a crook imported from Boston

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          Just curious how much in debt CA and especially LA county is as compared to Boston and the state of MA.? So much for “crooks” imported from Boston…

          • East Coast Bias 3 years ago

            He was talking about McCourt… It has nothing to do with state budgets dude.

          • bleedDODGERblue 3 years ago

            Damn.. the comment I wanted to put needs to be approved..

  15. HummBaby 3 years ago

    There go my hopes for contraction.

    • Gumby65 3 years ago

       …and a finish above 3rd place.

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

        after this year

        • Gumby65 3 years ago

          Nah, S.I.  has Gi**ts  picked to win West this year which is totally laughable; their SP is off the charts good 1-4 but with their offensive offense, I don’t see them taking DBacks or Dodgers (even in their present state). To Clarify, I was alluding to Hummbaby’s team’s hopes…

          • Snoochies8 3 years ago

            ah i gotcha. yeah i don’t see the giants winning the west this year either, especially if bauer/skaggs perform up to expectations and push for a spot midyear. a lot needs to go right for the dodgers to come in second though.

          • 55saveslives 3 years ago

             Dodgers weren’t better than a Giants team that led the league in DL stints. How are they magically going to be better than a healthy Giants?

          • toptimrubies 3 years ago

            This isn’t a serious response but you set yourself up for it–

            Q. “How are they magically going to be better than a healthy Giants?”

            A. MAGIC Johnson.

          • Snoochies8 3 years ago

            ooooh clap clap clap clap clap

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago


          • candlestick22 3 years ago

            NL West will come down to Giants / D-backs. Dodgers will be battling for 3rd at best again, but 4th/5th is more realistic.

          • bleedDODGERblue 3 years ago

            We’ll see how this holds up AFTER this year

  16. GoDoyers 3 years ago

    Time to rebuild that depleted farm system, get our scouts back in the DR, PR, HK, and everything else in between.  Good riddance to the 2nd worst owner in LA next to Donald Sterling.

  17. triple_play_baseball 3 years ago

    I am so happy

  18. Gumby65 3 years ago

    All this good info rolling out, but don’t forget the architect Stan Kasten; God he made Ted Turner look good…..

  19. danbraun 3 years ago

    Great article in Fortune magazine this month about local cable tv contracts with baseball teams driving the franchise values way up. Dodgers sale price big proof of that…

  20. Madman2TX 3 years ago

    Man…if only MLB had taken my third party, out of state, post-dated check for $2.1 billion, I could be owner of the Dodgers instead of Magic. I was robbed!!

  21. Alan Soberanes 3 years ago

    I hope Coletti’s fired before opening day.That would be the icing on the cake.

  22. TommyL 3 years ago

    Earvin “Magic” Johnson stated, “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 fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt? If Magic truly believes that, the only place he’s driving the Dodgers is into the ditch. Thank god this is just PR/BS.

    • jb226 3 years ago

      Depends on what he’s talking about I guess.  The farm isn’t particularly strong, but he’s got Kemp locked up (though the contract scares me) and still has control over Ethier, Billingsley and Kershaw.  Unless you count Kemp, there’s really no eye-popping contracts weighing the team down.  ($9MM for Manny is sigh-inducing but $9MM isn’t going to sink a franchise like the Dodgers.)

      I’m not necessarily suggesting it is wise to extend any or all of them (nor am I suggesting it’s not) but that’s not a bad place to build from.  I’m sure Theo and Jed would have loved two ace-quality starting pitchers and a potential superstar waiting on the roster when they took over the Cubs.

      Besides which, I’m sure it was mostly just being nice to somebody you’re doing business with before you shuffle him out the door.

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 3 years ago

      Frankenjamie may have messed up totally with the divorce but that was just the last two years. Before that they gave us four postseason appearances. How many did we get in the 15 years before that? So I give them that much credit. Now back to being the world-class team we can be and should have been for the last 25 years!

  23. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    in 20 years this has the potential to be as good of a buy as when Steinbrenner bought the yankees.

    With the right front office and on field talent, Dodgers can be a massive money maker.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      was a good return for mccourt too.  8 years and quadrupled the value of franchise.

      • chico65 3 years ago

        Right?  I mean I’d love to get my hands on a proud franchise, drive it into the ground, and then pocket a few hundred million on my way out the door.  I must be doing something wrong. 

    • Amish_willy 3 years ago

      That seems like a stretch to me. Per Maddon’s book on the purchase of the Yankees, “Steinbrenner’s personal outlay was said to be $168,000″.

      All in all the group paid 8.8m for the Yankees, forty years later they are worth around 220-times more then they paid for the team. While I don’t question that this will be a profitable move for all involved with the Dodgers, it’s beyond reason to think they will make out like Steinbrenner & Co. did. In 20 years if the Dodgers are worth around 170 Billion, I guess you’ll be right.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

         well as long as you don’t factor inflation I guess anythings possible

        • Amish_willy 3 years ago

          I hope my house appreciates at those rates in the next twenty years.

  24. Andrew Steven 3 years ago

    I really hope it works out. Sounds like a lot of fans are happy. I was an NBA fan back when, and i liked Magic. I hope he turns this team around. I also hope the Dodgers become “The Team” in California for MLB. Forget the Angels.

  25. McCourt has $1.1 Billion in debts including the $131 million owed to his wife.  so, he’s going to clear around $900 million plus receive the parking lot revenue.  Jamie McCourt needs to sue her divorce attorney

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      what about the money he used to buy the club?

      • pft2 3 years ago

        It was borrowed money, he didn’t use any of his own money, he used parking lots in Boston  (worth about 150 million at the time) and the Dodgers as collateral (lost the lots in Boston when he defaulted on the loan).  Still owes about 600 million, so will make about 1.4 billion less taxes (300 million?) and the 131 million he settled with for his wife over the divorce.  I think he has some personal back taxes as well (200 million).

        Still walks away with close to a billion in cash (call it it 3/4 billion to be conservative) plus the additional 150 million sale of the parking lots, so close to a billion in total.

        •  Yeah it’d be capital gains tax on that so it’d be 15% of whatever profit he made.

  26. Ricardo Elorza 3 years ago

    Finally… MLB just isn’t the same with the Dodgers as a laughing stock.

  27. coolstorybro222 3 years ago

    First order of Business?

    Sign Kemp and Kershaw to Long term deals. 

  28. Cam Hodgson-Dwyer 3 years ago

    I am so happy right now, so so happy. And if Bill Shaikin’s report that the group will control the parking lots too, even sweeter! Great day to be a Dodgers fan.

  29. BoSoxSam 3 years ago

    Great news. Congratulations Dodgers fans!

  30. Dc21892 3 years ago

    Nice. The Dodgers are going to be back as one of the premiere teams in a couple years when they finally have some money to spend. Now all we need is Cuban to own a baseball team. He will do more right then he will wrong. Wish MLB would let the man but a team!

  31. Natsfan89 3 years ago

    How long before Kasten is on radio stations inviting Angels and Giants fans to come to Dodger Stadium and organizing ticket packages that include bus trips for them?

  32. Alan Soberanes 3 years ago

    As far as I know the only thing McCourt well have anything to do with the Dodgers is just to pick up a check for 14 million in rent once year. Thats it.

  33. Backup_Slider 3 years ago

    Evidently, $2 billion was the Buy It Now price.

  34. rough life

  35.  $14M / 81 games = roughly $173K in revenue to break even.  Figuring an average crowd of 40K and 3 people per car, that would put parking fees at around $13.50 (no profit made) so expect parking to be in the $15.00 – $20.00 range, not good but not as bad as other places.

  36. Alan Soberanes 3 years ago

    I hear ya 

  37. You should be more happy about Kasten than you are about Magic. Magic is just a figure head, Stan is the Man!

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