KCAL 9 sports reporter Jim Hill broke the news on Tuesday night that the Guggenheim Baseball Management (GBM) group headed by NBA legend Magic Johnson and his business partners former Atlanta Braves executive Stan Kasten, Mark Walter from The Guggenheim Foundation, and Golden State Warriors minority owner Peter Guber have won the bidding war to seize control of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The winning bid was reportedly for $2 billion, which means former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is expected to pocket $1 billion from the new deal. Not bad considering McCourt paid $430 million to purchase the baseball franchise in 2004.
“I’m thrilled, honored, and most of all happy for the fans of Los Angeles,” Johnson told Hill.
Johnson brings an impressive resume to the table. He had a minority stake in the Los Angeles Lakers and his Magic Johnson Enterprises has been one of the most successful businesses in Southern California. Johnson, a five-time world champion as a player with the Lakers, also brings a wealth of star power and championship pedigree to the Dodgers franchise, which could certainly help the team in bringing big-name free agents.
Reaction to the new ownership group has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We all know the stature of Magic and what he brings to an organization, what he brought to the city of L.A. for many years as a player and has continued it as a businessman and a civic figure. It’s exciting,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colleti told KCAL 9.
“They bring a lot of experience with Magic being in basketball and Stan being in baseball. Stan has been a very, very successful baseball executive for many years,” said former Dodgers longtime manager and special assistant Tom Lasorda.
“He is the perfect owner. He knows how to build winners,” said KCAL 9 basketball studio analyst and former Lakers forward James Worthy, Magic’s longtime teammate.
“There’s a new dawn in Los Angeles, and the torch has been passed,” said former Dodger great Steve Garvey.
The $2 billion price tag makes the Dodgers the most valuable sports team in the world, surpassing Manchester United ($1.86 billion), the Dallas Cowboys ($1.81B), the New York Yankees ($1.7B), the Washington Redskins ($1.55B), and Real Madrid ($1.4B).