Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I love Magic... but...

Several people have written me and asked for my take on the new Dodgers ownership situation… so here is my take for those who may give a crap… first of all I figure it’s a good thing that Frank McCourt is no longer part of operating the Los Angeles Dodgers. So in that way I like it!

But anyone who knows me knows that I’m not one for taking things like this at face value… so… here we go…

First… press reports gush that, with several others, Magic Johnson owns the Dodgers. But the truth is that Magic owns the Dodgers like I own Budweiser (I have several shares)… I love Magic but he does not own the team. A guy named Mark R. Walter owns the team. That’s Mark R. Walter. Again Mark R. Walter owns the team. He is the head of a privately held company called Guggenheim Partners. He owns the team. Magic Johnson has money invested in the Dodgers like I have money invested in Budweiser but he does not own the team anymore than I own Budweiser. Again Mark R. Walter owns the team.
Fair Warning: If you see me on the street and you tell me Magic owns the Dodgers I will tell you I own Budweiser… get used to it. Magic is the face of Dodger PR. It is an important job but when Mark R. Walter wants to send Magic packing, believe me, Magic will be gone.

I do however think Magic has finagled his way into some development leverage at Chavez Ravine. And the way the Public Relations is unfolding I predict he will be the one who breaks it to Dodger fans that Dodger Stadium will be torn down and the team will move to downtown. Then after the blowback of that announcement hits he will back off and announce a compromise that the team will stay in Chavez Ravine but there will be significant changes to Dodger stadium and the surrounding area including significant commercial development including a Chucky Cheese and a build out much like The Grove and the Americana. That is where I’m guessing Magic has his cards.

This is how the PR industry is pushing this issue… “Outgoing owner Frank McCourt and certain affiliates of the purchasers will also be forming a joint venture which will acquire the parking lots surrounding Dodger Stadium for an additional $150 million.”

Again… Magic may not own the Dodgers but he ain’t no dummy.

Who does own the Dodgers? That’s right… Mark R. Walter… have a look…

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