Meet the Dodgers' new ownership team. Who do you think that tall guy in the XXXL jersey in the middle bearing number 12 is?
The new Dodgers owners are in the middle of a Vin Scully-emceed press conference on a gray and rainy day at Dodger Stadium (let's hope the old wedding adage about bad weather is proven true in this new betrothal). Magic Johnson provided the rousing message about making the team back into winners, living up to the legacy of the great players of the past.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the usual politician things.
Interestingly, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig didn't make it to centerfield.
Stan Kasten, the veteran baseball pro who'll be running Dodger operations, quipped that "he'd been under a gag order" for six months, then highlighted the "TLC" that Dodger Stadium, turning 50 this year, needs. He spoke of "enhancements," of bringing the experience "into the 21st century." Given the fan exodus that the Dodgers saw over the past few years, and given that the stadium is no longer thought of as a safe place to see a game, Kasten pressed home a message about serving the team's loyalists. He even rolled out an email suggestion box: firstname.lastname@example.org. And if that sounds kind of old school, he also nodded toward social media.
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Andre Ethier #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers greets his teammates after being introduced on Opening Day prior to playing the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2011.
Welcome to your 2012 Dodgers home opener revenue projection!
Since 2009, the Los Angeles Dodgers have seen their yearly revenues fall into a death spiral, culminating in Frank McCourt's decision to put the team into bankruptcy and — just a few weeks back — sell it to Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and a group of investors headed by Guggenheim Partners' CEO Mark Walter. The numbers are rough: $286 million in 2009 down to $230 million (estimated) in 2011. That slide happened against the backdrop of more than $500 million in debt, now due to be discharged by the sale of the team and assumed by the new owners.
Oh, and Dodger Stadium needs to be fixed up. That will cost at least $200 million.
Last year, the L.A. Times broke down the revenues:
[T]icket receipts of $107.2 million were the largest contributor (37.5%) to the Dodgers' $286 million in total revenue that year.
The second-biggest contributor was $42.6 million from MLB funds that the teams divide, such as from national television broadcasts and MLB.com. That was followed by local broadcasting revenue ($41.5 million), advertising promotions ($27 million), concessions ($25.5 million), suite rentals ($20 million) and parking ($11 million).
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The bleachers stand empty at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
UPDATE: The Disney Family is also still in the running. So a total of five known and two unknown bidders.
•Tom Barrack of Colony Capital, a $30-billion L.A.-based private equity firm
•Magic Johnson, in partnership with Stan Kasten
•Jared Kushner, the boy-wonder son-in-law of Donald Trump who has so far distinguished himself by running a money-losing weekly newspaper, the New York Observer
•The Disney Family (haven't heard much about this bid, to be honest)