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Magic Johnson buys the L.A. Dodgers for $2 billion

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Laker great Earvin "Magic" Johnson has won the auction for the L.A. Dodgers. Price? $2 billion.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Magic Johnson and his group, including Stan Kasten and Peter Guber, have won an auction for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Johnson was among three bidders approved by Major League Baseball today.

Price? $2 billion, the largest ever paid for a pro sports franchise. 

The losers were hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen, who had joined with L.A. billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong in a bid that many — myself included — thought had too much financial firepower. The other defeated bidder was Stan Kroenke, owner of the St. Louis Rams. This clearly ups the chances that the Rams may become the L.A. Rams relatively soon, to provide the Downtown AEG stadium project with an NFL team.

Magic was the local favorite, so L.A. ultimately got what it (probably) wanted here: a hometown favorite running the show, even if the bulk of the financing came from Guggenheim Partners in Chicago. $2 billion, if the figure is correct, isn't chump change, either. Dodgers owner Frank McCourt stands to make twice what everyone thought he might make, when the bids were in the $1.5-billion ballpark.

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