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The bleachers stand empty at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
Outgoing Dodgers owner Frank McCourt thinks the team can sell for at least $1.6 billion. Considering the long and impressionable list of potential buyers, he may be right. After a mediation deal fell through with Fox, which would allow McCourt a guaranteed sale price and Fox the long-term television rights, bidders have stepped up to the plate.
With a recently extended deadline until January 23rd, there are now ten separate potential groups or individuals who have made bids.
Former Dodgers players Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser teamed up with Joey Herrick of Natural Balance Pet Foods for a bid last June, followed by former owner Pat O’Malley declaring he’d like to “reconnect the team and the community” in November. In the same month, former general manager Fred Claire and batboy Ben Hwang partnered with Oakland Athletics president Andy Dolich. On December 1st, another group comprised of Larry King, Chicago White Sox executive Dennis Gilbert and Imperial Capital’s Jason Reese got in the mix. On the same day, Mark Cuban confirmed his desire to buy the team. Magic Johnson joined the efforts of former Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten and investor Mark Walter in early December. Late that month, Steven Cohen, a multi-billionaire hedge fund manager, has gone so far as to hire a sports architecture firm to propose possible renovations to Dodgers Stadium. Rick Caruso was joined by former Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who resigned his position as executive vice president of Major League Baseball to make the bid. Time Warner Cable has stepped in as a potential buyer behind Fox, which makes sense as the television rights could cost upwards of $4 billion. Finally, the family of the late Roy Disney has joined investment banker Stanley Gold this past weekend in his bid for the team.
As a Dodgers fan, who would you pick as the best possible owner for the operation? What about as an Angeleno? Is money all that matters here, or is it more about the connection to Southern California? Who will come out on top?
Bill Shaikin, National Baseball Writer, Los Angeles Times
Nick Roman, Managing Editor, KPCC