Magic Johnson Gets The Dodgers, Frank McCourt Clings To The Parking Lots
The headline over at the L.A. Times proclaims that the $2 billion sale of the Dodgers to a group led by Magic Johnson will end the "troubled McCourt era."
Not exactly. Frank McCourt will hang on to the Dodger Stadium parking lots through a joint venture with Johnson's investor group. That means Johnson and his backers are now business partners with McCourt. And we know how good McCourt is at working with others.
Those looking for a clean slate are bound to be disappointed. In the Dodgers press release, Johnson praised McCourt for building a "fantastic foundation" for the team.
Someone should ask him at his press conference if he actually believes that. If he does, the Dodgers are in worse trouble than you think.
As for McCourt, he's been trying to develop the Dodger Stadium lots for several years. A while back, he unveiled "The Next 50" plan, which would have involved developing restaurants and entertainment venues alongside new parking garages.
That never went anywhere, due to the credit crisis and the McCourt divorce. But now that McCourt is a near-billionaire, presumably it will come back in some form. High-priced Dodger condos? A football stadium? Bring on the architectural renderings.
According to L.A. Times scribe Bill Shaikin, Johnson's group will have a "veto" over McCourt's development plans. Whatever their agreement, they should get their lawyers to lay it out in painstaking detail, because the chances are good that a judge will have to interpret it at some point.
Bottom line: McCourt is not winging back to Boston in his private jet. He's here for the long haul. As much as everyone may wish otherwise, the McCourt era is not over.
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