Magic Johnson – Magic Johnson wants to buy the Dodgers, putting one of Los Angeles’ most beloved sports figures in pursuit of the city’s cherished baseball team. He announced his bid Friday, saying he wants to restore the Dodgers’ pride and prominence. “I want to make them great again,” he said.
Johnson would be the face of a high-powered ownership group that includes Stan Kasten, the former president of two Major League Baseball teams, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals, and Mark Walter, the chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, a financial services firm that controls more than $125 billion in assets. The firm is headquartered in Chicago and New York, with an office in Santa Monica.
Johnson’s entry lends a dramatic air to the Dodgers sweepstakes, which is expected to officially begin next week when information is sent to potential bidders. The Dodgers are expected to sell for more than $1 billion, which would be a record price for a baseball team.
Having his money lined up gives Johnson a head start on several potential bidders, including former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Southland baseball executive Dennis Gilbert, Los Angeles developers Rick Caruso and Alan Casden and former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano are among other potential buyers who have been publicly identified.
Exactly how many interested parties there are is not known, but former Dodgers stars Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser are trying to form a bid group, as is Fred Claire, a former Dodgers general manager.
Johnson said he met with six prospective ownership groups, dismissing those he felt would focus on the Dodgers’ pending multibillion-dollar television deal or on developing the land surrounding Dodger Stadium.
“I wasn’t interested in anybody who wasn’t going to make baseball the priority,” Johnson said.