Former Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson has made a sports cross over and has become a part owner of the Dodgers in a record deal.
Major League Baseball had seized control of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011, as then owner Frank McCourt and his wife were embroiled in a nasty divorce which included the rites to the team. Commissioner Bud Selig also feared McCourt could not cover the cost of operations of the team after it was learned he was trying to secure a large loan from FOX to cover payroll for two months.
McCourt ended up putting the Dodgers into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the bankruptcy hearing McCourt and the MLB agreed that the team would be put up for sale.
On Tuesday McCourt made the announcement of the sale of the Dodgers to an investment group led by Magic Johnson, just prior to the team going up for auction. The sale was for a record $2 billion dollars, the most ever paid for a sports franchise.
The previous record was by the group that bought the Miami Dolphins in 2009 for $1.1 billion. Another $150 million will have to be paid to buy Dodgers Stadium, and the surrounding property since McCourt separated it from the bankruptcy case.
The ownership group that will include Magic Johnson, Hollywood studio executive Peter Guber, former Washington Nationals baseball team president Stan Kasten, Guggenheim Partners President Todd Boehly, and Guggenheim chief executive officer Mark R. Walter, who will be the controlling partner of the ownership.
“I am thrilled to be part of the historic Dodger franchise and intend to build on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt as we drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section of our wonderful community of Los Angeles,” Johnson said in a statement.