Jan 25, 2012, 5:31 PM EDT
Here’s the consensus in Los Angeles — whoever buys the Dodgers will be an upgrade over the previous owner. So long as you don’t need to use the franchise as an ATM machine and run it into the ground while being a public spectacle, you’re an upgrade.
An auction of the Dodgers as part of an ugly divorce process is taking place and a couple prominent NBA players are trying to be that upgrade, reports the Los Angeles Times.
One is Mark Cuban, the Mavericks owner who was deep into bidding on the Texas Rangers before losing to a group led by Nolan Ryan. He has said there is real value in the Dodgers franchise, but that he learned lessons from the last process and would not overbid.
But he is not the preferred favorite son — Magic Johnson is. Magic has bid along with longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten and money man Mark Walter. Magic Johnson sold his minority share in the Lakers last year looking to take a larger role in another professional sports team. Living in Los Angeles, I would say this is largely the bid favored by fans because it has someone who gets sports and Los Angeles, a baseball guy and is well financed.
In the end what the fans want will be moot — money will talk. The final sale process is expected to be around $1.5 billion.
These are the initial bids and all we know is that more than 10 came in. The MLB and Bud Selig will spend the next month pairing the bids down to 10. Outgoing owner Frank McCourt will pick from there. McCourt wants to keep the parking lot (the valuable real estate) around the stadium, but no ownership group worth its salt would let him keep that asset and revenue source, or want him around the team in any way.
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