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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A group led by Magic Johnson has won the bidding war to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers.
KCBS-TV, Los Angeles, sports director Jim Hill reports the winning bid was an astonishing $2 billion — shattering the previous record of any U.S. sports franchise sale and making the Dodgers the world’s most valuable sports team.
The new owners include Johnson, film producer Peter Guber, former Nationals President Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly. Their bid, funded largely by Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC, beat out a group led by Steve Cohen, one of the richest men in America, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Johnson told Hill “he’s thrilled, honored, but mostly happy for the fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers.”
CBS Los Angeles reports in a statement released Tuesday night, owner Frank McCourt, whose divorce proceedings and lavish lifestyle have put the team in financial disarray, said:
“This agreement with Guggenheim reflects both the strength and future potential of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and assures that the Dodgers will have new ownership with deep local roots, which bodes well for the Dodgers, its fans and the Los Angeles community. We are delighted that this group will continue the important work we have started in the community, fulfilling our commitment to building 50 Dream Fields and helping with the effort to cure cancer.”
Johnson said in a written statement, “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 in our wonderful community of Los Angeles.”
As part of the agreement, the Dodgers said McCourt and “certain affiliates of the purchasers” would acquire the land surrounding Dodger Stadium, including its parking lots, for $150 million.
The bid becomes final when approved by the judge overseeing the Dodgers’ bankruptcy, CBS Los Angeles reports.