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Dodgers on pace for big revenue drop

At the current rate, revenue would be $240 million, down $42 million from two years ago.

August 12, 2011|By Bill Shaikin
  • Dodgers fans take to the shade of the left-field pavilion during a game against the Washington Nationals last month.
Dodgers fans take to the shade of the left-field pavilion during a game against… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Reporting from Toronto — The Dodgers are on pace to lose more than $42 million in annual revenue since the team's last postseason appearance in 2009, according to data filed Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The Dodgers reported revenue of $282 million in 2009. On the eve of the National League Championship Series that year, owner Frank McCourt and his ex-wife, Jamie, announced their separation.

Revenue dropped to $265 million last year and $120 million through the first half of this year, according to the filing. The Dodgers are in fourth place, with the team operating under bankruptcy protection and the McCourts yet to resolve their divorce.

On the current pace, the Dodgers would finish at $240 million in 2011, down $42 million from two years ago — and with more than the $31 million paid to this year's original starting rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly and Jon Garland.

Revenue this year figures to fall short of $240 million, said Andy Dolich, a former business chief for the Oakland Athletics, San Francisco 49ers and Memphis Grizzlies. Dolich said teams almost always take in more revenue in the first half of the year than in the second half.

In Friday's court filings, the Dodgers reported payment of $22 million in rent to Blue Land, an affiliated McCourt company, from July 2010 through June 2011. The Dodgers also reported payment of a $605,000 "management fee" to the John McCourt Co., another affiliated entity, from June 30 to Dec. 31, 2010.

However, in a Los Angeles Superior Court filing July 15, Frank McCourt said the annual rent payment was $14 million, and the director of finance and accounting for the umbrella company overseeing the McCourt entities said that "no fees have been paid for over a year" to the John McCourt Co.

Steve Sugerman, a spokesman for Frank McCourt, said that the rent payment indeed is $14 million and that the $22-million figure reflects advance payments and accounting adjustments. He also said the John McCourt Co. payment reflected salary reimbursement for an executive he did not name.

"There are no discrepancies in the data files," Sugerman said.

Elsewhere in Friday's filings:

The Dodgers owe severance payments of $1.025 million to former executive vice president Charles Steinberg and $254,800 to former president Dennis Mannion.

The Dodgers paid $324,546 last April to Kroll, the consulting firm that employs former Los Angeles Police Department Chief William Bratton. In the wake of the Bryan Stow beating, the Dodgers retained Bratton to lead a Kroll team to develop a long-term "security blueprint" for Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots.

The Dodgers Dream Foundation, a club charity, was penalized $4,080 by the Internal Revenue Service. The Dodgers have reimbursed $361,432 to the charity to resolve an investigation by the state attorney general.

The Dodgers spent $5,630 on "Boston Red Sox tickets for McCourt family and guests." The filing does not specify the games for which tickets were purchased, but the payment was made in June 2010, a month in which the Dodgers played the Red Sox in Fenway Park.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

twitter.com/BillShaikin

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