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Really, Magic Johnson's group offers $2 billion for the Dodgers?

March 28, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Magic Johnson is part of a group that agreed Tuesday night to buy the Dodgers for a record $2 billion.
Magic Johnson is part of a group that agreed Tuesday night to buy the Dodgers… (Amy Sancetta / Associated…)

And now, an exhale. A long, slow, relax-the-entire-body exhale as we pause from any jubilation at Magic Johnson’s group winning the Dodgers to ask … $2 billion?

Seriously, $2 billion? If you stacked 2 billion $1 bills on top of each other, would they reach Mars or just the moon? Can any average Joe actually comprehend that much money? That any sports team in the universe could be worth so much?

As my dad taught me as I was trying to unload an extra Radio Flyer tricycle to that kid with freckles next door, it’s worth what someone’s willing to pay.

And geez, did Magic’s group ever pay. And pay. It shattered every mark known to man. The previous MLB record for a team was the Cubs selling for $845 million in 2009. The record for an American sports team is the $1.1 billion paid for the Dolphins the same year. The now-shattered world record was the $1.47 billion the Malcolm Glazer family paid for Manchester United in 2005.

Explained Magic to ESPN’s "Baseball Tonight":

“If you think about the Yankees, the Red Sox and the Dodgers, those are the brands people recognize around the world when people think of baseball. Then when you think of the upside. We know we have some incredibly young players – Kemp and Kershaw, Ethier and Loney. I mean, these are really great young players that we can build around.

“We have a true baseball man in Stan Kasten who understands and knows how to build championship teams. Mark Walters is an incredible businessman with a great vision. I don’t think we all have slept. We’ve just been laughing and giggling and smiling and happy to take on this incredible brand. We think we can really put out a competitive team on the field and think we can make the fan experience even better than what they’ve seen at Dodger Stadium.

“We know $2 billion is a lot, but sometimes you go after a marquee franchise. These don’t come on the market too often, so it’s a pleasure to say that we’re owners of a great team.”

So like I was asking … $2 billion? It’s actually more than that, since their affiliates are buying the parking lots in a joint venture with Frank McCourt for another $300 million. If Frank’s buying (keeping) half, they’re actually spending something like $2.15 billion.

A huge TV deal looms, so you hope they know what they’re doing. On the positive side, I don’t think they’re spending that much to continue to cut payroll. But $2 billion?

How many Radio Flyers would that buy?


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