The new owners of the Dodgers (from left to right): Bobby Patton, Stan Kasten,… (Damian Dovarganes / Associated…)
Seems like a simple enough question. Seems like a pretty basic one. Like one the new owners would want to answer, what with the fans having just been dragged through an ownership nightmare.
Alas, at their morning press conference Wednesday it wasn’t happening. Guggenheim Baseball Management is the new owner of the Dodgers.
After that, it’s fill in the blanks. As if you could. At least for now.
Six individuals were introduced at the press conference, but exactly who owns how much of the team was left unanswered.
Mark Walter, CEO of Guggenheim Capital, is the controlling partner. Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, Peter Guber, Todd Boehly and Robert Patton Jr. are the other partners. And then, of course, there is Guggenheim Capital itself. Anyway, I think so.
When you purchase something for $2.15 billion, no percentage is a small financial amount. Still, clearly some own a comparatively small amount of the team. But who owns how much?
“I’m not going to get into that because Mark has 100 percent of the control of the votes, to the extent that there are votes,” Kasten said. “That’s all you really need to know. Think of Mark, and think of 100 percent, and put them together. How’s that?”
Uh, completely unfulfilling. Somewhere the puck stops, or at least the bill. Only Magic was willing to discuss what percentage of the team he purchased, even if he was less than precise.
“It will pencil out about 3, 4 percent. It doesn’t really matter,” Magic said.
“When you can write a $50-million check, whether it's two, one, four, five. ... The main thing is I had the ability to do it, to write it, and then the main thing is that I'm going to be involved.”
Guber said Guggenheim owns the largest amount of the team, and Kasten suggested it didn’t own any at all.
Said Guber: “They have the biggest hunk, that’s for sure.”
Said Kasten: “This has nothing to do with the Guggenheim company. We used the Guggenheim name. It’s not related to the Guggenheim company. These are Mark and his partners, many who are involved in the Guggenheim company.”
If true, that would at least mean if Walter were to somehow fall out of favor with Guggenheim and lose his job, it would not impact his role with the Dodgers.
“That’s correct,” Kasten said.
It’s strange that the team’s ownership would be left so unspecified. Many fans are weary, beaten down and suspicious. They want to have confidence in the new ownership group, and you’d think it would be doing everything it could to win that trust back. Like being open about who owns what.
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So who exactly now owns the Dodgers?