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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

ESPN: Dodgers bidders down to seven

Who will be offered the final rose from Frank McCourt?

Also still in the mix, according to a source with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity, are:

•  St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke

•  real-estate developer Alan Casden

•  New York Observer publisher, real-estate mogul and Donald Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner

•  a group headed by Shamrock Holdings president and CEO Stanley Gold and the family of the late Roy Disney

•  a group headed by hedge-fund manager and SAC Capital Advisors founder Steven Cohen, which also includes longtime sports agent Arn Tellem

•  a group headed by former YES Network chairman and chief executive Leo Hindery and Colony Capital chairman Tom Barrack.

Those seven entities, including each member of each group, will continue to be scrutinized by an on-going vetting process being conducted by Major League Baseball. Those candidates who remain at the end of that process will be submitted to baseball’s ownership committee, then to the executive council, and finally, to the full ownership of the 29 other clubs. The ownership committee and executive council will either recommend or reject bidders—with outgoing Dodgers owner Frank McCourt free to take any rejection to a mediator if he disagrees—and any bidder who survives all the way to the vote of the full ownership must then receive a three-fourths approval (at least 23 teams).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: general

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   1. JoeC Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4070541)
Seven little Dodger bidders still in the mix;
One dared to disagree with Bud and then there were six.

Six little Dodger bidders still alive;
One didn't want a salary cap and then there were five.

Five little Dodger bidders knocking at the door;
"Lark Reuben"'s ID didn't check and then there were four...
   2. phredbird Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4070544)
i posted the LA times version, so i apologize if it shows up on the newsblog.

but i continue to be mystified. why in the name of all that is holy did MLB allow frank mccourt to hang on to the parking lots? what am i missing? two of the groups that have dropped out cited the parking lots as the problem. was selig thinking someone would for sure put up a bid that made frank agree to let them go?
   3. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4070555)
but i continue to be mystified. why in the name of all that is holy did MLB allow frank mccourt to hang on to the parking lots? what am i missing? two of the groups that have dropped out cited the parking lots as the problem. was selig thinking someone would for sure put up a bid that made frank agree to let them go?


Especially since the parking lots are a tremendous issue at Dodger Stadium- he's clearly demonstrated an inability to properly manage them. I'd probably go to a dozen more games a year, if the parking wasn't so painful.
   4. JoeC Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4070563)
I hope the Union Station shuttle bus is making plans for record-breaking crowds.
   5. Bhaakon Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4070564)
How is this not a reality series?
   6. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4070565)
Especially since the parking lots are a tremendous issue at Dodger Stadium- he's clearly demonstrated an inability to properly manage them. I'd probably go to a dozen more games a year, if the parking wasn't so painful.
I don't go to DS often, maybe once a year for the last 15, but I've never had a problem parking.
   7. phredbird Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4070575)
I don't go to DS often, maybe once a year for the last 15, but I've never had a problem parking.


i don't either, really, but i always go early and i come in via sunset, which never seems to be a big problem. i can see how those who try to get in via the freeway find it a chore. doesn't it really back up?
   8. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:42 PM (#4070578)
i don't either, really, but i always go early and i come in via sunset, which never seems to be a big problem.
Same here. Maybe Sunset is the key.
   9. Bhaakon Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4070580)
I've never had a problem parking there either. It's getting back out that's given me trouble.
   10. Perry Posted: February 28, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4070585)
Not sure how many non-Coloradans know this, he keeps a low profile, but Stan Kroenke doesn't just own the Rams, he also owns the MLS Colorado Rapids, the NHL Avalanche, the NBA Nuggets, and the English Premier League's Arsenal Football Club, one of the biggest soccer teams in the world. Baseball's the only sport he DOESN'T have a team in.
   11. phredbird Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4070591)
all i can think about the parking lots is this:

selig wanted mccourt out after the train wreck of the divorce and the publicity over mccourt's spending habits and then the stow beating. so he nixed the tv deal to force mccourt into bankruptcy. (i might have my chronolgy messed up here ...)

selig miscalculated on the parking lots, thinking they'd somehow be bundled with the team instead of mccourt being allowed to keep them. but its too late to go back now.

and really, what difference if mccourt has control of the lots? everything has its price. perhaps selig is confident that someone wants the lots bad enough to drive up the bidding so that it finishes well over $1 billion. franchise value is at the core of selig's moneymaking philosophy for MLB. if the dodgers are sold for over a billion, it just pulls up the value of the other franchises.

i can see selig approaching the bidders who are left and letting them know that if they fork over for the lots, he'll help them out some other way down the road, maybe strong-arming fox or whoever gets the next tv deal. winnowing out the meeker or less wealthy bidders just makes his job easier.
   12. phredbird Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4070593)
It's getting back out that's given me trouble.


i'll agree with this, it is harder to get out for sure.
   13. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4070596)
...Stan Kroenke doesn't just own the Rams...

He seems to have owned a large chunk since 1995. Deja Vu, anyone? Say hello to your St. Louis Dodgers!
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:24 PM (#4070599)

He seems to have owned a large chunk since 1995. Deja Vu, anyone? Say hello to your St. Louis Dodgers!


The rumor is he's going to eventually move the Rams to LA.
   15. TerpNats Posted: February 28, 2012 at 09:45 PM (#4070611)
Kroenke could win some fans in L.A. by

1. bringing the Rams back,
2. building a stadium for them on Chavez Ravine property, and
3. acquiring the parking lots from McCourt in exchange for a minority share in the Rams. (In other words, you make money, Frank, but have no power whatsoever.)

This might also enable
4. some commercial development on the site to make it a year-round destination.

   16. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 28, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4070618)
Kroenke could win some fans

in North London if Arsenal had decided to keep Samir Nasri.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 28, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4070624)
Kroenke could win some fans in L.A. by

1. bringing the Rams back,
2. building a stadium for them on Chavez Ravine property, and
3. acquiring the parking lots from McCourt in exchange for a minority share in the Rams. (In other words, you make money, Frank, but have no power whatsoever.)

This might also enable
4. some commercial development on the site to make it a year-round destination.


That would be interesting. Kroenke himself would have to divest himself of majority ownership of the Rams as the NFL forbids majority cross-ownership with other American sports franchises (he "sold" the majority ownership of the Nuggets and Avalanche to his son Josh) or have his son Josh be the front-man majority owner for either the Dodgers or Rams.
   18. zachtoma Posted: February 28, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4070667)
The rumor is he's going to eventually move the Rams to LA.


I think that would be great - if the NFL is coming back to LA it might as well be the franchise with the most history there. Also, how come there's like no Rams fans left in Southern California? There's Chargers fans, and a whole assload of Raiders fans, but if you didn't know better you'd think the Rams never played here.
   19. Joe Kehoskie Posted: February 29, 2012 at 12:49 AM (#4070682)
This might also enable
4. some commercial development on the site to make it a year-round destination.

Is there room in Chavez Ravine for Dodger Stadium, an NFL stadium, parking sufficient to accommodate both (assuming both teams share lots, but also assuming the NFL stadium's capacity is higher), and commercial development (restaurants, etc.)?

The "Next 50" plan proposed by Frank McCourt had a lot of commercial development, but I haven't seen any plans that included an NFL stadium as well.

That would be interesting. Kroenke himself would have to divest himself of majority ownership of the Rams as the NFL forbids majority cross-ownership with other American sports franchises (he "sold" the majority ownership of the Nuggets and Avalanche to his son Josh) or have his son Josh be the front-man majority owner for either the Dodgers or Rams.

There are a lot of conflicting reports on this. The NFL bylaws seem to suggest Kroenke could own the Dodgers and the Rams so long as (1) there's no NFL team in Los Angeles, or (2) the Rams are moved to Los Angeles and owned by Kroenke.
   20. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 29, 2012 at 01:55 AM (#4070694)
but i continue to be mystified. why in the name of all that is holy did MLB allow frank mccourt to hang on to the parking lots? what am i missing? two of the groups that have dropped out cited the parking lots as the problem. was selig thinking someone would for sure put up a bid that made frank agree to let them go?


My understanding is he separated ownership of the lots from the team well before bankruptcy, and the lots aren't in bankruptcy. If that's accurate the only way to rejoin them would be to show some sort of fraudulent conveyance, which I assume can't be done or the MLB would do it. I'm still surprised that he was allowed to do this under his debt agreements, but we know the Fox Loan was only collateralized by his Boston lots, not the team or LA properties, so he was able to just hand Fox the title to the Boston lots instead of reaping the loan. I assume he seperated the lots well before he got the team too deep in its other debts, so there can be no claim there, or those debt-holders never thought they needed the Dodger lots as collateral .

In the end the value the team loses in the sale from not having the lots is likely to be substantially greater than their actual economic value to the Dodgers. If the new owners are worried that McCourt could squeeze them by having a monopoly on game parking they'll discount their offers by a great deal. Imagine the horrible blow to the Dodgers if McCourt shuts down game parking during a dispute with them. I think this is part McCourts big end around plan to maximize his payout. Let's say the team should sell for $1.5B with the lots, and that based on cash flow the lots should be worth $100m. McCourt can be trying to get the winner to guarantee him enough cash flow to make the lots worth $400m , so the team sells for only $1.1B.

The problem with my theory is that the McCourts get all of the remaining sales price once the debt/liabilities have been paid, so it would seem he's just shifting money from one pocket to another. But when the process started he might have been afraid that the sale price wouldn't be enough to cover all the claims, and. The lots would be all that he would have left.
   21. boteman digs the circuit clout Posted: February 29, 2012 at 07:11 AM (#4070726)
I know of a viable restaurant that still sits empty after a number of years because the owner of the property under it is in serious financial trouble. I don't know the exact status, but the land sunk the restaurant above it.

Could something similar happen if somebody is crazy enough to buy the Dodgers without the lots and McCourt's mounting troubles inevitably hurt the day-to-day operations of the Dodgers?
   22. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4070780)
Working from memory, isn't something similar to this one of the problems with the Marlins? Didn't Huizenga's owning the stadium and parking really hurt the team's revenue streams?

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