The new owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers lowered parking rates to $10 from $15 at their first press conference since closing the deal yesterday and said former proprietor Frank McCourt won’t get any of it.
Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC paid $2 billion for the team yesterday, a record for any sports franchise. Today at Dodger Stadium, basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, who is part of the group, said former owner McCourt will not get any team-related revenue.
“He doesn’t get a dime from the parking,” Johnson said. “Frank McCourt is not involved in any shape, fashion.”
Johnson, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers, joined Mark Walter, chief executive of the Guggenheim Partners investment firm, and Stan Kasten, a former president of the Atlanta Braves, in buying the team. Kasten is the club’s chief executive officer.
Kasten said the group had a dozen engineers evaluate the 50-year-old stadium, and initial investments would focus on its water, power and information technology infrastructure. The group will examine other operations this season. Ticket and merchandise prices have already come down, Kasten said, and concessions are being reviewed.
“We’re not here to gouge the fan,” said Johnson, 52. “We’re going to pour money into the team. I don’t want anyone to think just because we wrote a big check, we’re going to stop now.”
McCourt put the team into bankruptcy in June during a high- profile divorce from his wife Jamie. He claimed Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig forced the team into a cash crisis by rejecting a new contract with News Corp. (NWS:US)’s Fox Sports, which holds the television rights through 2013.
The Dodgers announced in March that McCourt and affiliates of the new owners were forming a joint venture to acquire the land around the stadium. McCourt will only share in revenue from future development of the property, Walter and Johnson said today.
The Dodgers, who moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn, New York, in 1958, have won six World Series titles and 21 National League pennants.
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