City Leaders Praise Sale of Dodgers to Magic Johnson

By Richie Duchon, City News Service

City officials Wednesday joined the chorus of Angelenos applauding the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers to a team of financial backers led by Lakers star Magic Johnson.

The Dodgers on Tuesday night announced an agreement to be acquired for $2 billion, the highest price in history for a professional sports team.

Current owner Frank McCourt and certain affiliates of the purchasers will also be forming a joint venture which will acquire the land surrounding Dodger Stadium for an additional $150 million.

The sale must be confirmed by a bankruptcy court. The deal is expected to close by April 30.

City Council President Herb Wesson, who admitted to being an Angels fan, noted the historic nature of the Dodgers being the first team to have a black co-owner.

“The first team to ever break the color barrier with the first African American player, now getting the first African American part owner — that’s so L.A.,” Wesson said.

City Councilman Eric Garcetti, whose district includes neighborhoods adjacent to Dodger Stadium, said Johnson is a natural leader.

“Magic understands what it takes to build great teams, from a business perspective and a sports perspective. It’s rare to get both,” Garcetti said.
Garcetti, a 2013 mayoral candidate, said a good baseball team is important to the city because it can bring in millions of dollars in tax revenues.

“People will travel from around the Southland and the world to come see a good team,” he said. “And as an unabashed Dodgers fan since birth. I couldn’t be happier. I think I’ll be looking to get some tickets this year.”

City Controller Wendy Greuel, another mayoral candidate, said the sale could not come at a better time to raise the spirits of the team’s beleaguered fans.

“What could be more exciting than having one of L.A.’s most iconic sports figures buying one of baseball’s most iconic teams?” Greuel said. “I can’t wait for Magic to bring ‘Showtime’ to the Ravine and deliver even more championships for Los Angeles.”

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March 29, 2012  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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