Skip to comments.Frank McCourt agrees to sell Dodgers
Posted on 11/01/2011 10:21:07 PM PDT by Nachum
Frank McCourt agreed Tuesday to sell the Dodgers, abruptly surrendering the team after fighting to retain it over two years and in two courts.
McCourt and Major League Baseball have agreed to seek approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for an auction of the Dodgers. The sale is expected to include the team, Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots, a package bought by McCourt for $421 million in 2004 and likely to sell for two to three times as much now.
The league hopes a new Dodgers owner can be in place by opening day.
The new owner would be the third since Peter O'Malley sold the team to News Corp. in 1998. The Dodgers had remained in the O'Malley family since its patriarch, Walter, moved the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958.
Photos: The Dodgers and the McCourts
The sale agreement caps what might be the most tumultuous season in club history, which started with a fan nearly beaten to death in the Dodger Stadium parking lot and ended with the league charging McCourt with "looting" $189 million in team revenue for personal use. The Dodgers called that allegation "inflammatory" and unsupportable.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimesblogs.latimes.com ...
Hopefully the new owner(s) have plans to move them back to where they belong ... BROOKLYN!
So did I.
To help his flagging construction bidness McCort took the Dodgers away from Vero Beach where they’d held spring training for decades and moved them to Arizona thus screwing Vero.
Sooo McCort has folk al across the country miffied at his sorry ass.
The Giants were in an even more difficult situation, since the Polo Grounds was an old, faded ballpark and the team really couldn't make any costly improvements because they were tied to a ground lease that made it impossible to justify major capital improvements to the building itself.
Not kidding, I thought he died earlier this year.
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My theory all along in this dispute was that the sports MSM's obsessive and excessive trashing of Frank McCourt was driven by ex-wife Jamie and her Democrat pals in Washington, both in Congress and the Obama Administration. As long as Jamie's goal was to obtain part of the team in divorce court, she applied the screws to Frank through her DC political pals, who in turn gave Commissar Selig and his Park Avenue lawyers (unknown to many, "MLB" has a lobbying operation in Washington) the motivation to come down with an iron fist on Frank. Selig and company, in an unprecedented move, vetoed the Dodgers' lucrative TV contract extension with Fox, which forced the bankruptcy filing. All along, the leftist MSM, at Selig's request, couldn't contain itself in framing Frank McCourt into the devil and Selig (whose history is far from spotless) as the White Knight coming to the rescue of Dodger fans.
It was hardly a coincidence that once Jamie had agreed that $130 million and a slew of luxury properties was sufficient for a comfortable life and that the team belonged to her ex-husband, Selig and crew agreed to moderate their hard-line approach and negotiated this compromise.
But Selig's legal crew did refer to "Chavez Ravine" in its legal briefs against the Dodgers, undoubtedly to offend McCourt and court favor with Mexican nationalists.
Chavez Ravine is where Dodger Stadium is located. I read at least one article saying that after a sale, they might leave the ravine and build a new ballpark downtown.
Maybe the O’Malleys could buy it back.
The Dodgers did NOT do poorly before leaving Brooklyn. They were drawing over a million a year. (In those days, that was a big number.) By contrast, the Giants drew a bit over 200,000 their last year at the Polo Grounds.
The real issue was that O’Malley wanted to build a ballpark near Atlantic and Flatbush in the heart of Brooklyn, but the city’s chief planner, Robert Moses, wouldn’t allow it. (He offered land in the Flushing Meadow in Queens (about where Citi Field is now.)
Ironically, the site in Brooklyn that O’Malley wanted is now the site of the Barclays Center, the soon-to-be home of the Nets.
Geographic names change over the years, as properties are developed and change character. Map makers keep up with those changes. "Chavez Ravine" was the former name of the property, not its widely accepted (except for some Mexican nationalists and some anti-Dodgers baseball fans) current name.
That's not exactly an inspiring figure, since they were in about the middle of the pack among major leage teams, despite the fact that they fielded superb teams with multiple future Hall of Famers and near-HOFers, winning NL pennants or coming close just about every year over the previous decade.
Clearly, there were lots of legitimate problems with small and aging Ebetts Field, not the least of which was lack of parking and deterioration of the surrounding neighborhood.
Which is why O’Malley wanted a new park. But there was no problem with Brooklyn. As I said, they drew over a million to a dilapidated old ballpark that didn’t have the easiest access.
By any standard, they certainly didn't fare poorly on the field. Their teams were consistent contenders in the NL pennant race from 1946 to 1957. Plus, they kept the same nucleus of popular stars (including a bunch of future Hall of Famers and near Hall of Famers) on the roster over much of that time frame.
The key to the decision to leave Ebetts Field was that the general attendance trend was down over that decade or so. A lot of that was that due to demographic change, with many loyal Dodger fans moving out of Brooklyn to Queens, Long Island, and beyond. These old fans would prefer to watch their team on TV rather than take a lengthy trip and fight the traffic and parking problems or use public transit to see them in person.
The Giants were in an even more difficult situation, since the Polo Grounds was an old, faded ballpark and the team really couldn't make any costly improvements because they were tied to a ground lease that made it impossible to justify major improvements to the building itself.
The Giants, like just about all teams operating out of the older stadiums at that time, owned the Polo Grounds. They were not renters. So I don't know what "ground lease" you are referring to. The Giants hit their peak on the field with their 1954 World Championship. They were able to draw sellouts to the two World Series games at the Polo Grounds. In the three remaining years there, despite the fact they had Willie Mays, they were never in pennant contention, and had losing records in the last two of them. So, unlike the Dodgers, a large part of the Giants' problem was their playing personnel. Fans tend to be attracted to winning teams and tend to not bother going to the park to see losers.
The Giants too had legitimate problems with parking and a deteriorating neighborhood. But they did have one advantage that the Dodgers didn't have: the largest seating capacity in the NL. And the Polo Grounds wasn't so old and faded that the new New York Mets couldn't use it for a couple of years in 1962 and 1963.
Comparing the building of a baseball stadium to that of an indoor basketball (and/or hockey) arena in a particular location is like comparing oranges to pineapples. The baseball stadium would have to accommodate more than twice the capacity of the indoor arena, causing more traffic congestion. It also would require a much larger area, including more parking facilities. Plus, the baseball stadium would host more games per year. Overall, getting a baseball stadium built is by far the more complicated task.
Interestingly, the troubles the Dodgers had in getting a new ballpark built wasn't because Robert Moses "wouldn't allow it" . . . it was because Moses wouldn't use the City's eminent domain powers to condemn the land and give it to O'Malley for substantially less than it would have cost him to buy it outright.
“Chavez Ravine is where Dodger Stadium is located.
Geographic names change over the years, as properties are developed and change character. Map makers keep up with those changes. “Chavez Ravine” was the former name of the property, not its widely accepted (except for some Mexican nationalists and some anti-Dodgers baseball fans) current name.”
I am a white guy from Orange County, who watched games at the Coliseum, remember going to new Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine.
I’m no Mexican nationalist, and certainly not anti-Dodgers.
My wife’s Italian immigrant grandparents lived east of that area, around 1920 once they met in San Francisco and then moved to LA.
Now of course it isn’t a great area. There’s nothing political about calling it Chavez Ravine.
Chavez is named after a 19th century LA councilman, not Caesar Chavez.
A couple of interesting articles about the legal proceedings surrounding the demise of the Polo Grounds:
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