Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Are you fucking kidding me?


I can read the number on paper and say it out loud, but I can't wrap my head around the two billion dollar price tag for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Two billion dollars. For a baseball team. That's more than the annual operating budgets of most medium to large-sized cities. It's more than the gross domestic product of several small countries. It's even more than the combined net losses of the ten worst Hollywood box office bombs, including Cutthroat Island, Speed Racer and the Adventures of Pluto Nash. But just like making big budget movies is a hobby for the fabulously wealthy, sports franchises are toys for people with giraffe money, which is to say they have so much money the only thing they don't own yet is a giraffe.
NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson is the new face of the Dodgers, but the financial power behind the purchase is Mark Walters, CEO of the Guggenheim Partners investment firm, which has worldwide assets valued at no less than 125 billion dollars, making Walters uniquely qualified to overspend on a struggling but still iconic baseball franchise in hopes of putting the polish back on the jewel.
People who know more about business and baseball than I do say this is good for the Dodgers and the city of Los Angeles, but even if he can afford to lose it, Walters is going to want to make his money back, and the big question is what that means for the fans. There've been no assurances that the new owners won't try to recoup the purchase price by making the cost of attending a game so prohibitive that the Dodgers turn into a baseball version of the L.A. Lakers, and only the most well-heeled customers will be able to afford to sit field level beside Jack Nicholson, the Kardashian sisters and their giraffes.

2 comments:

  1. Ted,
    I think I understand your indignation but your valid comments are lost in the noise of the unnecessary obscenity in the title. Please change it to "effing" or remove it completely. It's like driving towards another vehicle that has its high beams on. You can't tell if it's a Mini or an effing snow plow.

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