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After many months of melodrama, Frank McCourt's Dodgers were finally sold, including the much-fought-over parking lot beside the stadium (which McCourt had hoped to retain), to a high-profile investment group fronted by Magic Johnson.
MLB approved the sale yesterday (27 March) and so it's on. The acquiring group has loads of cash, an experienced sports owner (Stan Kasten was president of the Washington Nationals), business acumen with the Guggenheim Partners, and a beloved sports idol of a figurehead in LA Lakers legend Magic Johnson.
At a whopping $2 billion, this is one of the most expensive sports franchises in history, if not the most expensive. Only soccer franchises, like the storied and internationally popular Manchester United, have been estimated at around that number (one estimate was 1.5 billion pounds). The LA market is certainly huge, but already the Angels have bumped the Dodgers out of the spotlight with their enormous off-season acquisitions (Albert Pujols, CJ Wilson). It will be a grind to see which LA team can lure the most fans, and the Angels have a strong lead. It will take some time for the new ownership group to settle in, choose their direction and management team, and restructure the roster, so the jury will likely remain out until the 2013 or 2014 season. But a very strong ownership group won out.