Thursday, October 14, 2010

Can We Buy The Dodgers ?

Tom Hoffarth of the Daily News thinks we should buy the Dodgers. {linked here}

It's a really good article. Even though it will never happen, we can still dream, right?

Hoffarth writes the following:

What's the game plan for us to buy the Dodgers?

Is there anything out there we don't know that could prevent the citizenship of Los Angeles from getting its act together and actually prying the franchise back from the clutches of Frank and Jamie McCourt?

The recent very public divorce proceedings embarrassed Angelenos to no end. Despite doing a lot of stadium renovation and laying out plans for more mini-mall-like expansion, the McCourts' ultimate treatment of the team, the city and its fans appears to be a pretty clear-cut case of L.A. identity theft. And we want it back.

When a groundswell of support rises for public ownership of a professional sports team, it's usually a reaction to someone who either already owns or wants to buy the franchise and move it to another city, or the current owner insisting he will move unless the city builds him a new stadium.

We've been moved to raise our torches high and storm the palace for a whole new cause.
Who's with us?

Janice Hahn, the L.A. city councilwoman whose family investment in the Dodgers goes back to rolling out the blue carpet for the team when it arrived in 1958, has already stepped up.

Hahn issued a press release Oct. 1, calling on the U.S. Congress to reconsider the "Give Fans A Chance Act," something that Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., has proposed at least twice in the past decade, but could not get passed. The last time the bill was mentioned on Capitol Hill was after the MLB owners seemed set on eliminating two teams before the 2002 season. It sparked serious consideration for community ownership of the Minnesota Twins, by the city of Minneapolis, before things calmed down.

That's just Phase 1. Read Phase 2 and 3.

I don't think I would like this though. The fans in charge? Let's be honest, that would be scary.

Phase 3 pretty much kills this thought.

Several MLB sources that wished to remain anonymous tell us the chances of a nonprofit organization owning any big-league team these days are pretty far-fetched. There are tax amortization rules in place, for example, that benefit individual owners who face financial losses. There's revenue sharing. There are all kinds of hurdles in place that probably wouldn't work with a nonprofit structure.

As for making the McCourts go away, David Carter, the executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute, concludes it's "almost impossible" to force an individual to sell "what is essentially a private asset, let alone force a sale of a baseball team."

I agree with that. Bud Selig will never allow this. NEVER!

It would be cool to be like the Green Bay Packers but let's wake up, it's not going to happen.

If the Dodgers do get on the market, I would like a couple of ownership groups to be involved. I'm asking for business men and women from southern California. You can have a majority owner and several minor owners.

I wouldn't want them to run the team. Hire someone with baseball experience and name him or her President of the club. The President will be in charge with all baseball duties. The general manager needs to go to the President before making any baseball on the field moves.

Then, you hire another person that's in charge of the business side of baseball. You see, you hire several people and form a great group. If you have the correct people, you will succeed.

Let me give you an example. Jerry Buss is the majority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers. But they have many minority owners that includes the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and Magic Johnson.

AEG does a great job in Staples Center and fan experience. It can happen with the Dodgers too.