Magic Johnson’s Group Wins $2B Bidding War To Buy Dodgers

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A group led by basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has been named the winning bidder for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The astonishing $2 billion bid shattered the previous record of any U.S. sports franchise sale, making the Boys in Blue the world’s most valuable sports team.

The new owners include Johnson, film producer Peter Guber, former Nationals President Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly. Their bid, funded largely by Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC, beat out a group led by Steve Cohen, one of the richest men in America.

Johnson told CBS2’s Jim Hill he’s “thrilled, honored, but mostly happy for the fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

Tommy Lasorda Talks To CBS2/KCAL’s Jim Hill About Dodger Deal

“I am thrilled to be part of the historic Dodger franchise and intend to build on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt as we drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section in our wonderful community of Los Angeles,” Johnson also said in a written statement.

“This agreement with Guggenheim reflects both the strength and future potential of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and assures that the Dodgers will have new ownership with deep local roots, which bodes well for the Dodgers, its fans and the Los Angeles community. We are delighted that this group will continue the important work we have started in the community, fulfilling our commitment to building 50 Dream Fields and helping with the effort to cure cancer,” McCourt, whose divorce proceedings and lavish lifestyle put the team in financial disarray, said in a statement.

As part of the agreement, the Dodgers said McCourt and “certain affiliates of the purchasers” would acquire the land surrounding Dodger Stadium, including its parking lots, for $150 million.

The bid will be finalized when it’s approved by the judge overseeing the Dodgers’ bankruptcy proceeding. KCAL9 reporter Dave Lopez was told by bankruptcy experts that was probably why all parties involved remained tight-lipped about the deal Wednesday.

Earlier Tuesday, MLB owners narrowed the list of bidders to Johnson’s group, a group fronted by Connecticut hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen and biotech billionaire Patrick Shoon-Shiong, and a group led by Stan Kroenke, whose family owns the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, as well as several other high-profile sports teams.

Around noon, Johnson and his associates got a call in L.A. that he should head to New York, where the deal was hammered out by midnight.

The deal for the Dodgers, said to be all in cash, was put together by Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter after he met with McCourt.

Kasten will reportedly run the day-to-day operation of the Dodgers.

And Johnson told ESPN what his position could be: “I’m not going to be picking pitchers or anything like that, but when we have free agent situations, talking to the players about winning — those type of things I’ll be doing. Also, the community, getting out and selling the Dodger brand, the Dodger team.”

Among Johnson’s partners in the Guggenheim group is Pete Gruber, a movie executive who also owns the NBA Golden State Warriors. Johnson and Gruber are investors in a minor league baseball team, the Dayton Dragons, who have sold out a record 844 consecutive games.

More from Jim Hill

    $2 billion? WAY TOO OVER PRICED!

    • Brian

      Its called a free market. People can spend their money on what they want. Unless you think someone else should spend your money? Oh yea, Johnson gives millions to charities, but you didn’t think about that, because that is NOT YOUR MONEY!

      • BatterUp

        And this is news? Unelected officials took over Washington and the media after the coup and cover up. Even most of the comments online are financed with your tax dollars. Big brother is trying to create the perception of public opinion while burying the truth. They think you can’t handle the truth. Fact of the matter is we have no democracy, president, and freedom of press is an illusion.

        Our next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren’t in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out.

        Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the biggest cover up in world history before it disappears forever.

  • Stevo2012

    That’s it. Now Larry Bird will have to buy the Angels.

    • n8

      I believe you have him confused with Wilt the Stilt. Not a fan of either, personally, but let’s keep the salacious rumors straight…

  • jeff b

    I don’t think the Dodgers have ever been worth $2bn

  • jeff b

    The Dodgers aren’t worth it!

    • Jack Kinch(1uncle)

      Stupid. Who approved such a loan?

    • TexanPatriot

      Yes, they are worth it. Their investors thought so too, otherwise whey wouldn’t be backin that kind of loot.

  • labob

    I hope this includes the parking lots.

  • Stuart

    Magic Johnson will be a welcome addition to the Dodger Family. He will restore the touch of class to the organization.

    • DingDong

      “touch of class”? That’s like saying Bill Clinton, would be a touch of class, to be a board member of the Girl Scouts!

  • Greg


  • Frank

    Wow. The Dodgers aren’t worth 2 billion. That cost better not come to the fans.

  • RS

    Isn’t costing Magic a dollar, His job is sales marketing. If there is one thing Magic knows besides BBall, it’s that. The Guggenheim Group manages 125 Billion in assets. They is loaded.

  • Al Sharpton Used Toilet Paper Inc.

    When is he going to show interest in buying Kings or Ducks as he is a hockey hall of gamer…….oh wait.

  • Mark Waugh

    Wishing all the best to Johnson’s Group for Wins $2B. I hope as like me everyone appreciate this. thanks mate. :)

    Tower two surf

  • Group Led By Magic Johnson Wins Bid For L.A. Dodgers « CBS Chicago

    […] KCBS-TV, Los Angeles, sports director Jim Hill reports the winning bid was an astonishing $2 billion — shattering the previous record of any U.S. sports franchise sale and making the Dodgers the world’s most valuable sports team. […]

  • LA mudda

    Hat’s Off to Magic. He could have drowned his sorrows yet he continues to strive to do great things.

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  • Nick

    Should have bought an AUDL team for only $10k. $2B wow!

  • MIke

    Magic Johnson has come a long way since he was running around infecting men and women with HIV.

  • Lizwfecesface

    I thought the gift of AIDs got rid of this fool Johnson years ago.

  • Andrew J.

    Go Big Bad Dodger Blue!!! Love you Magic. I love L.A.!!!!!!

  • killerbee

    Right!! A 6’10” black man named “MAGIC” with AIDS but he’s not gay???? Sure Mr. Johnson, SURE!!!!!

  • jb

    I’ll bet Majic Johnson didn’t put a dime in this deal. He is just window dressing for diversity’s sake. Of course he will get a bundle of cash for appearing to be the head or a major player in this group.

  • Magic Johnson’s Group Buy The Dodgers: Is Your Faith Restored In The Boys In Blue?

    […] our friends at CBS LA, Johnson told Hill he’s “thrilled, honored, but mostly happy for the fans of the Los […]

  • Deskboy

    I am not a huge basketball fan, but I am delighted with how Magic has a) stayed alive, b) made some pretty cool moves in business. Not bad for a lovable goof.


    […] the Los Angeles Dodgers.The astonishing $2 billion bid shattered the previous record of any U.S. sports franchise sale, making the Boys in Blue the world’s most valuable sports […]

  • Pysco Active

    Now all the Homies will be sporting Dodger hats, horra le es A… and the violence goes up… and L.A. remains a cess pool of third world humans….

    • Tino Gonzalez

      Were talking DODGERS…….YOU RACIST. Go root for the ANGELS then. I BET YOU WOULDNT SAY THIS IN FRONT OF A HOMIE!!! HA HA HA! Computer Coward.

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