We might be getting a little ahead of ourselves — since MLB is still challenging their bankruptcy filing today — but it seems as thought the L.A. Dodgers will soon on the market.So what would you have to pay to buy them?
Well, to start with, Forbes’ most recent estimated valuation of the franchise is about $800 million. (That would rank them No. 3 in baseball.)
They have a ton of debt and very little credit. The divorce proceeding between Frank and Jamie McCourt has drained their attention and resources, and they’ve had trouble making payroll this month.
However, the team still generates a lot of revenue. Attendance has dipped recently, but is still stronger than many baseball teams and the Dodgers brand remains strong, not only in California, but across the country. They have a nice stadium in a great location that is attractive to free agents and fans. There is a TON of value for the right owner once they can step in get the financial house in order.
There’s also that $3 billion TV contract that Frank McCourt and Bud Selig are fighting over. The fact that FOX Sports was willing to make the kind of commitment to a single franchise (in a giant media market) tells you just how valuable the Dodger franchise can be to sponsors and partners.
Finally, there’s the wild card of who exactly is doing the bidding. There are plenty of rich suitors (in L.A. and out) and if a couple of them decide they’re willing to break the bank to become a baseball owner, the sale price could skyrocket.
You only get a few chances in life to buy a team with this kind of pedigree.
So how much? Well, most estimates put the potential sale price at well over $1 billion, which might be conservative. Again, if the right combination of bidders get involved and someone decides they’re really not going lose, it could push closer to $1.3 or $1.5 billion. No matter what the final number, it will probably be a record for the purchase of an MLB team.
It’s also probably more than Mark Cuban would pay, but he already has a team and there are more crazy billionaires where he came from.
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