Dodgers: How Frank McCourt Ruined the Franchise and Made a Fortune Doing it
We recently celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the Guggenheim Baseball Management group closing its $2.15 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dodger Stadium from Frank McCourt.
The ownership group led by the CEO of Guggenheim Partners and current Dodgers’ Owner & Chairman, Mark Walter, LA icon Magic Johnson, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, Peter Guber, businessman, Todd Boehly, investor, Bobby Patton, and team president Stan Kasten have successfully transformed the Dodgers into one of professional sports’ model franchises after a tumultuous nine years under McCourt that ultimately saw the storied franchise file for bankruptcy.
From top to bottom, the Dodgers have re-established themselves as a first-class organization after previous owner Frank McCourt drove the once-proud franchise into the ground after years of mismanaging the team’s funds, refusing to spend on key player acquisitions through free agency and trades, refusing to invest in international scouting, and tanking the farm system.
WATCH: Frankrupt: Demise of the Dodgers Under Frank McCourt
We take a deep dive into the many controversies that surrounded the Frank McCourt ownership era in Los Angeles and reflect on what turned out to be rock bottom for the Dodgers franchise. Plus, the Dodgers’ transformation from a bankrupt team to World Series champs after the Guggenheim group rescued the franchise from the doldrums of the McCourt era.
Let me be clear: Frank McCourt is not only unquestionably the worst owner in Dodgers franchise history, his time as the Dodgers owner cemented himself as one of the worst owners in the history of sports. But while Frank McCourt was terrible for the Dodgers in just about every way, he did manage to hijack the franchise to make himself filthy rich.
So was he a disaster as an owner? Absolutely. But when you consider that he financed 100% of the $430 million he needed to complete the purchase of the team in 2004, plunged the franchise into bankruptcy by 2011, and somehow walked away with almost $1 billion in his pocket, you can’t help but admit that McCourt, is at the very least, a savvy businessman who’s shrewd tactics made him an extremely wealthy man even if it meant tarnishing the Dodgers iconic brand every step of the way.
NEXT: Frank McCourt is Ruining Another Sports Franchise
Never mind, took a while to load. Brought back painful memories. The waste of Clayton Kershaw was one of the worst.