SBD/Issue 85/Franchises

Frank McCourt Says Divorce Not Affecting Team, Won't Force Sale

McCourt Assures Dodgers Fans
He Will Retain Control Of Franchise
Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt said that his pending divorce from former team CEO Jamie McCourt "has not prevented management from improving the roster this winter and won't force a full or partial sale of the franchise," according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. McCourt "assured fans he will retain control of the franchise, that he remains committed to fielding a sustainable championship team, and that he should be judged by what happens on the field." McCourt: "To repeat what I said in October, my personal situation and divorce has no bearing on the team whatsoever. As I've said, I own the team and we're moving forward as we have in the past six years. ... I own the team, it's not for sale and my hope someday is that my four boys will own the team." Gurnick noted the Dodgers' payroll is projected to drop from $100M last season to around $85-90M this season, and "skeptics such as agents claim the Dodgers' payroll has been frozen because of the divorce." But McCourt said, "We've spent a huge amount of money during my tenure as owner. ... I wish there was a direct correlation between how much you spend and how many games you win. Unfortunately, there is not." Meanwhile, McCourt's "vision of a refurbished Dodger Stadium and development of the surrounding 300 acres into a year-round entertainment destination ... has been slowed by the economic downturn." Gurnick noted there will be "modest improvements this year with the addition of portable concessions stands." McCourt said that nearly $150M has "already been spent on the site since he bought the club and he's hopeful major construction will resume next winter" (MLB.com, 1/14).

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