SBD/Issue 121/Franchises

Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt Refuses To Address Team Finances

McCourt Does Not Feel Need To
Address Team's Finances

Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt Saturday spoke to a group of reporters for almost 11 minutes, but he "would not talk about the documents in recent filings that detailed the club's plans to keep its payroll below what it was last year through 2018 while nearly doubling ticket prices," according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. TIMES. McCourt also did not answer "why two of his sons drew a combined annual salary of $600,000 from the Dodgers, even though one works at Goldman Sachs and another attends graduate school at Stanford." McCourt said that he "disagreed with the notion that he should respond to these reports because they affected the Dodgers' paying customers." McCourt: "It's just really impossible to try and deal with allegations and things like that and deal with every one of them because it's an endless process." Hernandez noted McCourt "would not comment about the revelations in court papers filed by his estranged wife that the couple did not pay any income taxes from 2004 through 2009." Although Dodgers President Dennis Mannion "now oversees the day-to-day operations" of the team, McCourt said that he "still has the final say on major decisions" (L.A. TIMES, 3/7). McCourt: "I think fans want to focus on baseball. They want us to win a world championship and that's our focus." McCourt noted that an "estimated 3,500 fans showed up at Dodger Stadium in the rain Saturday for the first day of individual ticket sales." Opening Day "sold out in 10 minutes." McCourt: "We're doing very well" (MLB.com, 3/6).

RISING COSTS: In L.A., Bill Shaikin noted Frank and Jamie McCourt's divorce "could become one of the costliest splits in California history, with attorneys and accountants commanding as much as $19[M] in fees -- more than the Dodgers will spend on their starting infield this season." Court filings indicated that Frank has estimated his "divorce-related expenses" at $5-10M, while Jamie has estimated her expenses at $9M -- and she has "asked that her estranged husband be ordered to pay them." Frank McCourt's attorney Marshall Grossman said that fans "should not be concerned that the high cost of the divorce would affect player payroll decisions" (L.A. TIMES, 3/6).

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