SBD/January 19, 2012/Franchises

Disney Family, Peter O'Malley Consider Teaming Up On Dodgers Bid

Selig said he is confident an "excellent owner" will come out of prospective bidders
Peter O'Malley and Shamrock Holdings President & CEO Stanley Gold "recently met to discuss whether the family of the former Dodgers owner and the family of the late Roy Disney might join forces in bidding for the Dodgers," according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. Opening bids for the team "are due Monday, although prospective bid groups are expected to consider mergers before and after that day." Meanwhile, Shaikin reported federal agents yesterday "arrested Jon Horvath, a New York technology analyst; he is charged with insider trading." The Wall Street Journal reported that Horvath "works at a division of SAC Capital Advisors, whose founder Steven Cohen is bidding for the Dodgers." Neither Cohen nor his firm "has been charged," but the development is "particularly ill-timed for Cohen, as Major League Baseball conducts investigations on potential Dodgers bidders" (LATIMES.com, 1/18). Meanwhile, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said of the prospective bidders, "We have five or six terrific groups, or maybe even more and I'm very confident that out of that will come an excellent owner. You look at the quality of the people in each group and they're very very good." Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban, who has been open about his interest in the Dodgers, said Monday, "It's an iconic team. There's only a few franchises like that. And it's always better to buy a team like that when they're down" (ESPNLA.com, 1/18).

DODGERS PARKING: The L.A. TIMES' Shaikin notes outgoing Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt "has the option to sell the Dodgers but keep the surrounding parking lots." If the lots "are not sold with the team, the new owner would lease them from McCourt for $14 million a year." The annual lease payment "would rise in 2015, and every five years thereafter." Sources said that most bidders "are expected to ask McCourt to include the land in the sale." However, Shaikin notes McCourt "could try to develop the land in a way that could rehabilitate his battered civic image." One source said, "There is no doubt in my mind he wants to hold on to the property. L.A. is his home. It will remain his home." Anaheim Sports, Entertainment & Conventions Exec Dir Greg Smith, who oversaw Anaheim Stadium on behalf of the city, said, "Obviously the ideal situation is whoever has the team controls the parking. If that can't happen, the buyer needs to make sure it is very specific about what can happen in the parking lots. If they don't want development, it's got to be stipulated in the agreement" (L.A. TIMES, 1/19). 
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