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SBD/April 10, 2012/Franchises
Dodgers Want To Keep Conditions Governing Use Of Land Surrounding Ballpark Confidential
Published April 10, 2012
WINNING BACK THE FANS: In L.A., Steve Dilbeck wrote Dodgers investor Magic Johnson is "supposed to have a clue as to how McCourt is perceived in this city," and yet "inexplicably, there was Magic sitting next to McCourt at the season opener in San Diego" last week. Johnson was seemingly "clueless to the fan rage aimed at the man who took the Dodgers into bankruptcy." Dilbeck wrote, "Magic’s gang bid $500 million more than the next group. If anything, McCourt needs to kiss up to Magic. ... The best thing Magic can do is keep a healthy distance from McCourt" (LATIMES.com, 4/9). Also in L.A., Dylan Hernandez notes the Dodgers drew 2.93 million spectators to home games last season, marking the "first time in 16 seasons that attendance was less than 3 million." Dodgers 1B James Loney said that the atmosphere at the ballpark "noticeably changed last season." Loney: "It was a little different, especially night games, not having that many people there." The Dodgers will play their home opener today against the Pirates, but manager Don Mattingly said that it will "take time for the Dodgers to learn whether they have regained the support of fans." Mattingly said, "Opening day probably won't be the best indicator. Opening day is always full of juice, you know. It's always pretty much packed. When you start getting into the regular games, when you get kind of the day-in-day-out-type crowds, that's when I think we're going to find out if it's going to be a little bit different" (L.A. TIMES, 4/10).
HIS NAME IN LIGHTS: On Long Island, Steven Marcus notes Johnson is in N.Y. "promoting the new Broadway show, 'Magic/Bird,' which chronicles his rivalry and ultimate friendship" with Basketball HOFer and Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. Johnson said of the Dodgers, "I'm happy about the way they are playing and the response from all Dodgers fans from around the country and the world. It's been very positive." While his financial investment in the Dodgers "is said to be small, his involvement could be significant." Dodgers investor Stan Kasten said of Johnson, "He's going to be there with suite sales, sponsorship sales, community relations programs. He's going to be there with players and prospective players. He's going to be there with civic leaders. I can't tell you the hours and the days, but I know he's going to be there" (NEWSDAY, 4/10).