Frank McCourt Will Play A Key Role In Whether An NFL Franchise Returns To L.A.
A key provision included in the previously unreleased sales agreement between former Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt and new Owner Guggenheim Baseball Management "makes clear that McCourt retains a critical role in determining whether the NFL returns" to L.A., according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. McCourt could "win either way: by luring the NFL to the Dodger Stadium site, or by pocketing $150 million if he cannot." The deal calls for Guggenheim to "invest as much as $650 million in a real estate development fund run by McCourt -- for projects not located on the Dodger Stadium property -- and for him to receive an annual management fee, starting at" $5.5M. The deal also guarantees McCourt at least $7M per year "in fees the Dodgers pay to rent the parking lots and grants him the option to sell back his stake in those lots to Guggenheim no later than" '17, for $150M. Alternatively, McCourt "could buy back part of the land for the construction of a sports venue." Although McCourt agreed to sell the Dodgers as part of a U.S. Bankruptcy Court settlement with MLB, he was "not required to sell the surrounding land." MLB's concern is that the Dodgers' "parking and operational rights not be harmed by a new sports stadium." Guggenheim President & Dodgers co-Owner Todd Boehly confirmed that Guggenheim has "held preliminary discussions with the NFL." Boehly said that as of yesterday morning he was "not sure if the NFL had been informed of the previously undisclosed terms regarding McCourt's involvement." He said, "I don't believe the NFL has all the details at this point. It hasn't gotten to that level of discussion. We haven't hidden the fact that it is us together." Boehly added that he "had 'no idea' what effect Wednesday's disclosure would have on discussions with the NFL, but said the league never has indicated to Guggenheim that McCourt's involvement would make the Dodger Stadium site a nonstarter" (L.A. TIMES, 6/13).