Let’s face it; the divorce proceedings with Frank and Jamie McCourt have put the Los Angeles Dodgers into “train wreck” territory. Saddled with debt, no matter the outcome of the divorce, nothing good can come out of it for the organization.
Today, Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News does what may be the most comprehensive look at what is talked of on occasion, but rarely dived deep into: Public ownership of an MLB club, namely the Dodgers (see Dodgers fans need to take control). Hoffarth interviewed me extensively for the piece, and from it, two things should be noted:
1) There is nothing in MLB’s By-Laws or Constitution that prevent public ownership of a franchise.
2) Even though it’s not prevented, doesn’t mean it’s a plausible scenario.
As I’m quoted:
Maury Brown, the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which runs the BizOfBaseball.com website, agrees flat-out that "there are many reasons why it will never occur."
Taking the Green Bay Packers, for example.
"They have a report each year where the finances are detailed," Brown says. "MLB wants to keep private business matters private.
"There is also a long line of individuals or groups that would bid to purchase the Dodgers, and the league is looking for like-minded owners that will continue to push their agendas forward. In other words, a publicly owned club would throw a wrench in the works for the league.
"Only under extreme duress would it even be whispered of ... and that would be a matter of the league near collapse. But with projections of $7 billion in gross revenues, an increase of over six percent last year's $6.6 billion, public ownership of an MLB club is something simply for water-cooler conversation."
It’s a great piece… Peter O’Malley… Andy Zimbalist… David Carter… Lots of great quotes. Read more on the LA Daily News website.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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