Success Of Guggenheim's Dodgers Deal Depends On Real Estate Projects, TV RightsPublished April 2, 2012
TV IS THE KEY: In L.A., Michael Hiltzik noted it will be "very difficult" for Guggenheim Baseball Management to make an investment "on this scale pay off without two things happening." One is a "cable or pay-TV deal that could be unprecedented in size, just like the bid for the team itself." The other is real estate development "linked to the team and the site, the way downtown's L.A. Live feeds off the Lakers and Staples Center." The first means "higher cable bills." As for the second, it "can't be achieved without the blessing of the local community and the political establishment, and the pathways to mulct the public for tax abatements, infrastructure improvements and other benefactions are unlimited." The Dodgers may present an "even greater opportunity for raids on the public purse than the downtown NFL stadium that Phil Anschutz's AEG has proposed for the neighborhood of L.A. Live and the Convention Center." Univ. of Southern California Sports Business Institute Exec Dir David Carter believes that although the "size of the broadcast deal is a key to the ownership bid's potential, the real upside may lie in developing Chavez Ravine in the style of L.A. Live." Carter said, "I don't think they bought the Dodgers, but an entertainment platform that included the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium. It just so happens that the Dodgers are the anchor tenant in that mall" (L.A. TIMES, 4/1).
STAN THE MAN: In N.Y., Bill Madden wrote, "One would think Kasten is in for a bit of a culture shock running a $2 billion operation." In all his "previous years as a chief executive in baseball, he was commissioner Bud Selig’s pit bull against the union in the various labor wars, as well as being an outspoken critic of wild spending owners, particularly the Yankees, as being the ruin of baseball." Kasten said, "Deep into my core, I’m a scouting and player development guy and we will emphasize that even more here. ... At the same time, we understand the expectations and that our resources (in L.A.) are more than a lot of teams. We’re not gonna wait eight years to build a champion. It’s what (Dodger fans) expect and demand." Meanwhile, Madden noted there are "no plans to build a new stadium or sell the naming rights to help finance the estimated $300 million it’s going to take to get Dodger Stadium up to par with all the new stadiums that have been built over the last 20 years" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/1).
RIPPLE EFFECT: In Boston, Nick Cafardo noted the Red Sox owners "don't believe that $2 billion for the Dodgers will have a big trickle effect on the value of the elite franchises like Boston and New York." The feeling is that the sale "was a unique circumstance, the Dodgers in the Los Angeles market" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/1).
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