St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is one of seven bidders still in the running for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, dropped out of the race on Thursday, rejected by Major League Baseball on the basis of this financial structure to pay for the team.
Kushner might be better off for it. According to Darren Rovell of CNBC, the expected price of somewhere between $1.5 billion and $2 billion is a rip off, especially without the parking lots around Dodger Stadium that Frank McCourt insists on keeping.
Rovell says that the team and the property, Dodger Stadium that is, are not worth it. As for the television rights, he says that is a bit of an illusion too. Says Rovell:
Some will say it's in the TV money, but it's not there either. A deal with a network would yield about $150 million a year, but if the Dodgers start a regional sports network, they'll likely be sharing at least 25% of the overall revenue, which would affect the rights fee.
If a bid is a stupid bid, do you think the owner wants to pump more money into the team? If a bid is fiscally irresponsible, does it necessarily increase the value of all teams? No. It's just an outlier.
What might make the team a much better investment at the $1.5 billion price tag is the potential for bringing an NFL team onto the property, especially if the person that owns the facility also owns the NFL team that moves there.
Hmm, I wonder which bidder has an arrangement like that? Hmm.
Of course, there are the two competing stadium projects, including AEG's Farmers Field in downtown LA, but those two projects still have one foot in the ethereal.
One potential hurdle to bringing in an NFL team to Chavez Ravine would be McCourt's precious parking lots. It was the issue of those parking lots that caused Joe Torre and Rick Caruso to drop out of the bidding. However, the new owner could also forge some kind of partnership that would give McCourt a steady stream of income from the lots. Anything could happen.
Before anything does happen, the remaining seven bidders have to pass muster with MLB, no small task. Kroenke is hardly the wealthiest man in the bidding too, and professional baseball has a decided bias in selling teams to people with connections to the sport, stronger links than being named after Cardinals great Enos Slaughter.
Worth mentioning is that Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt is on one of the MLB committees that will review bids, interview bidders and make recommendations.
April 1, keep that date circled on your calendar. That is the deadline for McCourt to pick a buyer.