Mark Walter
Source: Getty Images

Who Owns the Dodgers Baseball Team? Many Fans Don’t Know

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Oct. 20 2021, Published 12:06 p.m. ET

Baseball fans, particularly those who follow the Los Angeles Dodgers, may not be aware of who currently owns the franchise. Formerly, Frank McCourt owned the Dodgers baseball team, but he agreed to a sale in 2012 to Guggenheim Baseball Management.

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McCourt held the team from 2004 until the sale was finalized in 2012. The process of that sale, which included the team, Dodger Stadium, and its surrounding real estate, started in Nov. 2011. On March 27, 2012, McCourt agreed to sell Guggenheim Baseball Management the team for $2 billion.

Guggenheim Baseball Management continues to be the majority owner of the Dodgers, though several other major investors hold a stake in the team as well.

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dodgers mascot

Guggenheim Baseball Management's members

In 2012, upon the purchase of the L.A. Dodgers, the Guggenheim group was led by principal owner Mark Walter. Other leaders of Guggenheim Baseball Management included team president and CEO Stan Kasten as well as partial owners Todd Boehly, Peter Guber, former L.A. Laker Magic Johnson, and Bobby Patton.

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Guggenheim Baseball Management was formed in 2012 in order to facilitate the takeover of the Dodgers. The team's then-owner Frank McCourt agreed to a $2.15 billion purchase price, which was at that time the highest price paid for a professional sports team. This was after a year of the commissioner overseeing the team's finances, and there was a bankruptcy in the works.

In 2018, former tennis professional Billie Jean King and her partner Ilana Kloss took a minority stake in the ownership group. Alan Smolinisky and Robert L. Plummer took a partial ownership stake in 2019.

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Guggenheim Baseball Management stock

In 2019, Forbes reported that the L.A. Dodgers and the stadium were appraised at a gross-up valuation for 100 percent of its assets at $3.2 billion, for a sale to investors Plummer and Smolinisky. These two new investors had purchased a less-than-5-percent stake in Guggenheim at a valuation of $2.56 billion.

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When Guggenheim purchased the Dodgers in 2012, the franchise had an enterprise value of $3.2 billion. The group has had a fairly successful run in its decade-long ownership of the team. A cable television deal in 2013 with Time Warner Cable formed a new regional sports network, SportsNet LA. The team has also made it to several World Series, winning the championship in 2020.

In May of 2021, the L.A. Dodgers had one of the highest valuations in professional sports. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Forbes ranked the Dodgers #16 in its roundup of most valuable sports franchises.

The team's valuation then was $3.57 billion, compared with the Dallas Cowboys' $5.7 billion valuation. Another Los Angeles team, the NBA’s Lakers, was valued at $4.6 billion and claimed the #7 spot. Sports business site Sportico gave the Dodgers a higher valuation and ranking in its March 2021 roundup of MLB teams: $4.62 billion and third place. It came in only behind the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

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