Because Frank and Jamie McCourt divided the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dodger Stadium and the Dodger Stadium parking lots and surrounding land into three different companies after buying the historic franchise, there’s a slim chance he could lose the franchise and keep the other legal entities — but it’s not very likely.
These are dicey times for the embattled Dodgers owner: he’s under the gun to make the May 31 payroll (and sources tell the Los Angeles Times he doesn’t have the money yet), and if he doesn’t, that gives MLB Commissioner Bud Selig the opening to take over the team, past the existing setup where Tom Schieffer is overseeing all finances.
Separating the assets actually makes business sense: it makes it easier to dispose of separate assets, and it limits any liability to a single asset rather than to all of them. Others teams do this (for instance, when Tom Hicks sold the Rangers, he retained the rights to parking around Rangers Ballpark in Arlington), so it’s not anything unusual or underhanded.
If Selig takes control of the team, would he also take control of Dodger Stadium and the parking lots? MLB bylaws does give him the power to do so, in theory, but it’s uncharted legal territory: since there are three different corporate entities in play here, the legal basis for taking all three over is a murkier proposition, despite McCourt owning all three, and it’s arguable that the most attractive asset — the parking lots and surrounding Chavez Ravine land — is the one least related to baseball.
We’re pointing out the theories here not to argue what will happen, but to point out how complicated the situations is for all parties involved. McCourt could sell the Dodgers and keep the ballpark, with the team paying rent and McCourt also collecting parking revenues. It sounds like he’d rather sell all three corporations at one, anyway, so the whole situation may be moot.
RELATED STORIES: Gloves are off for McCourt: Selig has no right seizing Dodgers; Schieffer new Dodgers monitor; McCourt response to Selig: strong words, no lawsuit; Selig seizes Dodgers from McCourt; Stow still in critical condition; No arrests at Dodger Stadium with new security system in place; Dodgers scrap half-price drink promotion; All quiet at AT&T Park last night; Security tight for tonight at AT&T Park Dodgers-Giants tilt; Dodgers up security; will it be enough?; Giants fan severely beaten in Dodger Stadium parking lot; suspects sought; Selig shoots down Fox loan to Dodgers; Messy McCourt divorce takes another turn
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribers to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter see features before they’re posted to the site. You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.