Parking Lots Halt Joe Torre's Dodgers Ownership Pursuit

By Chris Hengst

Joe Torre and California real estate mogul Rick Caruso dropped out of the bidding to acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers. Per the Los Angeles Times, outgoing owner Frank McCourt insists and has Major League Baseball approval to maintain control of the parking lots surrounding Dodger Stadium.

So while the winning group likely spends around $1.5 billion for one of baseball’s signature franchises, it won’t be enough to avoid leasing the concrete outside the park from McCourt.

If that sounds borderline ludicrous, consider it was Bud Selig who allowed McCourt to purchase the Dodgers with a briefcase full of Monopoly money and Lloyd Christmas IOU’s.

And it was also the commissioner who granted McCourt the chance to separate the team/stadium and the bordering land into two separate entities.

Bill Shaikin notes that the leases for the parking lots won’t come cheap either. This is L.A. after all:

The new owner of the Dodgers would inherit a lease for the parking lots — at $14 million per year, with increases starting in 2015 — and a separate loan that McCourt has said requires the team to play at Dodger Stadium until at least 2030.

Caruso and Torre do admit that if McCourt is ousted completely with the sale, their group remains interested.

But with one bid already willing to accept the terms as is, it’s probable that Caruso and Torre won’t need to re-enter before a new owner is chosen in April.

Though he seems to have gamed the system, McCourt doesn’t keep everything in this Dodgers fiasco.

On April 30, after he’s chosen an ownership successor, the parking lot maven owes his ex-wife $131 million.

Sometimes karma appears in the oddest of places, especially community property states.

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