In Hollywood, there is the expression “Showtime.” Well, it appears that now “Showtime” is coming to a Los Angeles Dodgers game near you.
Recently, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that a group headed by Magic Johnson purchased the Dodgers for over 2.1 billion. What an investment return for McCourt! Outgoing (sort of) owner Frank McCourt will ease out of the ownership position, pay his debtors (Jamie McCourt, and Lord only knows who else) and walk off to Sunset Blvd.
This effectively ends eight (8) years of turmoil (yes, it was that bad). If you think about it, yes the team made the playoffs four times and the NLCS twice, but that does not excuse the “moneyball” strategy that handicapped the farm system while simultaneously making the Dodgers look like a AAA team in a major league ballpark.
Dodger Stadium was a place that my family took me when I was kid, now I take my family and friends there. In the past, the stadium had a welcoming family atmosphere without the need to have Tommy during the 2nd inning explain the fan code of conduct. The family atmosphere regressed under McCourt and so did the stadium. Ok, I’ll cede the new chairs, but unless you had field level or dugout club seats (the concoures in these areas are nice), the bathrooms stink, the lines for food are unnecessarily long and I’m not entirely sure Dodger Dogs are “grilled” anymore.
The pleasing sounds coming from the fingers of Nancy Bea were slowing being replaced with “flavor of the week” music or unnecessary soundbites and twinkle lights in the pavilion. Sorry, I’m traditional when it comes to Dodger games. I get two (2) Dodger Dogs, soda, peanuts from Roger and play GM for nine (9) innings with other fans.
Lately Dodger Stadium has become a sanctuary for thugs who would spit beer from their mouth when they hassled opposing team fans. After the Stow incident, Dodger Stadium needed LA’s finest patrolling the parking lots… It’s mind boggling realizing things regressed so badly.
What about the parking lots?
Well this is tough because on one hand you have Stan Kasten telling fans that outgoing owner Frank McCourt has no control or direction over the team, but will according to the team press release, “Current owner Frank McCourt and certain affiliates of the purchasers will also be forming a joint venture, which will acquire the Chavez Ravine property and parking lots for an additional $150 million.”
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com, McCourt will not recieve revenue from parking sales as that will go to the team. This is a major relief, because I wasn’t sure if I was parking or taking the metro from Union Station to Dodger Stadium.
This is something to think about, because with a new owner comes a different way of thinking (analysis, direction of team, etc) so it makes you wonder if Manager Don Mattingly and General Manager Ned Coletti is safe beyond this season. This is a fair question because these hires were made by McCourt, not Stan Kasten, Magic Johnson or any of the other silent partners purchasing the team.
Well, once I read the ESPN article, I must say now I am fine with it, and I hope the land is never developed because the last thing the stadium needs is shops that tie up traffic or much worse a football stadium that will eat up 1/3 to 1/2 of the limited parking at Dodger Stadium.
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