BOB: Dodgers divorce debacleby Brian Borawski
September 22, 2010
Lawyer in the crosshairs in latest McCourt divorce updateI swear, sometimes you couldn’t make this stuff up. The latest in the McCourt (owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers) divorce drama has to do with the lawyer who wrote up the postnup that supposedly gave sole ownership of the team to Frank McCourt. Apparently there are six copies of the legal document and three of those use the word “inclusive” and three use “exclusive.” If it says exclusive, then Jamie McCourt would be considered co-owner of the team. It inclusive is the right word, then Frank McCourt owns the team outright. Of course Jamie is saying she didn't read the agreement carefully and didn't understand she was losing rights to the team so just about everything is being thrown out the window here.
The big loser here will probably be Larry Silverstein and his law firm because they were the one’s who drafted the agreement. I think the best quote was out of this story was, ”He and his firm may face liability claim if losing party blames him.” The only word that comes to mind is, duh. Silverstein was set to testify tomorrow as I was wrapping up this column so it’ll be interesting to see what side he comes out on.
Athletics hire architect for stadium that may never existOakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff recently hired 360 Architecture to help him design his new stadium in San Jose, Calif The only problem with that is that the A’s are nowhere near close to getting the approval to move there. But Wolff is piggybacking what the firm is going to do for him because 360 is also helping him design a soccer stadium for the Earthquakes, a team he also owns, near the San Jose airport.
Wolf claims he just wants to stay ahead of the curve but this is a little premature. Fremont, Calif. is actually still in the running and Oakland has also given the A’s some options. Still, it looks like Oakland is going to lose the team no matter what unless they pony up because Wolff wants a full-blown retail and housing complex to go with a brand new ballpark. It’ll be really interesting to see how this one plays out.
Yankee Stadium parking garage owner near defaultThe New York Yankees once again lead baseball in attendance in 2010. They’re on pace to just break last year’s new Yankee Stadium attendance mark of over 3.6 million fans from last year but the parking garages near the ballpark remain empty. This has prompted Bronx Parking Development, a firm that runs the parking garages near the stadium, to warn it’s bondholders that they’re not going to be able to make their next interest bill on Oct. 1.
This is a classic example of pricing yourself out of the market. Rather than spending $23 to park in the garage, Yankee’s fans are either parking farther down the street or just taking the train. Prepayments from season-ticket holders was also way down, from 900 last year to 190 this year and they’re not coming close to making up the shortfall.
This seems minor but could have a domino effect that throws future New York developments off. The city’s Industrial Development Agency issued the bonds and if there’s a default this big, it could have an effect on future developments that could range from under funding to a higher interest rate.
Astros, Rangers swap Triple-A affiliatesLast week, it was announced that the Round Rock Express had changed their Triple-A affiliation from the Houston Astros to the cross state Texas Rangers. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise because the Express is owned by Nolan Ryan, who’s now a co-owner of the Rangers. This prompted the Astros to go out and find a new Triple-A affiliate and they didn’t have to go far because they picked up the Rangers former affiliate, the Oklahoma City RedHawks.
In other RedHawks news, the team was recently sold to Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC. Mandalay also owns the Scranton Wilkes/Barres Yankees, the Erie SeaWolves as well as four other minor league teams.
Eastern League sets attendance recordThe dust hasn’t quite settled on the minor league season because the Triple-A championship was going on as I was wrapping this up, but the Double-A Eastern League announced that it had a set a new attendance record in 2010. 3,966,241 fans paid for tickets in 2010 compared to the previous record of 3,944,185 set last year. The Richmond Flying Squirrels led the league with 463,842 fans and the Harrisburg Senators and New Britain Rock Cats also set new attendance marks in 2010.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.
<< Return to Article