Now that the Los Angeles Dodgers sale from Frank McCourt to the Magic Johnson-Stan Kasten group has been consummated for a record $2 billion – the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise – the fortunes of both the Dodgers and the Honda LA Marathon just took a turn for the better.
Why is the Dodger’s sale a good sign for the marathon? Well, until today they were owned by the same man, and with all the turmoil surrounding the McCourt ownership of the Dodgers over the last two years, and his concurrent divorce from wife Jamie, the marathon was put on something of a back burner. Not unexpected considering the value of the Dodgers, the amount of the pending divorce settlement, $131 million, and the approximate worth of the marathon, $20 million, at best.
Though the McCourt Group separated its holdings into different bins, even as recently as last November there was some interest in unloading the LA marathon at the same time as selling off the Dodgers. But after a cursory look-see by a few interested parties, McCourt pulled the marathon from the sales floor. Now with the Dodgers well-disposed and the divorce almost final, the marathon might finally become a more prominent asset for the McCourt Group.
“When all this (sale of Dodgers and the divorce) settles down, he will settle on the marathon and focus,” Howard Sunkin, senior VP of the McCourt Group told me over marathon weekend. “What I want is when people talk about the sport (of marathoning), they will say ‘Boston, New York, Chicago and L.A. We don’t have to be the first name on that list, but we want to be part of that conversation.” Continue reading