This day in Los Angeles Dodgers history saw Guggenheim Baseball Management officially introduced as the new ownership group, with Mark Walter as controlling partner. The press conference at Dodger Stadium on May 2, 2012, came six weeks after Frank McCourt agreed to sell the Dodgers.
The $2 billion purchase ended a months-long process as it was in November of 2011 that McCourt signed off on selling the team, Dodger Stadium and the surrounding real estate. In April 2012, former MLB commissioner Bud Selig assumed control of Dodgers front office operations.
McCourt purchased the Dodgers from NewsCorp in February 2004 for $420 million in a deal that was heavily financed. McCourt’s tenure as owner ultimately was marred and evaluated by multiple public relations missteps, instability within the organization and eventual divorce from Jamie.
In addition to Walter as the principle owner, the Guggenheim group included team president and CEO Stan Kasten, and part-owners Todd Boehly, Peter Guber, Magic Johnson and Bobby Patton.
Since Guggenheim purchased the team, the Dodgers have won eight consecutive National League West titles, three NL pennants and the franchise’s first World Series since 1988.
The new ownership group immediately put their financial resources into improving the roster, restoring a once-proud farm system and scouting department, and also ushered in multiple waves of upgrades to Dodger Stadium.
One of the first was to improve the Dodgers’ clubhouse and weight room, which players have raved about. The latest work was a reported $100 million project to overhaul the center field and pavilion areas last year.
Guggenheim has twice added new members to the Dodgers ownership group, beginning with Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss purchasing a minority stake in the team in 2018. Then the following year, Alan Smolinisky and Robert L. Plummer joined as minority owners as well.
Guggenheim buying the Dodgers set a record by surpassing the $1.47 billion Malcolm Glazer paid for Manchester United in 2005. However, hedge fund manager Steve Cohen then broke the Dodgers’ record by purchasing the New York Mets for $2.4 billion in 2020.
Since the ownership change in 2012, the Dodgers have been to the postseason nine times in 10 seasons, won three National League pennants (2017-18, ’20) and the 2020 World Series championship.
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