Dodgers Sale Details: McCourt Still Owns the Parking Lots, Fans Need to Resist

Ross ZelenCorrespondent IIMarch 29, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 07:  Owner Frank McCourt of the Los Angeles Dodgers waves to the crowd during Game One of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Dodger Stadium on October 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Dodger fans are rejoicing everywhere from Los Angeles to Brooklyn over the sale of the team to the investment group spearheaded by Magic Johnson. The Guggenheim Baseball Partners purchased the team and 50 percent of the parking lots from previous owner, the widely disliked Frank McCourt.

However, whereas other potential ownership groups were dismayed by McCourt’s struggle to hold onto 50 percent of the parking lots, Magic and his group were more than willing to fork over the $2.15 billion needed to satisfy McCourt. 

So now that the details of the mega-deal are coming out, the more it falls on fans to resist giving another cent to McCourt.

Mark Lacter of LA Biz Observed clarified how the transaction was made, as controlling owner Kevin Walter stated that Frank McCourt still maintains 50 percent ownership of the Dodger Stadium parking lots. However, Walter was adamant that McCourt and the Guggenheim Partners agreed that Frank would only have an "economic interest" in the land and not any control or influence over it.

"Frank's not involved in the team, baseball, any of that," Walter said. "What Frank does have is an economic interest in land, but we control the parking and all the fan experience and that's of the utmost importance to us." 

Parking in the Dodger Stadium lots means still giving Frank McCourt money. Dodger fans can not catch a break. After protesting his ownership, now coming back to support the boys in blue means still giving Frank 50 percent of your $15. Some fans will continue parking on Elysian Road, but the Dodgers also announced that another alternative exists to avoid giving Frank another dime. 

A week ago, the Dodgers made the small and quiet announcement that they, in partnership with LA Metro, will offer the Dodger Stadium Express bus service from Union Station to Dodger Stadium through a grant approved by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee. Since Union Station is accessible from all of the subway and train lines along with many of the numerous Los Angeles bus lines, Dodger fans can now get to the stadium without having to hassle with traffic or expensive parking costs that will ultimately go into McCourt's pocket.

McCourt already figures to make almost a billion dollars of profit off of this deal, which is about a billion more than most Dodger faithful believe he should leave town with. 

With the price of gasoline skyrocketing, this $300,000 grant to support clean fuel transit is a huge boost to a Dodgers fanbase struggling to make it to the ballpark. The bus service has previously been called the Dodger Trolley, but now it will be referred to as the Dodger Stadium Express. Pickups at Union Station will begin April 3rd for the exhibition game against the Angels, and for payment, Dodgers game tickets will be considered a ticket.

For those buying tickets there, the price for the quick 10-15 minute ride is a cheap $1.50. More than 116,000 riders used the service last year, and the hope is that more fans will make the environmentally-friendly choice to keep their personal cars at home or at the lots of their local Metro station.

Giving Frank McCourt another dime would be an insult to the soul of the Dodgers that he attempted to erase. Going green and taking public transportation will not only save you money by keeping your car away from the pump, but it will allow you to spend more money once you are at the stadium. Getting to the Express, whether from the San Fernando Valley’s Orange and Red Lines or from Long Beach from the Blue Line, is relatively easy and very affordable.

The most important thing is to not give more money to Frank McCourt. Forcing him out by not letting his “economic interest” have any pull in Chavez Ravine, or even Los Angeles as a whole, will be the true end to his destructive era and the real ushering in of a new Dodger franchise.