Betting On the Sale of the LA Dodgers
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 6/29/2011
One of the most storied franchises in baseball history is bust. Sad, but true. The Los Angeles Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court Monday in the latest chapter of the club’s ownership nightmare under Frank McCourt.
The move to file for bankruptcy came after MLB Commissioner Bud Selig nixed a proposed TV deal that would have provided the Dodgers enough cash to keep paying the bills. Of course, the TV deal would also have provided McCourt and his estranged wife, Jamie, a boatload of cash as well, which is why Selig rejected it.
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Without getting into all the legal mumbo-jumbo, it’s unlikely that McCourt will be able to maintain control of the Dodgers. Which begs the question, how much will the team be sold for?
At Bodog’s online sportsbook, we’ve set the over/under on the Dodgers’ sale price at an even $1 billion.
But is such an astronomical figure realistic?
“I wouldn’t be surprised if it was $1 billion,” Gordon Saint-Denis, president of Major League Sports Consulting LLC, told Bloomberg. “It is the Dodgers. It is L.A., where they could put together some serious consortiums of wealthy people in the entertainment industry.”
We haven’t had this prop posted for long, but so far we’ve seen good support for the over. A team like the Dodgers always attract of plethora of bidders when it’s up for sale, and when there are multiple bidders, that’s when you get a bidding war.
Besides, who’s to say a billion dollars is too much? Professional sports teams are some of the most sought-after entertainment properties going. In the current world of PVRs and pirated content, live televised sports is one of the few ways to attract a large, captive audience, and that’s something advertisers crave and are willing to pay big money for.
Not to mention this is the Dodgers we’re talking about. Any rich person with an ego (and those two things usually go together) would want to own such an historic sports franchise.
Of course, a billion dollars is still a lot of money. In its most recent MLB franchise valuations, Forbes estimated the Dodgers were worth $800 million, with only the New York Yankees ($1.7 billion) surpassing the 10-figure mark.
As for who might buy the Dodgers, well, there will be plenty of interest. But one name that keeps popping up is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
We’re giving Cuban +300 odds of finagling his way into the cozy club of MLB owners through bankruptcy court, where a guy like Cuban might be able to buy the Dodgers without the league’s approval.
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