Guggenheim Releases Documents. Frank McCourt, NFL Stadium Site Owner? It Could Happen…

Word from Bill Shaikin yesterday in this article that Frank McCourt not only owns half the land Dodger Stadium sits on, but that his rights to own the land could once again rear its ugly head on the L.A. Sports Scene.

It is no secret that Chavez Ravine, home of Dodger Stadium, has long been eyed by the NFL as a potential site for a new stadium.  Peter O’Malley’s sale of the Dodgers came after an attempt to gain revenue through the building of a football stadium and the bringing of a relocation or franchise team to Los Angeles to help maintain a steady stream of revenue that would have guaranteed a continued hold on the Dodgers by the O’Malley family.  Instead, the Coliseum Commission fought for the right to have the Coliseum location be the site for any new team, O’Malley sold the Dodgers, and the city has been without its crown jewel ownership family and the NFL ever since.

Peter O’Malley’s failed bid to bring the NFL to Dodger Stadium in the mid-90’s led to O’Malley ownership leaving town, the NFL staying out of town, and Rupert Murdoch coming into town to own the Dodgers. (Image source: New York Times at http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/08/05/weekinreview/05dodgers_CA0.600.jpg)

Now, as the NFL continues to keep its distance from Los Angeles despite two ready-to-put-the-shovels-in-the-ground stadium deals in Downtown and City of Industry, eyes are once again on the land in the Dodger Stadium parking lot out beyond the left field bullpen as a potential site for an NFL Stadium.

And Frank McCourt could own the land.

Earlier this week I talked about the potential problems in Equity that the Guggenheim Group may be facing due to the reduction of the television deal, amongst other topics relating to Guggenheim and Frank McCourt.  As it turns out, the properties that T.J. Simers mentioned last year that I cited in that article might be held solely by McCourt, rather than in a split/ownership fashion, and the Los Angeles Times has given access to financial documents that show that the windfall from the deal could be over $3 billion.

In simple terms, what the document says and what Shaikin has also simplified: the value of the land McCourt owns, if he were to sell it to Guggenheim for his own purposes, is $150 million.  Despite prior assurances by Guggenheim that the land “could not be utilized by McCourt without their approval,” as it turns out McCourt has the right to fully purchase some of the land and do what he wants with it.  Including building a football stadium on its grounds.

The good news in this for Dodger fans is that if McCourt were to take an option on the land, a deal could be reached which severs the ties between the Dodgers and Frank McCourt forever.  Alternatively, another $150 million (or about 2/3 of the payroll) would be the amount to make Frank McCourt whole per terms of the contract.  But if this news is any revelation, it’s that Frank McCourt doesn’t simply want to own the land, he intends to develop it.  If the NFL wants to put a stadium in Chavez Ravine, they may find themselves dealing with Frank McCourt.

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