Magic Johnson

December 3, 2011 by staff 

Magic Johnson, Magic Johnson wants to buy the Dodgers, putting one of Los Angeles’ most beloved sports figures in pursuit of the city’s cherished baseball team.

Johnson announced his bid Friday, saying he wants to restore the Dodgers’ pride and prominence.

“I want to make them great again,” he said. Johnson would be the face of a high-powered ownership group that includes Stan Kasten – former president of the Braves and Nationals – and Mark Walter, chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, a financial services company that controls more than $125 billion in assets. The company is headquartered in Chicago and New York, with an office in Santa Monica.

Johnson’s entry lends a dramatic air to the Dodgers sweepstakes, which is expected to begin next week when information is sent to potential bidders. The Dodgers are expected to sell for more than $1 billion, which would be a record price for a baseball team.

Having his money lined up gives Johnson a head start on several potential bidders, including former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Southern California baseball executive Dennis Gilbert, Los Angeles developers Rick Caruso and Alan Casden and former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano are among other potential buyers who have been publicly identified.

It’s not known how many interested parties there are, but former Dodgers stars Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser also are trying to form a bid group, as is Fred Claire, a former Dodgers general manager.

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