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Dodgers Parking Lots: Frank McCourt Owns Half Of The Area; Here's What That Means

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/ 2/2012 2:44 pm Updated: 04/ 2/2012 3:37 pm

Fans rejoiced at the "Magical" announcement about the Dodgers' new owners, but cheers soon turned to jeers when they learned that former owner Frank McCourt would still have a stake in the stadium site.

While the Dodgers' overall sale price was $2.15 billion, the Johnson group paid McCourt only $150 million for the land and parking lots around the stadium, instead of the full $300 million that the lots are worth. That's because McCourt paid himself the other half, $150 million, in order to retain co-ownership of the area, ESPN reports.

The soon-to-be former owner will not reap any profit from parking revenue and will not have control over the parking lots. However, he will enjoy profit from any future development of the land.

While no development plans are in the works yet, individuals have predicted that McCourt retained land rights because he plans to develop big commercial properties like The Grove or LA Live, according to the LA Weekly.

Robert Bridges, professor at the USC Marshall School of Business, speculated to the Los Angeles Times that the team could build restaurants, shops, a hotel or even a baseball museum in the space. The area in question, at 130 acres or roughly 100 football fields, is certainly big enough.

Bridges commented on the location, which is known as Chavez Ravine: "In the world of real estate, it's location, location, location," he said. "Dodger Stadium is certainly one of the prime locations in the city." He said that even if the team moved to another part of the city, the land left behind would be "relatively easy to develop (because) the parking lots are largely graded."

Although a large development in the rough-edged but proud neighborhood would likely enrage Eastsiders, one consoling factor is that Johnson and the other future owners will have veto power over any plan McCourt proposes.

Still, if your sentiment lies with those who have a new-found disgust for the McCourt-tinged Dodgers' parking lots, you do have an option other than your living room couch.

Shortly after the Magic deal, the team announced that it, in partnership with LA Metro, will offer the Dodger Stadium Express bus service from Union Station to the stadium. The bus service, previously called the Dodger Trolley, recently received a $300,000 grant approved by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, according to the Bleacher Report. The ride is free with a ballgame ticket and is $1.50 if you haven't purchased your ticket yet.

We know public transportation is like pulling teeth for Angelenos, but if you're set on boycotting the lots -- even though McCourt won't reap a penny -- it's a good option.

That is, unless you're feeling like taking up one of @KPCCofframp's suggestions: "Can u get into Dodger Stadium without touching a parking lot? Helicopter? Zipline? Parasail? Parachute?"

Earlier on HuffPost:

Meet the Dodgers' new owners:
Magic Johnson
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Known For: One of the greatest NBA players of all time, Johnson captivated Los Angeles while leading the 1980s "Showtime" Lakers to five championships and seven finals appearances.

Ownership Experience: Johnson previously owned a stake in the Los Angeles Lakers, and is currently an owner of the Dayton Dragons, a minor league baseball team.

Day Job: Businessman, NBA Television Analyst
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