Dodgers' price tag excites NFL ownership
Len Pasquarelli, The Sports Xchange
PALM BEACH, Fla. -- They might not know a curve ball from a curl
pattern, but NFL owners were understandably excited Wednesday by the
news from Major League Baseball.
Owners hustled to waiting limousines at around noon, as the NFL
concluded its annual meetings, but many paused to seek out reporters to
confirm the news that the Los Angeles Dodgers have been sold for a
shade over $2 billion to a group that includes former NBA star Magic
Johnson and longtime baseball executive Stan Kasten.
In the corridors of the posh, old-money hotel where the meetings were
convened, decorum typically reigns. But privately, NFL owners were
clicking their heels at the news from the West Coast, several
"I might even start looking at the (baseball) standings when the season
starts," said one AFC owner. "This is pretty big for us."
In fact, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell termed the Dodgers' sale "an
extraordinary price. ... I really don't have anything beyond that."
Left unsaid, but likely in the thoughts of NFL owners and league
officials, is what the magnitude of the Dodgers' sale might eventually
mean for a football franchise in the Los Angeles market. That said,
several owners suggested to The Sports Xchange over the last few days
that a return to Los Angeles is not imminent. The trickle-down effect
of the Dodgers' sale, however, will not be ignored by NFL owners.
The average football team, according to the Forbes Magazine valuations
from four months ago, is worth $1.04 billion. On banker estimated that
in identical market conditions, the Dallas Cowboys could sell for $7
billion, according to MSNBC.
Marc Ganis, president of the Chicago-based sports consulting firm,
SportsCorp, said the Dodgers' sale figures to have a significant effect
on NFL franchise values.
"It definitely raises the bar," Ganis told The Sports Xchange. "The NFL
is the preeminent sports entity in the world. It's the best-run sports
league. It has so much stability. (It's) the best branded. That all
adds up. Literally."
A fixture at league meetings for years, and a close confidant of many
NFL owners, Ganis has been integral in the development and
implementation of two dozen sports facility projects. He counsels often
with NFL owners and executives, is very familiar with the fraternity,
and is regarded as a man with great knowledge of the sports landscape
In its November 2011 valuations, Forbes cited the Cowboys as the NFL's
most valuable franchise, at $1.85 billion. Nearly half of the 32
franchises, 15, were valued at $1 billion or more. The lowest-valued
franchise, Jacksonville, was pegged at $725 million.
In late November, Shahid Khan purchased the Jaguars from the
franchise's initial owner, Wayne Weaver, for a reported $760 million.
Said Ganis: "There are a lot of (NFL) owners smiling today, and rightly
Among the groups who had been bidding on the Dodgers was St. Louis Rams
owner Stan Kroenke, who failed in his attempt to add another franchise
to his burgeoning sports portfolio. Because Los Angeles is designated
by the NFL as a league market, Kroenke would have been subject to NFL
cross-ownership rules, Goodell said, had he landed the Dodgers