Business, Economics and Jobs

After the Dodgers, what could Magic Johnson buy for $2B?


NBA legend Earvin (Magic) Johnson led a group that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers for a record $2 billion.


Ronald Martinez

Earvin (Magic) Johnson’s deal to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion from Frank McCourt is the most ever paid for a US sports franchise, Bloomberg reported.

Johnson’s group – which includes Mark Walter of Guggenheim Partners and ex-Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten, among others – turned heads in the sports world.

Johnson even outbid a group that included Leo Hindery, who once ran Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network (YES).

“The word is ‘wow,’” Hindery told Bloomberg. “Look what this does to comps on every sports transaction until the end of time. What you want to do today is own the Kansas City Royals. You just got a new top out there.”

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The astronomical price tag includes Dodger Stadium and the land around it. The asking price was said to be $1.5 billion, but a potential TV deal and revenue from a new stadium pushed the deal that much higher.

What else could Magic buy for $2 billion? Here's a few ideas.

Two NFL franchises

The most anyone had ever paid for a sports team was $1.1 billion when Stephen Ross purchased the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. The Dallas Cowboys – should they ever come up for sale – are valued at $1.85 billion.

Last year, Johnson also expressed interest in bringing an NFL franchise to Los Angeles, The LA Times reported, meaning the former LA Lakers superstar might not be finished yet.

“I am working hard with Tim Leiweke and AEG to bring football and the NFL back to our city,” Johnson said then, referring to the current owner of the Staples Center. “I’m hoping that will happen. I would love to be a part of the ownership group with Tim.”


According to economics professor Mark J. Perry, changing the clocks is a $1.97 billion “opportunity cost” for Americans.

That figure is based on the average American earning about $19 per hour, and changing their clocks twice per year. So, Magic could spark the economy and repay every American for their “time.”

Renovate the UN

The United Nations headquarters is 60 years overdue for a makeover, and the final cost is estimated at $2 billion, The Associated Press reported. Among the much-needed revamps are blast-proof windows.

“The UN continues to function at a very high level every day while we are working around them,” architect Michael Adlerstein said.

World peace

President Obama is spending $2 billion to send civilian advisors to Afghanistan, Reuters reported. These people are experts in fields such as agriculture, justice or economics.

There are more than 1,000 of them in Afghanistan, at a cost of about $500,000 each to the US government.

Magic could ease minds in the Republican Party who blamed Obama’s administration for artificially supporting the Middle Easter nation.

“This whole nation-building effort has been put on steroids,” GOP Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said, according to Reuters. “We have done tremendous harm to the people of Afghanistan with the huge amounts of US dollars that have flowed into the country.”

Childhood education

California estimated it would cost $2 billion to meet federal No Child Left Behind criteria, The Los Angeles Times reported.

“The best solution to a bad law is to replace it with a good law,” state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson told the LA Times.

Or, ask Magic for a loan.

Oilsands development

ExxonMobile budgeted $2 billion to develop an oilsands project in northern Alberta.

The company expects to spend $50,000 per barrel, and develop 40,000 barrels per day. Analysts aren’t quite convinced it’s economical.

“It’s always good to take the estimates with a grain of salt,” Sam La Bell of Veritas Investment Research told the Calgary Herald. “Cost inflation is code for saying that some of the estimates that some companies have put out are too low.”

Quick, someone call Magic.

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