Monday, February 22, 2010
Papers outline Dodgers' payroll plan
ESPN.com news services
Financial documents submitted in the divorce proceedings between Frank and Jamie McCourt reveal a Dodgers plan that would cut their payroll from last season's $132 million to $107 million this year despite an anticipated boost in revenues, the Los Angeles Times has reported.
Documents forecast a spike in club revenue over the next decade from $295 million to $529 million in 2018 but a signficant decrease in the portion the Dodgers will spend on player compensation.
The model was submitted on behalf of former Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt, the report said. The documents were prepared in May by a McCourt management team for a bid to attract Chinese investors, according to the newspaper.
"It is prudent for a well-run business to engage in ongoing financial modeling and planning," Dodgers attorney Marshall Grossman wrote to the Times in an e-mail in reply to initial questions about the documents. "When the Los Angeles Dodgers have financial information relevant to the public and the fans, it will be made public by the Dodgers."
The documents forecast a spike in club revenue over the next decade from $295 million to $529 million in 2018 but a decrease in the portion the Dodgers will spend on player compensation from 42 percent in 2007 and '08 to 25 percent by 2013, where it would remain through 2018.
"The Dodgers' commitment is to operate on and off the field as a premier baseball organization, for the benefit of the fans and the Los Angeles community," Grossman wrote in the e-mail. "The Dodgers continue to honor that commitment."
Two "high-ranking major league executives" told the newspaper that commissioner Bud Selig pushes teams to spend about half their revenue on players' pay.
"That's Bud's rule of thumb," one of the sources told the Times.
The Times' report also said the documents revealed an expected increase in average ticket prices from $29.40 in 2007 to $53.50 in 2018.
"Currently, the Dodgers' ticket prices are relatively inexpensive and there is substantial room for prices to increase without resulting in a decline in attendance," the document read.