Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who are these people?

To start, here's Jamie's application for divorce.

If you're here, you know some of the basics. Frank and Jamie McCourt, the co-owners of the Dodgers--if you believe Jamie's story--are divorcing days shy of their 29th anniversary. The couple had lived a mostly blissful* 29.964 years together, amassing what she claims to be an estate worth over $1.2 billion. They met as freshmen at Georgetown, where she earned a degree in French and he in Economics. Not content to teach French, translate French, or move to France, she pursued a law degree at the University of Maryland. After a couple years practicing (French?) law at a small international law firm in New York, she married Frank in 1979 and moved to Boston.

*I say blissful, because, as you'll see, they lived quite the life of luxury. To those who say money doesn't equal happiness, I reply: oh grow up! Yes it does!

Their ascent to the loftiest perch of American aristocracy started slowly. At times, the sherriff would come to their door as the result of tardy mortgage payments. They persevered, however, and struck it rich when Frank developed the hell out of a 24-acre plot of real estate, most of which was used as public parking. Through a variety of twists, turns, and confusing spirals which my car can barely fit through, they accumulated enough net worth to buy the Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox disagreed, however, so the McCourts ended up buying the Dodgers from the O'Malley family News Corp. in 2003 for $430 million. The franchise and the surrounding real estate is now worth--again according to Jamie*--approximately $800 million. Frank is listed as the owner of the Dodgers per MLB rules which require a single name. However, Jamie notes that the asset was purchased as a couple and that it has always been referred to as a family ownership. That, in a nutshell, is why we're here (if you leave out the parts where he allegedly tried to squeeze her out of millions or she allegedly got down with the help).

*The wonderful Craig Calcaterra expects the "team valuation figure to vary wildly in the future depending on whether Jamie buys Frank out (she'll then claim it's $500 million); Frank buys Jamie out (she'll claim it's worth $1 billion) or they sell the team and split the money (They'd jointly ask $1.6 billion)".

Over the next few posts, which will all be tagged "Basics," I'll break down the important stuff, leading to a post in which I'll identify what I expect to be ground zero of the McCourt divorce.

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