A sports banker who has seen the sale book that was released today for the Los Angeles Dodgers estimates that owner Frank McCourt has around $700 million of debt tied to the team and its related assets.
The breakdown consists of $450 million tied to the stadium and ticket securitization, $100 of the available $150 million of debtor-in-possession financing from MLB, $30 million McCourt borrowed from his team's local broadcaster, Fox, and $120 million secured by Dodger Stadium parking lots. The banker said his debt figure of $700 million is an estimate because there was no precise debt figure provided for the stadium's parking lots (a separate entity from the stadium itself) in the sale book (this summer the debt the tied to the parking lots was reported as $67 million).
He also said the team's operating income (that is, profit before debt payments and depreciation) was under $5 million for the 2011 season. The banker also said the sale book is "a piece of crap," because of the way it was put together and that some information typically given in sale books, such as net income, was not provided. However, after applying conservative estimates on interest rates to McCourt's debt the banker said the team almost certainly lost more than $20 million.
Information about the financial state of the Los Angeles Dodgers continues to leak out because several people have their hands on the MLB team's sale book. The sale book contains selected financial data released by the team's investment banker, Blackstone, meant to provide prospective buyers with the information they need to determine if they want to bid for the Dodgers and if so, how much. Within a couple of weeks an online "data room" will be available that will provide those who have received the sale book with more detailed information. Stay tuned.