Magic Johnson, other Dodger owners buy the Sparks

Candace Parker and other Sparks on the home floor at Staples Center. Noah Graham/

Members of the Dodgers' ownership group led by Magic Johnson and Mark Walter are saving the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks from oblivion. Minority Dodgers owners Todd Boehly and Bobby Patton are also part of the Sparks purchase, the Los Angeles Times reports. In fact the only Dodgers owner who is not in on the Sparks deal is Peter Guber, who already owns a stake in the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

Sparks president Vincent Malcolm, executive VP and general manager Penny Toler and coach Carol Ross were laid off by the team on Dec. 31. Owner and chairwoman Paula Williams Madison told the league then that her family-owned company would no longer be involved.

From the LAT:

The Sparks purchase is not the first effort by Walter and Boehly to expand the Guggenheim sports holdings beyond baseball. The Guggenheim executives have acknowledged talks with the NFL about a potential football stadium in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

Guggenheim also was one of the bidders for AEG Live, which Phil Anschutz put up for sale in 2012 and then took off the market last March. The AEG live portfolio includes all or part of the Kings, Lakers, Galaxy, Staples Center and StubHub Center.

The WNBA had no comment about the Sparks purchase, which was confirmed to the Los Angeles Times by a person with knowledge of the situation. That person did not wish to be identified because the sale had not been officially announced.

The WNBA and an L.A.-based public relations firm both sent out news releases about a "major announcement" coming Wednesday morning involving Magic Johnson and the WNBA.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Sports stories on LA Observed:
Volleying with Rosie Casals
Sometimes the experience doesn't have to be televised
A bout last night
Tracking the distant signals of the Dodgers
Last hurrah
Overheard at the BNP Paribas Open tournament in Indian Wells
The greening of tennis
First-stringers in tennis


LA Observed on Twitter