Magic Johnson, Dodgers Chairman To Acquire Los Angeles Sparks
The Sparks will stay in L.A., thanks to Magic Johnson and Los Angeles Dodgers chairman Mark Walter. The two partnered to own the WNBA team and save it from possible contraction or relocation. Via ESPN.com:
“The Sparks, one of the original eight WNBA franchises, have been in limbo since Christmas when their previous owner, Paula Madison, abruptly told the league and Sparks coaches and employees that her company could no longer operate the team. Madison subsequently told The Associated Press that her family lost $12 million operating the franchise since buying it from the Buss family in 2007 and $1.4 million last season.
After Madison’s announcement, the league took control of the Sparks and actively sought to find new buyers. The Golden State Warriors confirmed to espnW’s Michelle Smith that they were interested in buying the Sparks and moving them to the Bay Area, which has a strong women’s basketball fan base because of the success of the Stanford and California women’s programs.
The Sparks and the WNBA have been in limbo ever since. It’s been impossible to schedule next season without knowing the fate of the Sparks. Free agency has been stalled. Talks on a new collective bargaining agreement have been slowed.
Now that Johnson and Walter have stepped in to buy the franchise, all that can move forward and one of the WNBA’s signature franchises can remain in Los Angeles.”