Frank H. McCourt Jr.
August 14, 1953
|Alma mater||Georgetown University|
|Occupation||Chairman of McCourt LP|
Chairman & CEO of McCourt Global
Owner of Olympique de Marseille
Owner of Miami Celtics
Owner of Global Champions Tour
Owner of Los Angeles Marathon
Former owner of Los Angeles Dodgers
(m. 1979; div. 2011)
Frank H. McCourt Jr. (born August 14, 1953) is an American businessman, chairman of McCourt LP, chairman and CEO of McCourt Global, and current owner of the Los Angeles Marathon and football club Olympique de Marseille. He was the owner and chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dodger Stadium from 2004 to 2012.
In 2004, he purchased a controlling interest of the Dodgers from Fox Entertainment Group, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Prior to purchasing the Dodgers and moving to Los Angeles, McCourt was a Boston real estate developer, whose family resided in Brookline, Massachusetts.
On August 29, 2016, Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, who was the owner of the French Ligue 1 club, Olympique de Marseille and the Marseille mayor, Jean-Claude Gaudin, stated during a press conference with McCourt that McCourt had agreed to purchase Olympique de Marseille. The deal was completed in Paris on October 17, 2016.
McCourt was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was raised as a Catholic and attended Georgetown University, where he earned an economics degree in 1975. He met his future wife, Jamie Luskin, when they were both freshmen at Georgetown. They married in 1979. The McCourt family has a long association with real estate and construction in the Boston area.
In 1977, McCourt founded The McCourt Company, which specializes in the development of major commercial real estate projects, particularly parking lots.
In the late 1970s McCourt acquired 24 acres (97,000 m2) in South Boston from the bankrupt Penn Central railroad and developed the L-shaped property into parking lots.
The McCourt company headquarters moved to Los Angeles in 2004 in connection with the family relocating to Los Angeles. The McCourts owned a $16 million, 13,000 sq ft (1,200 m2) home in Brookline, Massachusetts, that was acquired by John W. Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox.
Before buying the Los Angeles Dodgers, McCourt made a bid to buy his hometown Boston Red Sox. If he had won the bid, he had planned to build a new stadium on the land he owned and used for parking lots on the South Boston waterfront. Instead, the Red Sox were sold in 2002 to John W. Henry, Tom Werner and Red Sox President Larry Lucchino.
After his failed bid to buy the Red Sox, he turned his attention to the Dodgers. In 2004, McCourt bought the Los Angeles Dodgers for US$430 million from NewsCorp, Rupert Murdoch's flagship enterprise. McCourt's purchase of the Dodgers was financed mostly by debt.
In 2004 McCourt's South Boston parking lot property was used as collateral for some of the financing to acquire the Dodgers from NewsCorp. Later the South Boston property was turned over to NewsCorp in exchange for canceling acquisition debt. NewsCorp received approximately $200 million when they re-sold the property to Morgan Stanley and Boston real estate investor John B. Hynes III in 2006.
The Dodgers assets acquired by McCourt included significant real estate assets related to the stadium in Chavez Ravine, including stadium parking lot land. Plans were announced for new real estate developments at Dodger Stadium however those plans never came to fruition. One discussed plan was for a NFL stadium and adjacent retail complex. However after the Boston Herald reported the details of the plan, political pressure forced both the NFL and McCourt to deny that either party was aggressively pursuing the idea.
To offset the purchase, McCourt raised ticket and concession prices every year. By April 2009 the team and its related assets, in which McCourt had invested heavily in improvements, had increased in value to $722 million according to Forbes.  In 2010 the value of the team was estimated at $727 million according to Forbes.
In 2003 (under NewsCorp ownership) the Dodgers' record was 85 wins, 77 losses. Shortly after purchasing the team, McCourt fired then General Manager Dan Evans, replacing him with Paul DePodesta. DePodesta is featured (along with Billy Beane) in the book Moneyball as it discussed their sabermetric-based approach to using statistics to build the Oakland A's. In Los Angeles, DePodesta made a trade in the middle of the 2004 season that sent the Dodgers' starting catcher, Paul Lo Duca, its set-up man, pitcher Guillermo Mota, and outfielder Juan Encarnación to the Florida Marlins for the high on-base percentage first baseman Hee-Seop Choi and power pitcher Brad Penny and pitching prospect Bill Murphy, who was in turn flipped with Koyie Hill and Reggie Abercrombie to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Gold Glove center fielder Steve Finley and catcher Brent Mayne. At the time, DePodesta said of Choi, "I think we've acquired one of the better offensive players in the league."
Finley hit 13 HRs for the Dodgers in his two months with the team. Choi batted .161 with 0 HRs for the Dodgers after the trade, though he walked 11 times in 87 plate appearances. In the playoff loss to St. Louis that season, Penny did not play, Choi had one at bat (hitless) and Dodger catchers were 3-for-10.
In 2004, the Dodgers won the NL West with a record of 93-69, but lost in four games to the St. Louis Cardinals in the Divisional Series. In the offseason the Dodgers decided not to re-sign Adrián Beltré due to his high contract demands (Beltre finished second in the NL MVP voting and would later sign with Seattle for 5 years/$64 million). DePodesta signed outfielder J. D. Drew for five years at $55 million, sinkerball pitcher Derek Lowe for four years at $36 million, and All-Star second baseman Jeff Kent.
However, the 2005 season, with a record of 71--91, was the Dodgers' second-worst record since moving to Los Angeles, due in part to players' injuries. That off-season, manager Jim Tracy was fired. Soon after Tracy was fired, McCourt fired DePodesta and about a month later, hired Ned Colletti to replace him.
Ned Colletti's first action as GM was the signing of the former Red Sox manager, Grady Little. Colletti then signed several veteran players such as Rafael Furcal, Nomar Garciaparra, Kenny Lofton, and Bill Mueller. These players were among those who led the 2006 Dodgers to the NL Wild Card spot, with an 88-74 record. The Dodgers were swept by the New York Mets in the National League Division Series. In the winter of 2006-07 the team signed Juan Pierre, Jason Schmidt, and Luis Gonzalez.
In October 2007, Grady Little resigned and Joe Torre was hired as their new manager. In 2008 with Torre, Ned Colletti signed Andruw Jones, Hiroki Kuroda, and Chan Ho Park. During the trade deadline the Dodgers acquired Manny Ramirez in a trade with the Boston Red Sox.
In 2007 Dr. Charles Steinberg was hired as executive vice president, marketing and public relations, of the Dodgers after working with the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles. In 2009, he was reported to be on his way out and was said to be allied with Jamie McCourt and had lost influence as she did, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
In 2010, it was revealed that then California Attorney General Jerry Brown was opening an investigation into the Dodgers' charitable foundation, the Dodgers' Dream Foundation. According to tax returns, the charity's chief executive, Howard Sunkin, earned a salary of nearly $400,000 per year, almost a quarter of the foundation's entire budget. Sunkin is a close associate of McCourt and has worked with him during his divorce proceedings. The courts eventually awarded the funds to be repaid, and McCourt personally repaid $100,000.
On October 14, 2009, it was announced the McCourts would be separating after nearly 30 years of marriage. While speculation was raised on the impact upon the McCourt family and Dodger ownership, a spokesperson for Jamie McCourt said the following day that "the focus of the Dodgers is on the playoffs and the World Series." Jamie was fired from her position as Dodgers CEO on Thursday, October 22, 2009, the day after the Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs. She officially filed for divorce shortly thereafter. He has claimed that the divorce has "no bearing on the team whatsoever."
On December 7, 2010, the judge in the divorce case of the McCourts invalidated the post-nuptial marital property agreement ("MPA") that Frank McCourt had claimed provided him with sole ownership of the Dodgers. In the wake of this decision, Frank McCourt's lawyers said that Frank would use other legal avenues to establish his sole ownership of the Dodgers, while Jamie McCourt's lawyers said that Jamie would be confirmed as the co-owner of the team as community property of their marriage.
On June 17, 2011, the McCourts reached agreement on a settlement of their divorce. The settlement was contingent upon Major League Baseball approving a 17-year television contract between the Dodgers and Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket. The discussion set aside the Dodgers' ownership issue until a scheduled one-day trial on August 4, whereupon if the judge sided with Frank he would keep the team and pay a settlement fee to Jamie and if the judge sided with her the team would be sold. However, on June 20, baseball rejected the television deal and the settlement agreement fell apart.
On October 17, 2011, the McCourts reached a settlement in their divorce case whereby Jamie would receive about $130 million and relinquish her claim on the Dodgers. This ended what is widely believed to be the costliest divorce in California history.
In April 2011, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced that MLB would be appointing a representative to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Dodgers. His statement said that he took that action because of his "deep concerns for the finances and operations" of the Dodgers. This event occurred shortly after an LA Times report that McCourt had obtained a personal loan from Fox to cover the team's payroll for April and May. McCourt vigorously disputed MLB's actions. Nevertheless, Selig appointed former diplomat and former Texas Rangers executive Tom Schieffer to oversee the Dodgers' finances. On June 27, the Dodgers filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection.
After much legal wrangling between McCourt's lawyers and MLB lawyers in bankruptcy court, he reached a deal with the league to put the team up for sale. On March 27, 2012, he agreed to sell the team to a group consisting of former L.A. Laker Magic Johnson, former baseball executive Stan Kasten and the Guggenheim Partners for a record price of $2 billion, the highest ever for a professional sports team. McCourt separately sold the land surrounding the stadium for $150 million to the same group, while maintaining some economic interest in the property. According to the Guggenheim Group, McCourt has control or influence over the land, but will profit from potential future development of it. Also, the new ownership pays $14 million to rent the parking lots surrounding Dodger Stadium from an entity half-owned by McCourt. The sale officially closed on May 1, 2012, ending McCourt's turbulent period as Dodgers owner.
In 2008, McCourt bought the operating rights to the Los Angeles Marathon. McCourt's group changed the route of the Marathon so that it would start at Dodger Stadium. His "Stadium to the Sea" course revitalized the Marathon and in 2010 it drew the largest field in the history of the race. During his divorce he briefly considered selling the Marathon, but he chose to retain the rights and refocus on the race.
In 2017, Frank and Monica McCourt founded a showjumping team, the Miami Celtics.
On August 29, 2016, McCourt entered exclusive negotiations to purchase the French Ligue 1 club Olympique de Marseille from Margarita Louis-Dreyfus. The purchase deal was completed for a reported price tag of EUR45 million on October 17, 2016. Within the next few days, he appointed Jacques-Henri Eyraud (a French businessman) as the club's president and Rudi Garcia as coach of the club's first team. He pledged to invest EUR200 million in the club over the next four years.
For the first transfer window in the McCourt era in January 2017, Marseille reinforced the team with the purchase of Dimitri Payet, Patrice Evra, Morgan Sanson, and Grégory Sertic, for a total of around EUR45M.
McCourt's grandfather was part-owner of the Boston Braves along with Lou Perini and others. Inspired by his grandfather and the others' formation of the Jimmy Fund, McCourt started ThinkCure to fight cancer.
McCourt and his ex-wife Jamie have four sons, Drew, Travis, Casey, and Gavin. In 2015, McCourt remarried to Monica Algarra. The couple has a daughter, Luciana Hayes McCourt, and a son, Brodie Enrique McCourt.