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LA City Council wants fan-ownership of Dodgers

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn talks to the media about the idea of the Dodgers being owned by fans.

June 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you've ever dreamed about owning a professional sports team, the Los Angeles City Council wants to give you that chance. It voted Wednesday to let fans own the Dodgers. But it's now up to Congress to make that a reality.

Council members voted to let the fans take the Dodgers in the direction of the Green Bay Packers or the Boston Celtics and have the fans own the team.

It's up to Congress to allow a public offering for a Major League Baseball team. Stanley Stalford of OwnTheDodgers.com and a group of supporters have been asking fans if they want it.

"We started a website a month ago and we've been overwhelmed with responses," said Stalford.

The National Football League's Green Bay Packers are publically-owned. The profits go to the city.

The proposal for fan ownership comes from Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who is also running for Congress. She said no city money would be used.

"The city can't afford to own the Dodgers right now, so this isn't about the city owning the Dodgers. This is about the fans actually having a public offering, for instance. So every fan would maybe pay $500, $1,000 and own a share of the Dodgers," said Hahn.

A group calling itself Own The Dodgers disagrees with Hahn and thinks it would cost $800 million to buy the team: 2 million people at $400 a share.

Councilman Ed Reyes, who has the Dodgers in his district, thinks the council should wait to see what the team does.

"I would like to show some faith and respect. What has occurred in the past few years with the Dodgers, and allowing for this courtesy, if you will, of giving them two weeks," said Reyes.

Only one councilmember agreed with him. The vote was 8 to 2 to give fans a chance.

There's no guarantee that Wednesday's vote in the city council will ever go beyond symbolic. In 1999 and 2001, federal legislation that would have allowed fan ownership was defeated in Congress.

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