I am a Dodgers fan, and therefore I am guilty of emotional blindness. When the Dodgers were sold for $2.1 billion to a group of very rich men in 2012, I did not consider the consequences. Instead, I rejoiced over the departure of Frank McCourt. Finally, after Fox and McCourt, the Dodgers would be a professionally run, stable franchise. The first thing the new ownership did was to slash parking prices at Dodger Stadium from $15 to $10 per car. These guys know their audience, I thought. They know L.A.
So far everything has gone to plan. The new ownership has demonstrated a willingness to invest not just lavishly, but intelligently. In addition to accumulating a player payroll that will fall somewhere north of $250 million for the 2014 season, the ownership has spent more than $100 on stadium upgrades over the last two offseasons. The team is fun to watch. The farm is improving. The stadium is pulsing with an energy that had disappeared in the last years of the McCourt era. This playoffs feel inevitable. But this is a business, and these things come at a cost. The new-money Dodgers are at risk of abandoning their core constituency: the working class Angelenos who have filled the Reserve Level and the outfield pavilions in Chavez Ravine for decades.
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