Magic Johnson says the Los Angeles Dodgers could have sold 50,000 season tickets for the upcoming season, according to Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register.
The team's ownership group opted against doing so, but such a statement reflects the Dodgers' immense popularity and comfortable financial standing heading into the 2014 season. Johnson and fellow executive Stan Kasten were part of the group that bought the Dodgers for an astounding $2 billion in March of 2012.
Since then the franchise's financial muscle has been on display repeatedly, with the Dodgers having the second-highest team payroll in baseball in 2013. The Dodgers also signed a lucrative TV deal with Time Warner Cable in 2013 that will pay them more than $7 billion over the next 25 years.
With Johnson standing as a public face for the franchise and the team possessing considerable financial backing, it is clear the Dodgers' popularity and influence, both in Los Angeles and across the country, has become immense.
Such a reality enabled the Dodgers to lock up reigning NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw for $215 million over the next seven seasons. Add in last offseason's six-year, $147 million deal for Zack Greinke, along with the large contracts that Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Matt Kemp are currently being paid, and the Dodgers are clearly unafraid to spend money.
Considering the demand for season tickets and that massive TV deal, however, it doesn't appear that the Dodgers will be running out of ways to generate revenue any time soon. Although the team fell to the Cardinals in the NLCS in 2013, their current roster and eagerness to spend indicates that the Dodgers are a good bet to become a fixture in October over the coming seasons.
It's a good time to be a Dodgers fan, and judging by Johnson's statement on Wednesday, the Dodgers won't have problems selling season tickets any time soon.