Stanley Stalford Jr., sent out an email this afternoon to anyone who signed up as a member of his OwnTheDodgers.com website.
“Today is a GREAT day to be a Dodger fan, and hopefully, a future owner!” he wrote. “NOW THE FUN BEGINS.”
If he can get 2 million shares sold at $500 a pop within the next few weeks, the 47-year-old owner of a boutique real estate development company in Beverly Hills has no doubt he can provide MLB Commissioner Bud Selig with an all-cash, debt-free payment to purchase the Dodgers and move ownership into the brave, new world of citizens dominion.
“Sitting and waiting has been the most frustrating part, but now we’re ready, willing and able to get an offer,” Stalford said after hearing the news Tuesday night that Frank McCourt had agreed to put the Dodgers up for sale.
Stalford recruited some friends and business partners to form the first organizing committee, with him as the chairman. Attorney Robert Burke and CPA Barry Goldstein are among the key members about to facilitate the next step in getting the business model in working order followed by the information on how fans can purchase stock in the company.
Stalford’s plan is to have a local bank provide a revolving line of credit and keep it as much L.A.-centric as possible.
He’s also got a gameplan on what he’d like to see changed.
“We insure that the great players we already have, we keep for the long term,” Stalford said. “We’re also going to heavily invest in the farm system. And we’re going to embark on a five-year capital improvement of the stadium.”
He’s also planning a team-owned TV channel where it keeps 100 percent of the ad revenue.
“We need to return to an era of quality over quantity, of customer service and treating everyone to what is the class of Major League Baseball,” said Stalford, who shares field-level season seats with some of his friends right behind home plate.
Those currently signed up on OwnTheDodgers.com will be kept apprised on what the next steps are in buying stocks – most likely, Stalford said, involving another website formed with FCC financial disclosure forms.
“I think the only impediment is that people don’t think it can happen,” Stalford said. “They’ll say, ‘That’s a great idea, it won’t happen, but if it does, put me down for five shares.’
“We think that the on the Monday when we put out a full-page ad in all the major newspapers about what we’re offering, we’ll have the $1 billion by Friday of that week. And if we have to sweeten the pot a little, we can do that, too.”
Stalford, who lives with his wife and son in Hancock Park, notes that MLB rules do not specifically have a rule against citizen ownership, only the NFL does, but the share-holder owned Green Bay Packers were grandfathered into it. He also thinks that Selig will understand this ownership bid when compared to others — the Milwaukee businessman used to sit on the Packers board of directors.
“All I’m asking is give us a shot at the bidding process,” said Stalford, who is committed to leaving his job for a year or longer to make this happen. “I’d like to be in the room with Ron Burkle and Dennis Gilbert and say, ‘We have no debt,’ and let them argue why we aren’t the best option.”
By Friday, Stalford expects to have a timeline in place, waiting for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to finalize a schedule on how the Dodgers’ sale will take place.
“We’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll,” said Stalford.