|Frank H. McCourt, Jr.
Owner and Chairman
Frank H. McCourt Jr. became the fourth owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers after receiving unanimous approval from Major League Baseball on January 29, 2004. McCourt has established four goals - to field a championship-caliber team each and every year; to provide the fans with the best experience in sports; to give back to the community in a meaningful way; and to always treat one another with integrity and respect.
Under his stewardship, the Dodgers have reached postseason play four of the last seven seasons, joining the Phillies and Cardinals as the only National League teams to accomplish that feat. The 2009 club had the best record in the National League, won an NL West title for the second consecutive season, and swept its firstround opponent for the second time in as many years, reaching back-to-back National League Championship Series for the first time in 31 years (1977-78). Prior to McCourt purchasing the team, the franchise had not reached the NLCS or won a postseason game in the previous 15 years.
The team's success on the field can be attributed primarily to the organization's commitment to finding top amateur talent around the globe, developing those players to play baseball "The Dodger Way" and to supplement that talent through free agency and trades, when necessary.
In addition to the team's performance, the significant enhancements to Dodger Stadium have contributed to record attendance, as the team's five highest attendance marks have all coming during his tenure.
McCourt has invested $150 million in stadium improvements designed to allow Dodger Stadium, which is entering its 50th season, to thrive in modern times. Recent improvements include replacing all of the seats in the stadium bowl; installing a new playing surface, including drainage improvements; renovating concourses with new and expanded concessions and other amenities; reconfiguring the parking lots to improve traffic flow (including a new transportation center); doubling the size of the Dugout Club; renovating the Stadium Club; creating two new Baseline Box Clubs; making significant upgrades to the video in-game experience; and completing numerous structural and voluntary seismic upgrades.
In 2009, another of McCourt's visions became a reality with the creation of Camelback Ranch - Glendale, a state-of-the-art year-round training facility in Arizona that brought Dodger Spring Training close to Southern California fans for the first time. The fans responded by setting a Cactus League record for attendance. The site was honored by Ballpark Digest with an Editor's Choice award, as the publication called Camelback Ranch "a bold re-imagining of the Spring Training complex, bringing in the feel of a classic training camp with all the amenities of today... Camelback Ranch-Glendale provides plenty of great memory-making moments for fans old and young."
In 2008, McCourt enhanced the team's legacy of both embracing change and bringing baseball to other parts of the world by playing the first Major League Baseball games (exhibition) in China. Last year, the Dodgers returned to the Far East for a pair of exhibition games in Taiwan.
McCourt's commitment to the community is realized through the Dodgers Dream Foundation, which focuses on four key "bases" - first, recreation; second, education; third, health; and "home plate", the environment. Each base has a signature program: the Dodgers Dreamfields initiative has built or refurbished 10 baseball fields around Los Angeles and is committed to building another 40; the Dodgers Scholars program is a collaboration with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and provides 42 college scholarships per year; ThinkCure! is the club's official charity, in partnership with City of Hope and Children's Hospital Los Angeles, from which nearly $1 million has already been granted; and to complete the community diamond, the organization has made a commitment to the environment and will "Think Blue and Act Green," as recent projects have been undertaken to help clean the L.A. River and the Pacific Ocean via a partnership with Heal the Bay.
In addition to the front office staff and management team, McCourt relies on the guidance of three Special Advisors -- former pitching star and social pioneer Don Newcombe (appointed in 2009); medical pioneer Dr. Frank Jobe (appointed in 2008); and legendary Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda (appointed in 2006).
While McCourt's efforts have greatly benefited the franchise over the past seven years, they expand beyond Dodger Stadium. In September 2008, McCourt purchased the Los Angeles Marathon with the goal of turning it into a world class race. Last year, he delivered a new stadium-to-sea course that led runners past a number of Los Angeles landmarks from Dodger Stadium through West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Veteran's Administration property and Santa Monica. For his efforts, McCourt was honored by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce in 2010.
In 1977, the Boston native founded The McCourt Company (now the McCourt Group), which specializes in the development of major commercial real estate projects. His real estate development roots span five generations, and his family has been associated with many major Boston real estate projects, including the city's Back Bay, Logan Airport, and Boston's waterfront. McCourt earned a reputation as a visionary leader and influential businessman, leaving a positive and lasting impact on the city of Boston and revolutionizing Boston's new Seaport. Today, this booming area boasts a new convention center, hotels, offices, residential buildings and numerous commercial, government and cultural facilities. The McCourt Company moved to Los Angeles in 2006.
McCourt serves on the Board of Directors of Georgetown University, from which he graduated in 1975, and co-chaired Georgetown University's Third Century Campaign (New England Region), which raised more than $1 billion for the university. He is active in an array of educational, trade, civic and charitable organizations, including serving as President of the Dodgers Dream Foundation, and Founding Chairman of ThinkCure!.
McCourt has four sons - Drew, Travis, Casey and Gavin - whom he has often said he expects will someday take over as stewards of the Dodger franchise.
|< Close Window >||< Print >|