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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Owners of the LA Dodgers Jamie (L) and Frank McCourt arrive at the King of Hearts gala held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 10, 2007 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for COPE Health Solutions)
On page 19 of her phone-book thick “War of the Roses” divorce filing, Jamie McCourt comes right out and says it — while everybody else was cutting back on their lifestyle during the recession, the McCourts were not.
Just look at what she is asking for:
• $488,928 per month in living expenses — nearly half a million per month.
• Unlimited travel expenses, which includes flight by private jet and only five-star hotel accommodations.
• Paid-for business lunches and dinners five nights a week.
• The Dodgers team doctors to look after her health.
Jamie adds that she estimates she was paid $2 million a year as the Dodgers CEO, while her husband Frank had a salary in the $5 million range. To be fair, Jamie says that if the Dodger reinstate her as CEO Frank should only have to pay her $320,967.
How did Jamie and Frank pay for this opulent lifestyle? By paying off their debt with money from increased prices for just about everything at Dodgers Stadium.
Since the McCourts took over the team they have jacked up parking prices, raised ticket prices several times (although not last year), added a lot of expensive dugout seats, raised prices and beer and hot dogs and peanuts — basically, if there was a way to squeeze money out of the fans, they found it.
And each time they did, the cry was the same, “We need to do this so we can compete with the other big-spending teams in baseball.” The McCourts claimed to be cash poor pretty much the entire time they owned the team.
But that argument doesn’t fly anymore. They were and are greedy. While Dodger fans everywhere were forced to tighten their belts and figure out if they could afford to keep going to games in this economy, the McCourts lived like Roman emperors, complete with a host of vacation homes to choose from.
Next time they say they need to raise ticket prices, or when they say they can’t afford a number one starting pitcher, the backlash will be sharp and harsh from fans. The McCourts, who have been exceedingly image conscious, have now blown it in the worst possible way. The curtain has been pulled back.
Of course, in many a divorce, parents try to appease their children with a bright, shiny, expensive new toy. Like, for example, a number one starting pitcher. Just a suggestion.