Magic group purchases LA Sparks

Los Angeles, CA ( - A group led by Magic Johnson and some of his partners with the Los Angeles Dodgers has purchased the Los Angeles Sparks.

Johnson and Dodgers controlling owner Mark Walter will head the investment group that also includes Dodgers co-owners Todd L. Boehly, Robert L. Patton and Stan Kasten.

"We are thrilled to welcome Magic Johnson and Mark Walter to the WNBA," said WNBA president Laurel J. Richie in a statement Wednesday. "With their proven track record in the business realm, their commitment to the city of Los Angeles through civic engagement, and their passion for the game of basketball, we look forward to partnering with our new owners to usher in a new era for this iconic team."

The Sparks had been owned by Williams Group Holdings, which reportedly told the WNBA in December of its plans to walk away from the franchise.

"This is a great day for the city of Los Angeles and the Sparks," said Johnson in the league's release. "The leaders of this great city came together quickly to keep this franchise right where it belongs -- in the city of Angels. Our group will now work together to bring our loyal fans another WNBA championship."

The Sparks were owned by late Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who sold his stake in 2006 to a group led by Kathy Goodman and Carla Christofferson. Williams Group Holdings became the primary investor the following year.

Established in 1997 as one of the WNBA's original franchises, the Sparks won league titles in 2001 and 2002.