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Frank McCourt agrees to sell Dodgers

Frank5
Frank McCourt agreed Tuesday to sell the Dodgers, abruptly surrendering the team after fighting to retain it over two years and in two courts.

McCourt and Major League Baseball have agreed to seek approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for an auction of the Dodgers. The sale is expected to include the team, Dodger Stadium and the surrounding parking lots, a package bought by McCourt for $421 million in 2004 and likely to sell for two to three times as much now.

The league hopes a new Dodgers owner can be in place by opening day.

The new owner would be the third since Peter O'Malley sold the team to News Corp. in 1998. The Dodgers had remained in the O'Malley family since its patriarch, Walter, moved the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958.

Photos: The Dodgers and the McCourts

The sale agreement caps what might be the most tumultuous season in club history, which started with a fan nearly beaten to death in the Dodger Stadium parking lot and ended with the league charging McCourt with "looting" $189 million in team revenue for personal use. The Dodgers called that allegation "inflammatory" and unsupportable.

In the interim, the Dodgers played before a half-empty stadium, with McCourt claiming the league had spooked fans by raising unwarranted concerns about stadium security and the league claiming fans had refused to support McCourt's ownership.

McCourt took the team into bankruptcy in June. McCourt and Commissioner Bud Selig had been scheduled to testify at a trial this week, but the court postponed the proceedings to allow settlement talks to proceed.

We'll have more soon at latimes.com/sports.

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-- Bill Shaikin

Photo: Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 
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