The Los Angeles Times reports that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt could be willing to sell the team after several years of financial hardships and battles with the league. The paper reports that negotiations are in place that may result in a settlement where McCourt would sell the franchise and the stadium for close to $1 billion.
The embattled owner had previously vowed that he would not sell the team, however pressure has risen over the past year as the league has taken over financial control of the franchise.
McCourt is currently attempting to win court approval to sell the team’s television rights in a deal that commissioner Bud Selig had previously blocked because he believed it was not in the best interest of the team. The Dodgers owner has held steadfast that such a deal would help the team’s financial issues, however the league has asserted that it is not a solid long-term deal.
Last week the league claimed that the Los Angeles Dodgers were in bankruptcy because McCourt took $189.16 million from the franchise.
“The Dodgers are in bankruptcy because McCourt has taken almost $190 million out of the club and has completely alienated the Dodgers’ fan base,” a filing in Delaware bankruptcy court said.
The league claims that McCourt took $73 million in parking lot revenue, $61.1 million to pay personal debts, and $55 million for personal distributions. The Dodgers’ financial woes became apparent when the team was forced to take out major loans in order to meet payroll last season.
Major League Baseball took over the Los Angeles Dodgers financial operations in April of 2011 over concerns that McCourt had driven the team to bankruptcy. Commissioner Bud Selig appointed an overseer to supervise day-to-day financial management of the Dodgers shortly thereafter.