Judge keeps sale of Dodgers on target
Says approval of disclosure agreement won't disrupt Stow's case
The sale of the Dodgers remained on track when a federal bankruptcy judge approved a necessary disclosure agreement between the parties on Wednesday morning in a Delaware court.
The amended agreement, which was negotiated by the Dodgers, their creditors and Major League Baseball, allows the sale process to continue as scheduled. As a result of an agreement with MLB, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt must submit a finalist to purchase the franchise by April 1, with a sale finalized by April 30.
"I realize time is of the essence, obviously," said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross in approving the agreement.
MLB currently is vetting 10 potential purchasers for one of baseball's premier franchises. McCourt ultimately will narrow the field to five and then select the new owner from that group. The sale reportedly will be in the range of $1.6 billion to $2 billion, a record high for a Major League club.
The only objection on Wednesday came from an attorney for Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was beaten into a comatose state in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on Opening Day of the 2011 season. Stow had filed a personal injury lawsuit in a California court, and his attorneys claimed that the bankruptcy proceedings might be used to impede that case.
The Dodgers are seeking a dismissal of Stow's claim in California, and Stow's attorneys said they would file a counter measure as early as Wednesday afternoon. Gross ruled that approval of the disclosure agreement wouldn't inhibit Stow's case, and he set a telephonic hearing on the matter for later this week, once all new paperwork in the California case had been filed.
The main contention from the creditors about the disclosure agreement seemed to revolve around cash reserves or insurance to repay the Dodgers' debt once the sale is concluded. The Dodgers have said that all of their creditors will be paid in full.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.