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Deadline day for Dodgers ownership bids

Dodger Stadium

January 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Monday is the deadline for initial bids for the sale of the bankrupt Los Angeles Dodgers by Frank McCourt. So far, the list of potential buyers is a veritable "who's who" list of sports legends.

Former owner Frank McCourt paid $430 million for the Dodgers in 2004 but is expected to sell the team for more than $1 billion. Some insiders predict that the team could even sell for up to $1.6 billion, shattering 2009 records when the Chicago Cubs were sold for $850 million.

Fans should be pretty pleased with the long, star-studded list. It includes former Dodgers greats such as ex-owner Peter O'Malley, as well as ex-players Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser. Former Dodgers manager Joe Torre is in the running as well.

Leading another club's bid is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

"Who wouldn't want to own the Dodgers?" Cuban said. "I don't think people realize that I have lived in Manhattan Beach, or had a place in Manhattan Beach, for the last 20 years. So I've been around it and been here for a long time. To come in, you have to be willing and have the capital to invest in the franchise, rebuild the infrastructure and also bring in new players."

Former CNN host Larry King is also a minor player in another bid group. And the powerfully-led Magic Johnson investment team is also interested in owning a piece of the team.

"I understand the Dodgers brand and what the Dodgers mean to all the people who live in Los Angeles," Johnson said. "I want to bring the winning ways back to the Dodgers."

After Monday's initial bids, the Blackstone Group, which is overseen by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, will narrow the field of bidders down to the 10 most viable.

Major League Baseball then gets to review the list before an auction. From there, McCourt will have final say in the sale.

The sale is expected to be completed by April 30, but the Dodgers are hoping for the sale to be complete by early April.

April 30 is also the day that McCourt is set to pay $130 million to his ex-wife Jamie as part of their divorce settlement.

That included, Frank McCourt's total obligations could be near $1 billion. Last Friday, the Dodgers told a U.S. bankruptcy court they were $573 million in debt. He is also obligated to pay another $200 million in taxes.

The Dodger Stadium parking lots are not included in the initial assets offered, but they could be negotiated in.