Frank McCourt to Sell the Dodgers

11:16 PM PST 11/01/2011 by Rebecca Ford
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

After a two-year battle to hold onto the Los Angeles baseball team, the owner agreed on Tuesday to pursue a sale.

On Tuesday, a long and winding journey for the Los Angeles Dodgers and owner Frank McCourt took another – and perhaps final – turn as McCourt agreed to sell the team.

McCourt – who spent nearly two years trying to hold onto the team -- and Major League Baseball will seek approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for auction of the Los Angles baseball team.

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"The Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball announced that they have agreed today to a court supervised process to sell the team and its attendant media rights in a manner designed to realize maximum value for the Dodgers and their owner, Frank McCourt. The Blackstone Group LP will manage the sale process,” said a statement from MLB and the Dodgers.

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There has been interest in purchasing the team in the past. Mark Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, told the Los Angeles Times he once offered to buy the Dodgers months ago. However, he said he did not pursue negotiations because McCourt estimated a price in the range of $1 billion to $1.2 billion.

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A group led by Bill Burke, the founder of the Los Angeles marathon, and backed by money from businesses owned by the Chinese government offered McCourt $1.2 billion for the team in September.

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McCourt bought the team in 2004 for $421 million. He stands to sell it for two to three times as much now. MLB hopes to have a new owner before opening day.

The announcement of the sale ends a turbulent time for the baseball team. McCourt and his wife, Jamie, have been embroiled in a very public and very costly divorce battle, which was finally settled last month. McCourt filed for bankruptcy for the team in June, claiming that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was at fault for not approving a very lucaritive Fox broadcasting deal for the team. Selig said he did not approve the 17-year, $2.7 billion broadcast deal because it was not in the best interests of baseball since it diverted so much of the advance to McCourt's use to fund his costly divorce.

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