Dodgers sale approval on court’s calendar for Friday afternoon
WILMINGTON, Del. -- The sale of the Dodgers is expected to be approved at a U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing starting at 1 p.m. PDT.
The court held a morning session to hear several matters related to the case, most significantly an agreement by Fox Sports to withdraw its objection to sale.
In a filing Thursday, the Dodgers said that the new owners would state for the court record that the ownership group does not involve Time Warner Cable and that the group has no formal or informal agreement with Time Warner Cable for a new Dodgers television contract. Fox attorney Gregory Werkheiser said that stipulation would satisfy Fox’s concerns.
Under its settlement with the Dodgers, Fox had the right to challenge a sale to any group that included Time Warner Cable. The Dodgers’ current television contract with Fox expires after the 2013 season, and Fox and TWC are expected to bid for the new contract.
The Major League Baseball Players’ Assn. also said it agreed to the sale. Major League Baseball will appear at the 1 p.m. hearing.
Judge Kevin Gross also agreed to hear an objection by the Los Angeles Times at the 1 p.m. hearing. The Dodgers have asked that a document containing the conditions of land use for the Dodger Stadium property be sealed; The Times has objected. Gross denied the Dodgers’ request to delay that matter until April 25.
Gross said he would rule at a later date on how much severance pay the Dodgers owe to former executive vice president Charles Steinberg. The Dodgers say the amount should be about $700,000; Steinberg says the amount should be about $1 million.
Gross did not rule on the Dodgers’ motion to strike Jamie McCourt’s claim from the bankruptcy file. Jamie McCourt, the ex-wife of outgoing owner Frank McCourt, must be paid $131 million in a divorce settlement by April 30. Gross said he would defer a ruling so the parties could decide who would pay her -- Frank McCourt personally, the Dodgers as the debtor, or the new owners of the team as intermediaries.
Gross said he did not understand why the parties could not settle the issue among themselves.
“It seems to me it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes,” Gross said.
MORE:Dodgers continue their bully routine, sweep Pirates with 3-2 win New Dodgers owners to confirm Time Warner Cable not involved
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