August 14, 2022

Dodgers File for Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy protection will shelter the team financially and allow it more time to reach a new media deal, according to a statement released by the Dodgers. The filing will give the team access to $150 million in financing that will prevent the disruption of the Dodgers’ day-to-day business, the statement said.

Frank McCourt, the team’s owner, blamed Selig for the decision to file for Chapter 11 protection.

“We brought the commissioner a media rights deal that would have solved the cash flow challenge I presented to him a year ago, when his leadership team called us a ‘model franchise,’ ” McCourt said in the statement. “Yet he’s turned his back on the Dodgers, treated us differently and forced us to the point we find ourselves in today.”

Since McCourt took over ownership of the team in 2004, the Dodgers have racked up more than $400 million in debt, and the team has been at the center of a contentious divorce between McCourt and his wife, Jamie, who claims that half of the team belongs to her.

The 17-year television deal with Fox was to have been part of a divorce settlement between the two, but Selig canceled the deal after he said it would have only served to enrich Frank McCourt and would place the team’s future in doubt.

In April, Selig took control of the team and named a trustee, Tom Schieffer, to run it.

Court filings show that the Dodgers’ creditors include Manny Ramirez, who retired from baseball in April but is owed nearly $21 million, Andruw Jones, the outfielder who left the Dodgers for the Yankees earlier this year and is due $11 million, and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, who is owed $4.5 million. The team also owes $153,000 to the broadcaster Vin Scully, who has been calling Dodgers games for 62 years.

The Dodgers are the only the most recent major-league team to face financial trouble. Last year, the Texas Rangers were sold in a bankruptcy auction to a group of buyers, including the Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, that was favored by Selig. And the owners of the Mets are fighting a $1 billion lawsuit filed against them by the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s fraud.

In the statement, the Dodgers said the team’s operations would continue as usual: ticket prices will remain the same, the team will continue to sign and acquire players, and the salaries of Dodgers employees will continue to be paid.

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