Los Angeles billionaire and philanthropist Eli Broad for the first time acknowledged his interest in buying the Los Angeles Dodgers and said Thursday that he hoped a deal could be struck with the baseball team's owner, News Corp.
Broad is the first Los Angeles figure to join an investor group led by New York sports executive David Checketts, who has offered to pay News Corp. $600 million for the team, its stadium and an 80% interest in the regional cable channel that airs the team's games.
In a statement to The Times on Thursday, Broad explained his reasons for backing Checketts, whom Broad has known for several years: "I am interested because of my love for Los Angeles, my interest in revitalizing downtown and for recognizing the need for Los Angeles-based ownership."
Some have speculated that a Dodgers purchase could involve a real estate deal that would move the team to a downtown site and lead to the development of hilltop homes at Chavez Ravine. But Broad said through a spokeswoman that he had no "hidden agenda" and was not planning to move the team from its current home.