The situation grew even more complicated when philanthropist and businessman Eli Broad made an 11th-hour offer to purchase the team, mostly with cash, should McCourt's bid fail. This offer was privately encouraged -- then publicly supported -- by Mayor James K. Hahn.
But News Corp. salvaged the deal with McCourt by agreeing to stay aboard as a minority owner.
By Thursday morning, with the owners' vote all about assured, McCourt and longtime Los Angeles political insider Joe Cerrell met with City Council President Alex Padilla and Councilman Ed Reyes, whose northeast Los Angeles district includes Dodger Stadium.
A brief meeting in Hahn's office ended with both men smiling.
"I'm extremely supportive of this great team taking over my favorite team," Hahn said, adding that he had not been asked for any taxpayer support for the franchise, nor would he offer any.
Now the team waits to see what changes, if any, will be made under new ownership.
Chairman Bob Daly has already announced his intention to leave. Team President Bob Graziano is likely to go too.
Though General Manager Dan Evans and Manager Jim Tracy are under contract through this year, their futures remain uncertain.
Again, McCourt was vague: "While today is not the day to discuss changes specifically ... we do want to say that I intend to act quickly and decisively in making changes necessary to get to our goal as fast as we can."
He is expected to add Corey Busch, a former San Francisco Giant executive and his point man during the negotiations, to the front office.
McCourt also announced that, for the first time, all 162 of the Dodgers' games will be televised next season.
While Selig and Hahn appeared to have been won over, a sports business expert said McCourt must repair his image with ticket buyers.
"The trust issue with consumers is so overriding and can be a monster," said Kathleen Davis, executive director of the Sport Management Research Institute in Weston, Fla. "This is an emotional factor in the sports business. If they're already looking at [McCourt] with a crooked eye ... it doesn't bode well."
Fans seemed to take a wait-and-see attitude.
"I'm very skeptical because according to printed reports, [McCourt] doesn't have enough money," said Steve Smith, 49, of Pasadena. "How is he going to be able to infuse the millions and millions necessary to buy the proper personnel necessary to win the division?"
Hector Reyes, 30, of Burbank was similarly unmoved by the new owner's enthusiasm.
"Right now, it's just words," Reyes said. "It's like campaign promises."
The storied ballclub last won the World Series in 1988, and has not won a playoff game since.
The O'Malley family, which brought the team from Brooklyn in 1957, sold to News Corp. for $311 million in 1998. There was widespread dissatisfaction with the way the corporation operated the club.
Last season, the Dodgers finished in second place in the National League West, 15 1/2 games behind the rival Giants, and ranked last in the league with a .243 batting average.
McCourt seemed to appreciate that the questions about him could not be put to rest during a half-hour news conference.
Even as he spoke of putting "the luster back on the Dodger brand," he added: "At the end of the day, it's not platitudes, it's performance that matters."
Times staff writers Noam Levey, Ben Bolch and Ross Newhan contributed to this report.