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Dodgers must pay MLB bills

May 02, 2012|Bill Shaikin
  • Lakers great Magic Johnson, left, speaks with Frank McCourt during the Dodgers' season opener against the San Diego Padres on April 5. McCourt and the Dodgers' new owners will share responsibility for the $10 million in MLB legal bills.
Lakers great Magic Johnson, left, speaks with Frank McCourt during the… (Denis Poroy / Getty Images )

The Dodgers' bankruptcy filing will cost the team more than $30 million, after the team was ordered to pay the legal bills of Major League Baseball.

The Dodgers' player payroll on opening day was $25 million less than that of the Texas Rangers, participants in the last two World Series. The Dodgers have not appeared in the Series since 1988.

Under the MLB constitution, a team initiating legal action against the league must cover the costs for both sides.

The court-appointed mediator in the Dodgers' bankruptcy case upheld that provision, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Frank McCourt, the Dodgers' outgoing owner, and Guggenheim Baseball, the incoming owner, will share responsibility for the more than $10 million in MLB legal bills, these people said. The precise amount each side will pay could not be determined, and final bills have yet to be submitted.

The Dodgers reported more than $20 million in "bankruptcy-related expenses" through February, according to a court filing.

The bankruptcy case appears be the costliest for a U.S. professional sports team, according to Sports Business Journal.

However, the costs were well worth it for McCourt. He believes the Dodgers might have commanded less than half their $2.15-million sale price had MLB controlled the sale rather than the Bankruptcy Court, according to people who have spoken with him.

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bill.shaikin@latimes.com

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday, May 04, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 46 words Type of Material: Correction
Dodgers' sale: An article in the May 2 Sports section reporting that the Dodgers were obligated to pay Major League Baseball's legal bills stemming from the club's suit against MLB said the sale price of the team was $2.15 million. The sale price was $2.15 billion.

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