LOS ANGELES - The $430 million sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers from News Corp. to Boston real estate developer Frank McCourt was unanimously approved today by baseball owners.
"Welcome to a new era of Dodger baseball," McCourt said during a news conference at Dodger Stadium. "I intend to restore the glory days of Dodger baseball with a team worthy of support from our fans."
The price is the second-highest for a baseball team, trailing only the $660 million paid for the Boston Red Sox two years ago. The highly leveraged purchase, likely to be finalized within a week, probably will set off the third change in management in six years for the marquee franchise, which hasn't advanced to the playoffs since 1996.
"The Dodgers are one of our great franchises," commissioner Bud Selig said in a telephone interview. "We need stability there. We need a lot of energy. Having an unresolved ownership situation was, frankly, hurting the franchise."
News Corp. bought the team in March 1998 from the O'Malley family for $311 million. The corporation quickly tired of running the club, and former movie executive Robert Daly took over as chief executive officer in October 1999 after purchasing a minority stake.
Daly has said he will depart when the sale closes. The futures of team president Bob Graziano, general manager Dan Evans and manager Jim Tracy are uncertain as the Dodgers prepare to report to spring training on Feb. 18.