Yesterday in bankruptcy court, the Dodgers said that they are $573 million in debt. They included this figure in their reorganization plan they filed Friday required by the U.S. Bankruptcy court. It outlines how they plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and pay off their creditors and obligations. The only way the Dodgers are to be able to get out of the red is to sell the team. The plan states that the new owner will be responsible for deferred player contracts which Ned Colletti has been busily lining up this offseason.
Opening bids from potential buyers are due by Monday, and the court is set to approve the reorganization plan by April 13. The winning bidder will be chosen by Frank McCourt by April Fool’s Day. April 30 is the day in which the Dodgers plan to emerge from bankruptcy, and Frank McCourt must also complete the sale of the team by that date to abide by his agreement with the MLB. McCourt must also pay Jamie McCourt $131 million owed to her under their divorce settlement. With the approximate taxes due in the amount of $200 million for the sale of the team, McCourt’s bills are calculated at a staggering $904 million (not including income tax penalties or any money possibly granted to the Stow family).
The plan does not mention the Bryan Stow legal claim his family has filed in Bankruptcy court. The Stows are also suing the team in Los Angeles Superior Court. The Dodgers argue they are not liable for his injuries sustained on Opening Day last March, and say that if they are found liable at all then insurance may cover the claim.
“The Dodgers are fully committed to maximizing the value of the debtors’ estates,” the club said in a statement. “The Dodgers are not only a storied franchise with truly global appeal, but also present the attractive potential for strong cash flow and significant value enhancement.
“The combination of these unique attributes is helping to drive significant interest from potential bidders in the Dodger sale process. The Dodgers expect to identify the highest and best bid prior to the confirmation hearing, which is anticipated to be in April.”
The team could fetch around $1.5 billion at auction.