Bidding for the Los Angeles Dodgers enters an important new phase this month. The second round of bids are due by Feb. 23, and those bids could go along way toward winnowing down the decision as to who will be the team's new owner. St. Louis Rams owner and all around sports mogul Stan Kroenke is still in the running.
Potential buyers will need to convince the Blackstone Group, the bank overseeing the sale of team, that they have the means to cough up the estimated $1.5 billion asking price for the team. Financial records will be thoroughly scrutinized in this phase of the process.
Kroenke should have little trouble making assurances about his finances. Both he and his wife are billionaires.
Simply having the money is only one requirement. Potential buyers will have to pass muster with Major League Baseball and win the approval of Frank McCourt.
The Fox Group, part of News Corp, is courting potential buyers with an eye on a minority stake in the team to procure a slice of the TV rights, worth billions of dollars. Television rights for the Dodgers could be among the most lucrative in pro sports. McCourt tried to keep the team by selling two decades of broadcast rights for some $20 billion. They may be worth more. Even the Padres fetched $20 million annually plus ad sales for their TV rights.