The sale of one of baseball's most storied franchises to a group that includes Lakers great Magic Johnson was finalized Tuesday, bringing Frank McCourt's tenure as owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers to an end after a monthslong battle in bankruptcy court.
It came a day later than expected, but Guggenheim Baseball Management and the LA Dodgers announced the completion of the sale in a statement released Tuesday morning. The new owners will be at a news conference at Dodger Stadium Wednesday morning.
No objections to the proposed deal -- a $2.15 billion offer from Guggenheim -- were received by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court by the Friday deadline. The transaction officially transfers ownership of the team from McCourt to Guggenheim Baseball, a group led by Johnson, former Atlanta Braves President Stan Kasten and Guggenheim Partners Chief Executive Officer Mark Walter.
The sale, approved April 13 by a bankruptcy judge, was part of a bankruptcy reorganization plan. The team entered bankruptcy in June 2011, setting off a monthslong dispute with Major League Baseball in a Delaware courtroom.
"The Dodgers emerge from the Chapter 11 reorganization process having achieved its objective of maximizing the value of the Dodgers through a successful Plan of Reorganization, under which all claims will be paid," according to a team statement. "The Dodgers move forward with confidence -- in a strong financial position; as a premier Major League Baseball franchise; and as an integral part of and representative of the Los Angeles community."
The Guggenheim group's offer eclipses the $1.47 billion offered for England soccer club Manchester United in 2005. The current record for a baseball franchise is $845 million -- the amount paid by the Ricketts family for the Chicago Cubs in 2009.
Although the deal marks an end to his ownership of the team, McCourt and "certain affiliates of the purchasers'' would acquire the land surrounding Dodger Stadium, including its parking lots, for $150 million, according to the agreement.
The Dodgers were third in the NL West last season and fell short of 3 million in home attendance for the first time since the 1992 season, but the team is off to a hot start behind slugger Matt Kemp in 2012. Entering play Tuesday, LA was 3.5 games ahead of San Francisco in the NL West.