An evidentiary hearing in the contentious Los Angeles Dodgers bankruptcy will take place next month as the team and Major League Baseball continue to spar over control of the team and the Dodgers' plan to auction its TV rights.
The team, which filed for bankruptcy in June, wants to move forward with an auction of its broadcast rights. The auction is expected to help refinance the team and allow owner Frank McCourt to hold onto it after bankruptcy.
MLB has disputed the team's need for bankruptcy and questioned McCourt's personal interests and spending. The league filed documents with the court last week asking to present its own plan for the team, most likely a quick sale.
Earlier this week, Fox Sports, a division of News Corp, sued the team to stop the proposed sale of the TV rights.
Judge Kevin Gross of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware scheduled an evidentiary hearing for Oct 31, Nov 1, 2 and 4.
The hearing will help the court keep control of the parties whose animus toward one another could result in unnecessary, spiraling and excessive litigiousness which would become increasingly challenging to disentangle, Gross said in court order.
He also said the early hearing date was set to enable management of the Dodgers to utilize the approaching off-season to prepare for the 2012 season.
The MLB declined comment on Friday. The Dodgers said they looked forward to the hearing, which assures there will be an appropriate forum to resolve the disputes.
As previously stated, the debtor views its motion as best serving to maximize the value of its estate to the benefit of all stakeholders, they said in a statement.
MLB also is seeking to disqualify the Dodgers' attorneys, arguing that they work for McCourt's interests, not the team's.
The case is In re: Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 11-12010.