The Los Angeles Dodgers - once one of Major League Baseball's premier revenue generators - filed for bankruptcy Monday in a Delaware court - blaming the MLB for eliminating a source of cash the club says it needs to make payroll.
In filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, owner Frank McCourt hopes the court will approve a new, long-term media rights deal that the club says will end its liquidity crisis, ESPN.com reported.
In its filing, the team listed as much as $1 billion in assets and as much as $500 million in debts, Bloomberg News reported.
Last week, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig rejected the Dodgers' proposed $2.7 billion, 17-year deal with Fox Sports because McCourt planned to use about $150 million form the agreement to settle a divorce from his former wife, Jamie McCourt, and to pay-off outstanding debts, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The team says it needs the Fox Sports deals' cash to meet payroll.
In April, MLB took the highly unusual step of assuming control of the now cash-strapped franchise, which was once one of the top revenue generating and profitable clubs in professional baseball. The MLB appointed former Texas Rangers President Tom Schieffer to monitor the team on behalf of Selig. Selig took the action because he said he was concerned about team finances and how the Dodgers are being run.
The Dodgers, which moved to Los Angeles in 1958 from Brooklyn, N.Y., are one of the most storied franchises in American sports. Their history and impact on the game is second only to that of the New York Yankees, many baseball historians agree. Dodger Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in 1947 as the first black player in the major leagues in the modern era - an accomplishment that helped accelerate the U.S. civil rights movement.