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Judge Approves Dodgers’ Bankruptcy Financing Despite MLB Objections

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A Delaware judge has authorized the Los Angeles Dodgers to enter into a $150 million bankruptcy financing arrangement after the club satisfied certain concerns raised by Major League Baseball.

After trading sharply worded briefs over the proposed financing, attorneys for the league and the team agreed the Dodgers could proceed with their proposed financing on an interim basis pending a July 20 hearing.

The agreement includes reducing a proposed exit fee for the lending group from $4.5 million to $250,000, and removing certain deadlines regarding the sale of broadcast rights.

As part of the agreement, Judge Kevin Gross authorized the Dodgers to continue paying vendors, utility providers and employees, and to keep up with tax and insurance obligations. The granting of such motions is routine in first-day hearings in bankruptcy court, but Gross noted that the baseball club’s case is unique in some aspects.

“I haven’t seen a wage motion quite like this one,” the judge said, referring to the team’s 44-page motion to continue paying hundreds of full-time and part-time employees, including about 250 players, most of whom are in the minor

Earlier Tuesday, the league accused Dodgers owner Frank McCourt of siphoning off more than $100 million in revenue and driving the team into a liquidity crisis. The Dodgers said the league was trying to exert a stranglehold on the team.

The Dodgers have blamed the bankruptcy filing on Selig’s refusal to approve a multibillion-dollar TV deal that McCourt was counting on to keep the cash-starved franchise afloat.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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