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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Potential Dodgers Buyers

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants the new Dodgers owner to love the team.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa added his input to the increasing excitement over the pending sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday morning, saying the new owner "absolutely has to be someone from L.A."

Villaraigosa's announcement comes two days after Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball agreed to a "court supervised process" to sell the team and its's media rights. Villaraigosa says the Dodgers need an owner who loves the city and the team.

"I'm looking forward to local ownership,'' Villaraigosa said. "I believe that whoever buys this team needs to live in this town, needs to be from this city.''

The new owner would be the third since Peter O'Malley sold the team to News Corp. in 1998 and already several potential buyers have expressed interest in becoming the new owner.

Among them is Mark Cuban, who is the owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks and not a native of Los Angeles. Dennis Gilbert, executive of the Chicago White Sox, a native of Los Angeles and notorious Dodgers fan, is also expected to place a bid. Peter O'Malley, former owner of the Dodgers, expressed interest in reclaiming the franchise on Wednesday. Boston Red Sox owner, Tom Werner, and Milwaukee Brewers owner, Mark Attanasio are also expressing interest in the team and both live in L.A. Other potential buyers include, Steve Garvey, Time Warner, The Dilbeck Investment Group, former Dodger general manager Fred Claire and even Larry King.

The Dodgers sale includes the team, Dodgers Stadium, and the surrounding parking lots, which McCourt bought for $421 million in 2004. Forbes is currently estimating the team's worth at $800 million, but  McCourt hopes to sell the franchise for $1 billion in order to pay back debts and taxes.

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