McCourt in negotiations to buy team

Updated: October 8, 2003, 9:07 PM ET news services

LOS ANGELES -- Boston real estate developer Frank McCourt is negotiating to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers from News Corp., a high-ranking baseball official said Wednesday.

"They're in serious discussions," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The negotiations were first reported by the Los Angeles Times, which cited unidentified baseball executives as its sources. The paper said McCourt was on the verge of completing a deal to buy the team.

He failed in attempts to buy the Red Sox in 2001 and the Anaheim Angels this year.

The Dodgers referred questions about a possible sale to News Corp. in New York. Calls by The Associated Press to News Corp. were not returned. Charlie Kenney, a spokesman for McCourt in Boston, told the AP he had no comment on the report.

McCourt reportedly is offering about $330 million for the NL team, Dodger Stadium and training facilities in Florida and the Dominican Republic. News Corp. paid $311 million for the club and facilities in 1998, and has been trying to sell the team for months.

At least two-thirds of major league baseball's 30 owners would have to approve the sale.

McCourt dropped out of the bidding for the Red Sox two years ago. The team, along with the New England Sports Network, sold for $660 million.

This year, Phoenix businessman Arte Moreno bought the Angels for $184 million from the Walt Disney Co.

McCourt is the most recent of several potential buyers for the Dodgers, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer.