Talks progress for second straight day

Updated: January 21, 2004, 10:41 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Baseball officials made more headway Wednesday on the proposed sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers, which could be put to a vote for approval next week.

Boston real estate developer Frank McCourt reached an agreement in October to buy the team for News Corp., a deal valued at $430 million. The agreement calls for the sale to close by Jan. 31.

McCourt and his wife met with baseball officials for the second straight day.

"I think we made a lot of progress," said Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer. "Representatives of Frank and Fox are meeting tonight in terms of the documentation. I'm hopeful we can continue to meet the timetable."

If all goes well, commissioner Bud Selig would schedule a conference call of baseball owners to approve the deal.

McCourt's spokesman, Duffy Jennings, declined comment.

Concerned about the amount of financing in the deal, baseball and McCourt have been discussing arrangements that would allow him to retire some of the debt at a later date by selling minority shares in the team, a pair of baseball sources said on condition of anonymity.

Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Atlanta Braves chairman emeritus Bill Bartholomay have represented baseball's ownership committee in the meetings with McCourt.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press