Murdoch Seals Dodgers Deal

LOS ANGELES -- Media baron Rupert Murdoch has agreed to buy one of America's most famous baseball teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in a record-breaking deal that would give him a foothold in the lucrative U.S. sports industry.


If approved by most of the owners of the 27 other major league baseball teams, the deal announced Thursday would be one of the largest sports transactions in history.


It would set a record price for a baseball team and put one of the world's canniest businessmen in charge of a team that has dominated its sport for decades.


Although both sides declined to name a price, reports have quoted a figure of $350 million for the team, the 56,000-seat Dodger stadium, its surrounding 300 acres of prime Los Angeles real estate, its spring training facility in Florida and its sports academy in the Dominican Republic.


The previous record price for a baseball team was $173 million, paid by Peter Angelos for the Baltimore Orioles in 1993.


The sale would set up a confrontation between Murdoch and his rival media mogul Ted Turner, vice chairman of Time Warner Inc., which owns the Atlanta Braves.


The two men have been feuding for months, and Turner has likened Murdoch to Adolf Hitler. Turner is expected to cast one of the two negative votes against Murdoch when major league owners consider the deal, the other coming from the owners of the Florida Marlins.