Ryan, Cuban face bidding war for Texas Rangers
- Created on Wednesday, 04 August 2010 03:50
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Associated Press
The bidding will pit Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban against MLB's favored bidder, a team led by Rangers president Nolan Ryan and Pittsburgh sports attorney Chuck Greenberg.
Cuban's group, which includes Houston businessman Jim Crane, was the only bid submitted by Tuesday night's deadline, the court-appointed restructuring officer, William K. Snyder, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. Snyder did not reveal the amount of the bid but said he and team attorneys were reviewing it to make sure it meets certain qualifications.
For starters, the bid must be at least $15 million higher than $306.7 million, the cash portion of Greenberg-Ryan offer that totals about $520 million for the team. Crane, who made an unsuccessful bid during last year's original bidding process, opted to join Cuban's group instead of submitting his own offer.
Dallas businessman Jeff Beck had been pre-qualified by MLB to participate in the auction, but his attorney had not attended recent meetings or hearings. Fox, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., said Tuesday it did not plan to bid after speculation it wanted to firm up its hold on Rangers' TV rights through Fox Sports Southwest.
Whatever the auction's outcome, final approval of the sale rests with Major League Baseball. A league official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the AP on Tuesday that MLB intends to work with the winning bidder - although it has the option of choosing the second-highest bid.
Outside experts say they cannot predict how the auction will unfold but say "astronomical" bids are unlikely. Cuban was ready to pony up more than $1 billion for the Chicago Cubs, which wound up briefly in bankruptcy before Tribune Co. sold the team to the Ricketts family last year.
"Mark Cuban is an absolutely brilliant businessman who has shown he'll do anything for his players," said Wayne McDonnell, a professor at New York University's Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. "He's a bit of a wild card and very different from the good ol' boys network in baseball, but he has a burning desire for victory and the financial wherewithal to buy the Rangers and increase their value."
If Cuban is the winning bidder, Ryan would most likely exit the team - so Cuban and his investors had to consider how to continue the Rangers' on-field success, McDonnell said.
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