Franchise bidder Cohen tours spring camp

Franchise bidder Cohen tours spring camp

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen, considered by many to be a frontrunner in the bidding for the Dodgers, was given a tour of Camelback Ranch-Glendale by vice chairman Jeff Ingram and chief revenue officer Michael Young before Saturday night's split-squad game with the White Sox.

Cohen is the founder and CEO of Connecticut-based SAC Capital and was ranked by Forbes Magazine last year as the 35th richest person in the United States, with a net worth of $9.3 billion. His group also includes leading sports agent Arn Tellem and investment banker Steve Greenberg.

Seven groups reportedly remain in the bidding for the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium, a sale being conducted by Blackstone Advisors for current owner Frank McCourt, who placed the team in bankruptcy last June. McCourt also attended the game.

Those groups are currently being vetted by two MLB owner committees, which reportedly will conduct interviews of the groups in the Phoenix area next week. Once that hurdle is cleared, bidders will be asked to submit a new bid. The franchise and stadium are expected to bring in excess of $1.5 billion, while McCourt has told bidders he intends to keep the parking lots at Dodger Stadium for future development.

Other bidding groups: Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten and Mark Walter of Guggenheim Partners; St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke; Stanley Gold of Shamrock and the Disney Family; Leo Hindery, Marc Utay and Tom Barrack of Colony Capital; Los Angeles real estate investor Alan Casden; and Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and Tony Ressler of Ares Capital.

The agreement McCourt made with MLB through the bankruptcy calls for him to identify a winning bidder by April 1 and have the sale close by April 30, the same date he must pay former wife Jamie McCourt $131 million to settle their divorce.