Dodgers Season-Ticket Holders Want Standing in Bankruptcy Case

The list of season-ticket holders in a pleading filed Tuesday includes the family of Frank Sinatra

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Thursday, Sep 1, 2011  |  Updated 6:23 AM PDT
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A small group of Dodgers season ticket holders, led by the family of the late Frank Sinatra, have filed a statement with the U.S. Bankruptcy court hoping to have their voice heard.  They want a say in the team's bankruptcy proceedings but do not seek anything specific from the team.  Their  attorney is Robbin Itkin.

A small group of Dodgers season ticket holders, led by the family of the late Frank Sinatra, have filed a statement with the U.S. Bankruptcy court hoping to have their voice heard. They want a say in the team's bankruptcy proceedings but do not seek anything specific from the team. Their attorney is Robbin Itkin.

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They have seats at Dodger Stadium, and a group of season-ticket holders wants standing in the team's bankruptcy case.

Special Section: The Changeup

A document was filed Tuesday on behalf of the group. The filing states the current committee of Dodger creditors doesn't entirely represent the interests of season-ticket holders.

The committee requested official standing similiar to the committee that represents the Dodgers creditors.

"We feel the season ticket holders are the true stakeholders in the bankruptcy case and currently have no voice in the case," attorney Robbin Itkin said in a statement. "The Official Committee of Creditors does not adequately represent the interests of season-ticket holders. The Committee represents trade creditors and other claimants seeking to maximize cash on their claims against the Debtors, as reflected by the composition of the Committee. The season-ticket holders are not focused on cash payments but rather on the preservation of the Dodgers, the integrity of the team, the financial success of the team, the retention of the team as a Los Angeles team, overall-the long-term viability of the team (Full statement below)."

No date was set to consider the request.

The list of ticket holders includes the family of Frank Sinatra -- season-ticket holders since 1958. The filing noted that some of the ticket holders have had tickets since the stadium opened.

Also on Tuesday, a request from the team's souvenir vendor to expedite a decision on its contract with the Dodgers was denied by the judge. During that proceeding, attorneys for merchandiser FMI testified that the turnstile count this season at Dodger Stadium is projected to be 2.2 million to 2.3 million.

That was compared to 1982, when the count was 3.6 million.

The turnstile count is a more accurate number when determining how many people are actually in seats at a game. It refers to the number of tickets used as opposed to the number of tickets sold.

The team filed for bankruptcy protection on June 27, blaming Major League Baseball for refusing a week earlier to approve a multibillion-dollar TV deal with Fox Sports that McCourt was counting on to keep the troubled franchise afloat and meet payroll deadlines at the end of June.

Selig's rejection of the TV deal came after he took the extraordinary step in April of assuming control of the troubled franchise and appointing a monitor to oversee its day-to-day operations, saying he was concerned about the team's finances and how the Dodgers were being run. His decision also effectively nullified the McCourts' property-division settlement, which anticipated approval of the TV deal.

That set up a July hearing at which the Dodgers and Major League Baseball squared off over a financing arrangement. The team wanted approval of a $150 million financing arrangement that MLB challenged with a financing offer of its own.

The judge rejected the Los Angeles Dodgers' proposed financing plan, a decision that forced owner Frank McCourt to negotiate a financing plan with Major League Baseball.

Creditors are expected to meet Wednesday in a Delaware court to discuss the bankruptcy case. 

Full Statement on Bankruptcy Case Filing: "We feel the season ticket holders are the true stakeholders in the bankruptcy case and currently have no voice in the case. The Official Committee of Creditors does not adequately represent the interests of season ticket holders-the Committee represents trade creditors and other claimants seeking to maximize cash on their claims against the Debtors, as reflected by the composition of the Committee.

"The season ticket holders are not focused on cash payments but rather on the preservation of the Dodgers, the integrity of the team, the financial success of the team, the retention of the team as a Los Angeles team. Overall, the long-term viability of the team. Most of the members of the Ad Hoc Committee of Season Ticket Holders have held season tickets since the inception of Dodger Stadium (and before when the Dodgers first played at the Coliseum). The Ad Hoc Committee represents the interests of the public (we understand there are approximately 17,000 season ticket holders) who have supported the Dodgers franchise for years, whether a season ticket holder of one seat or eight seats or more. those fans whose funds paid for season tickets have been securitized and utilized for the Dodgers organization.

"For these compelling reasons, we believe the Ad Hoc Committee should be made an official committee whose expenditures in these bankruptcy cases are paid by the Debtors' estates, just like the Official unsecured creditors' committee who represents the separate interests of general unsecured creditors."

Document: Ticket Holders' Request

Related: No Quick Decision on Merchandise Contract

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