SBD/August 16, 2011/Franchises

MLB Rangers Suing Former Owner Tom Hicks For More Than $35M

The MLB Rangers are suing former owner Tom Hicks “in state district court in Dallas, alleging that he enriched himself at the expense of the club,” according to Gary Jacobson of DALLAS MORNING NEWS. JPMorgan Chase Bank, "on behalf of creditors, now seeks at least $35.4 million from Hicks, alleging that he was wrongly relieved of an obligation to invest more of his own money in his sports holding company” to support the team. The filed complaint states HSG Holdings, Hicks’ company, “attempted to conceal the fraudulent nature of the commitment termination.” The complaint was filed yesterday, and Hicks spokesperson Lisa LeMaster said, “We welcome the opportunity to challenge these allegations in court.” Jacobson reports the lawsuit “filed on behalf of Texas Rangers Baseball Partners and its bankruptcy plan administrator” says that Hicks used more than $30M "from the Rangers to buy land and build parking lots” for Ballpark Real Estate LP, a Hicks-controlled company. The complaint states Hicks “embarked on a scheme to build a real estate empire on the backs of Texas Rangers’ players and creditors and fans of the team” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/16). In Ft. Worth, Barry Shlachter reports LeMaster rejected the lawsuit’s claims “as baseless and said they represent a ‘bizarre flip-flop' by the team’s major creditors.” JPMorgan Chase asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge D. Michael Lynn to “disallow a $5.6 million claim by Hicks on the Rangers’ bankruptcy assets, asserting that it is not a loan by the team owner but an infusion of equity” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM,  8/16).

REMEMBERING A FALLEN FAN: The Rangers yesterday announced plans for a future statue outside Rangers Ballpark that will honor Shannon Stone, the fan who died from injuries suffered in a ballpark fall July 7. The full-size bronze statue, tentatively named Rangers Fans, should be in place for the '12 season. It will depict Stone and his six-year-old son, Cooper, attending a Rangers game and will likely be located outside the home plate gate. The Rangers will fund the project and are in the early stages of considering sculptors to design and create the statue (Rangers).
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Franchises, Texas Rangers

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