ARLINGTON-JUNE 2: Ariel shot of ball field during the Kansas City Royals game against the Texas Rangers at The Ballpark in Arlington, Texas on June 2, 2002. The Rangers won 8-6. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The following news release was issued Wednesday morning from Hicks' PR firm, The LeMaster Group.
Ballpark Real Estate (BRE), the group owned by Thomas O. Hicks and other investors, and Rangers Baseball Express, owned by the so-called Greenberg-Ryan group bidding to purchase the Texas Rangers, today announced the termination of a land sale agreement involving 154 acres around Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The two groups said they mutually agreed to the termination of the land sale agreement to help create a “level playing field” at Wednesday’s auction of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club.
Last week, Bankruptcy Judge Michael Lynn rejected an enhanced bid from Greenberg-Ryan that would have removed the land from the franchise bidding and canceled the auction. Lynn ordered the auction to proceed although bidders have been instructed not to include the land as part of the Rangers assets. However, until late yesterday, the land sale agreement was still in force between Express and BRE.
“This is all about good faith,” said Philip Danze, attorney for BRE. “We don’t want any confusion about what is included or rights that only one bidder would have. The sale is for the Texas Rangers Baseball Partners assets, and that does not include the land.”
Tom Hicks, the majority owner of BRE, said his investment group purchased the property in 1998 because we saw it as a strong long-term investment.
“That’s the reason we wanted to keep it, but when serious bidders last December insisted on a sale, we agreed because we wanted to do everything in our power to make this transaction possible,” said Hicks. “Now, this contract seems to have become a point of contention in this proceeding, so the right thing to do is formally cancel the agreement. Hopefully, in the future, we will be able to develop a retail and entertainment area close to the Ballpark.”