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Thread: Chicago Cubs For Sale

  1. #1
    That's all folks! Unklescott's Avatar
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    Chicago Cubs For Sale

    It seems like The Chicago Tribune has owned the Cubs forever. Dags, are you going make an offer?
    Prominent names mentioned as possible Cubs' buyers
    Associated Press

    CHICAGO -- Tribune Co. said it plans to sell the Chicago Cubs at the end of the 2007 baseball season, putting one of its most valuable assets on the block as it simultaneously announced Monday that real estate magnate Sam Zell was acquiring the media conglomerate.

    Analysts have estimated that the Cubs could fetch $600 million or more. Tribune bought the team in 1981 for $20.5 million.


    "The Cubs have been an important part of Tribune for more than 25 years and are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports," said Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune chairman, president and chief executive officer. "In our last season of ownership, the team has one mission, and that is to win for our great fans."

    Tribune said the company's 25 percent interest in Comcast SportsNetChicago would be part of the sale package.

    The Cubs' strength as a sports franchise -- and the lure of potentially steering them to their first championship since 1908 -- has attracted the interest of many potential buyers. Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, actor Bill Murray and columnist George Will are among those rumored to have interest, along with numerous Chicago business figures.

    Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the NBA's Phoenix Suns and former owner of both the Suns and baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, told The Associated Press in November that he would have "great interest" in buying his hometown baseball franchise if it became available and had already held preliminary discussions with others who might join him in a bid.

    Speculation that the struggling Tribune Co. might sell the Cubs ramped up last fall when it put itself up for possible sale, under pressure from disgruntled shareholders. It intensified with the club's offseason spending spree, including signing outfielder Alfonso Soriano to an eight-year contract for $136 million -- the fifth-richest contract in major league history.

    Tribune had said for months that it would focus first on a sale of the entire company before considering selling individual pieces, which also include 23 television stations and 11 newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Newsday and eight other dailies.


    That sale was announced Monday morning when it said it had agreed to a complex deal in which Tribune will go private and billionaire Zell will invest $315 million in the deal.

    Cubs President John McDonough said the mission has not changed for the team.

    "The goal is to win a World Series for our great fans," he said. "Under the leadership of Lou Piniella, we are on track and believe 2007 will be a very successful season."

    The fact the ownership change will not occur until after the season will help maintain the focus on day-to-day operations, he said.

    While the Cubs are renowned for their losing ways, they also have become more of a box-office success under Tribune's ownership and have spent dramatically more money in recent years, as McDonough noted.

    Others who expressed interest in buying the Cubs recently include Chicago businessman Don Levin, owner of the Chicago Wolves minor-league hockey team, and a prospective ownership group of 15 investors that includes Tom Begel, chairman of Chicago-based TMB Industries.
    ESPN.com - MLB - Tribune Co. will sell Cubs after 2007 season

  2. #2
    FORT Fogey Johnsonator's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Cubs For Sale

    I think someone said Mark Cuban's interesting in buying them.

  3. #3
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    Re: Chicago Cubs For Sale

    This has been all over the news here in the Omaha area because the Ricketts family is also interested in buying the Cubs. Pete Ricketts ran for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska last year and was defeated by Sen. Ben Nelson.


    Tribune: Ricketts family may bid on Cubs


    Tribune: Ricketts family may bid on Cubs

    OMAHA, Neb.

    The family of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.'s founder Joe Ricketts is now part of the crowd of potential buyers for the Chicago Cubs baseball franchise, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

    The Tribune report relied on anonymous sources who said the Ricketts family had signed a nondisclosure agreement with Cubs owner Tribune Co., which plans to sell the club after the season. The Ricketts family is reportedly also filling out a Major League Baseball application, so it will be eligible to bid on the franchise.

    Representatives of the Ricketts family declined to comment on the report when contacted by The Associated Press Thursday.

    The Ricketts family includes Joe Ricketts, who built Omaha-based Ameritrade, and his sons, Chicago investment banker Thomas Ricketts and Pete Ricketts, who ran for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska last year and lost to Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson.

    The Cubs team is up for sale because its owner, the Tribune Co., is selling itself to Chicago real estate mogul Sam Zell for $8.2 billion. That deal was contingent on the media company selling its non-core assets, including one of the most fabled franchises in sports.

    Astronomical prices are expected for the Cubs. Forbes estimated the value of the Cubs at $592 million in April. Only four baseball franchises had higher values in the magazine's annual list: the Yankees at $1.2 billion, the New York Mets at $736 million, the Boston Red Sox at $724 million and the Los Angeles Dodgers at $632 million.

    But the Ricketts family likely has the resources. In March, Forbes estimated that Joe Ricketts and his family were worth about $2.3 billion.

    Joe Ricketts still serves as chairman of Ameritrade's board of directors.

    His son Thomas Ricketts serves on Ameritrade's board, and he is chief executive of Chicago-based Incapital Holdings LLC, a technologically oriented investment banking firm.

    Thomas Ricketts earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Chicago and worked at the Chicago Board Options Exchange before forming Incapital with several partners.

    Thomas Ricketts' younger siblings, Todd and Laura, also live in Chicago. Todd and Laura Ricketts helped start a nature-based travel Web site called Ecotravel.Com.

    Tribune shares rose 8 cents Thursday to close at $29.98.

  4. #4
    Shark Week! dagwood's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Cubs For Sale

    **furiously counting change**

    Somehow I doubt they would accept what I could offer.
    He who laughs last thinks slowest

    Maybe we should chug on over to namby pamby land where we can find some self confidence for you, you jackwagon!

  5. #5
    FORT Fogey Johnsonator's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Cubs For Sale

    I wonder if Mark Cuban could bid enough, to get the Cubs.

  6. #6
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Cubs For Sale

    Unk, it's not the Chicago Tribune that actually owns the Cubs, but its parent company--the Tribune Company (which also owns the Los Angeles Times etc.).

  7. #7
    FORT Fogey Johnsonator's Avatar
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    Re: Chicago Cubs For Sale

    Well I wonder who will get them. The Cubs are on fire right now by the way lol.

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