1. Thursday, January 22, 2009

    hey hey cub fans! 

    the chicago breaking news blog is reporting that the Cubs have Ricketts!

    After nearly two years of intrigue, the billionaire Ricketts family has emerged as the winning bidder to purchase the Chicago Cubs from Tribune Co. for about $900 million, sources close to the situation said this evening.

    The family will now complete negotiations with Tribune Co.

    The family edged out Chicago real-estate investor Hersch Klaff and New York private-equity investor Marc Utay, a Chicago native, for the chance to follow Tribune Co., the Chicago-based media conglomerate, as owners of the storied yet hard-luck franchise.

    The Ricketts family effort, led by Tom Ricketts, who lives in the Chicago area, still has a number of hurdles to cross before taking ownership of the Cubs, including receiving approval from 23 of the league’s 30 owners.

    Cubs officials have said they hope to have sale completed by the start of the new season in April.

    The deal would represent a return to family ownership for the Cubs. Before Tribune took control of the team in 1981, the Wrigley family, founders of the chewing-gum company, owned the Cubs for 65 years. The clan sold the team and Wrigley Field to the media company, which owns the Chicago Tribune, for $20.5 million.

    In Chicago, the Ricketts family is hardly as well known as the Wrigleys, or any of the current owners of the city’s major professional sports franchises, but certainly that would change quickly for the new custodians of one of the country’s best-known teams, as well as one of its most storied stadiums. Along with the Cubs, the Ricketts are buying Wrigley Field, and a 25 percent stake in a regional cable sports network.

    when i was a lad i used to think, “one day i will have $20 million to buy the Cubs.” nowadays i wonder if kids are thinking “one day i will have $900 million to buy them”? either way. i hope lindsay ricketts, above, will let me have some free bleacher seats whenever im in town, seeing as her family now has the keys to the friendly confines.