Sale of Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field complete
The sale of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, its stadium and a quarter of the Comcast Sportsnet cable TV network by the Tribune Co. to billionaire Joe Ricketts has finally taken place.
The Chicago Cubs is one of baseball’s most venerable franchises (albeit a habitually losing team) and its stadium, Wrigley Field, is a national landmark. The Cubs have not been to the World Series since 1945 and have not won it since 1908. The Chicago-based Tribune Co., which owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and other newspapers and TV stations, expects to gain about $740 million from the deal. The Tribune Co. retains a 5% stake in the team. The company announced in April 2007 that the team and stadium would be sold at the end of the 2007 season, but the collapse of the credit markets and Tribune Corp.'s 2008 bankruptcy filing slowed the deal. A Chicago investment banker, Joe Ricketts is a die-hard Cubs fan who grew up watching the team, once lived in an apartment across the street from Wrigley and first met his wife in the stands at a game there. Sports loyalties matter in a place like Chicago. More: BusinessWeek