Kap's Corner

**Breaking News** The Cubs Sale is Done!

As we first reported a week ago that it would happen by today, the agreement to sell the Chicago Cubs has been signed between the Tribune Company and the Ricketts family. The deal is for 845 million dollars and will be for a 95% stake in the ballclub, Wrigley Field, and Tribune Company's 25% stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

The Tribune Company will retain a 5% ownership interest but the Ricketts family will have total control of the operation of the baseball team. The next step will be to place the franchise into Chapter 11 so that the bankruptcy court can approve the transaction. After that step is completed then Major League Baseball's other owners will need to approve the transaction. Both of these steps are considered a formality and the Ricketts family is expected to assume control of the franchise sometime after the World Series is completed.

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As we first reported last week, the Tribune Company and the Ricketts family have signed an agreement to sell a controlling interest in the team and Wrigley Field to the Ricketts family. The deal is pending Major League Baseball approval.

 

MLB's next quarterly owners meeting is ironically in Chicago in November but the approval of the sale could be done via teleconference before then so that Tom Ricketts who is leading the family's ownership group could start to make critical decisions about the franchise's direction before free agency begins in early November.

Fans are already speculating on just what the new ownership group's first move will be but sources close to the sale process tell me that Tom Ricketts is not an impulsive person and that he will survey the situation with the ball club before he makes drastic changes to the front office and the team itself.

The sale process has been a difficult one and has dragged on for 28 months since the team was put on the block on Opening Day of the 2007 baseball season but this step is a huge one in the right direction because the club has been without definitive ownership since early 2007 when the Tribune Company was purchased by Sam Zell. From that point on the team has been on the block and speculation about its future has been major news. Now the team will have direction and a fresh approach as they try to win a World Series for the first time since 1908.

As for the radio future of the Cubs here is the latest after the agreement was signed today:

"As part of the sale, WGN Radio will remain as the radio play by play home of the Chicago Cubs, and we look forward to our continued partnership with the club for many years to come," said Tom Langmyer, Vice President and General manager of WGN Radio.

More to come on this story as it develops. Kap

 

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14 Comments

IvyChatChuck said:

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Sorry, Kap. It's not "done." The sale contract is "finalized." All this does is lock in the Ricketts as the exclusive bidder. For the deal to be done, several things have to happen:

1) Financing must be secured (perhaps already is, but there are no published reports saying so).
2) Courts must bless the transaction.
3) MLB owners have to approve.
4) Cash must change hands from Ricketts to the Tribune.

So far, only #3 is a lock to happen.

This is as "done" as home sale that is "Under Contract."

Karry Ling said:

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This is just the kind of thing that can turn a struggling team around. I'm sure the North Side Nine will take the field tonight in LA with a new sense of purpose.

Great scoop, Dave. Especially if it had happened a month or so ago.

mo said:

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Kap .. POST THESE 3 votes online please.:

!. Should LOU PINELLA be fired (now, at end of season. before next year starts)

2. Should Hendry be fired (now, at end of season. before next year

3. SORIANO be benched ???

mo said:

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I cant stand Soriano and DONT know why does ?LOU will NOT start Hill against a lefty. He hits better from the right side due to his hand injury . Lou only starts Fuld against a lefty WHY Fuld bats lefty ???

mo said:

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Here' my lineup against a righty . What do you think .. LOU says his team is NOT suited for big outfield. I think he wrong.. Fuld,Johnson.Fuku can handle any outfield..

against a righty:

1. Fuld lf
2, Theriot ss
3. Lee 1st
4, Ramirex 3rd
5. Fuku rf
6. Baker 2nd
7. Johnson cf
8. Fox catching or any other catcher
9 pitcher

Against a lefty :

1. Theriot ss
2. Johnson cf
3. Lee 1st
4. Ramirez 3rd
5. Bradley rf
6. Baker 2nd
7. Fox or Soriano lf
8. Soto catch
9. Pitcher


Jerry said:

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Chuck

You are talking semantics!! If Ricketts couldn't get the financing the deal wouldn't have been signed. The "deal" is done but the process isn't.

IvvChat Chuck said:

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The financing wasn't done in January when the "deal" was first announced.

That's clearly one of the several reasons the price is lower by $100 million than it was 6 months ago.

Karry Ling said:

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It's not semantics. The Cubs have not been sold yet. They do not have a new owner.

daddyo said:

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Dang Kap, see what ya started?,just kiddin'. Cant believe Ricketts doesnt have his ducks in a row as far as the "bucks" go even though the rest of us arent privy to it yet. Sure is a real welcome bit of news to me.

Jerry said:

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The Ricketts family was chosen in January to negotiate the final deal with the Tribune. That didn't mean it was done in January. The agreement has been signed and they are moving on to the approvals by the bankruptcy court and the MLB owners. If the financing had not been secured then the deal wouldn't have been signed. Why would they?

Karry Ling said:

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Congratulations, Kap. Phil Rogers made more sense than you. Now that's a neat trick: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-23-rogers-cubs-sale-aug23,0,6131927.column

drwallyball said:

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Ricketts deserve to rename Wrigley Field to Ricketts Field, the neighborhood will always be Wrigleyville, but after spending 8.5 million they deserve it. Remember the Wrigley's sold out!

drwallyball said:

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oops typo Thats 850 million

tbianco592 said:

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Kap....use the same headline, except replace "sale is' with "are"...

...the fat chick is chirping....

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