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Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Rally

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive was a solid, seething mass of Blackhawks black and red Friday as fans jammed what's usually one of Chicago's busiest intersections to welcome the Stanley Cup back to town after 49 years away. 

Gallery sneak peek (4 images):

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Landing Lebron

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

Chicago could be a front-runner in the race to lure free agent LeBron James. What's at stake for the Bulls and for the local economy?

Chicago Business Today June 1 2010

Stanley Cup spillover

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

Lisa Leiter talks with sports marketing expert Marc Ganis about what a Stanley Cup win would mean for the Blackhawks and the local economy.

Chicago Business Today May 28 2010

Betting on custom golf clubs

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

Technology venture capitalist Keith Bank and partners are betting on the latest craze in the golf business: custom clubs. They aim to turn a Chicago-area outfit into a nationwide chain of shops aimed at serious golfers looking for an edge.

Chicago Business Today May 6 2010

Ricketts era begins

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

There are W flags waving in Wrigleyville again as a new Cubs season gets underway today. And new owner, Tom Ricketts, has been busy. We take a look at what changes Cubs fans can expect this year.

Chicago Business Today April 12 2010

Big 10 expansion plans

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

The Big 10 wants to play ball with another school, but which one? We talk to Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delany about the game-changing move of adding one more team to the conference.

Chicago Business Today March 3 2010

Wrigley Field naming rights

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

Buried in a deed for the landmark stadium is a letter detailing a naming-rights deal between the Tribune and the Wrigley Family. Will the Ricketts family change the name of the famous ballpark or add a corporate sponsor? Also find out how Tom Ricketts is shuffling the financing  for his deal with the Cubs.

Chicago Business Today January 6, 2010

Tiger Woods' "Transgressions"

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

Tiger Woods breaks his silence and issues a statement admitting to "personal sins" and saying "I have let my family down." Lisa talks with former sports agent Steve Zucker about what Woods needs to do to maintain his billion-dollar brand.

Chicago Business Today Dec 2 2009

Meet the Ricketts

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

By now you've probably read about new Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and his plans to fix the Wrigley Field bathrooms. We got our shot at Mr. Ricketts yesterday. The video interview is below, and the accompanying story is here.

Chicago Business Today, Oct. 30, 2009

Cubs days away from new owners

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

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The Chicago Cubs are expected to have new owners by the end of next week, as the family of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. founder Joe Ricketts completes its $845-million purchase of the team.

Chicago-based bond salesman Thomas Ricketts, who has led his family's bid during a 2½-year-long process, will be chairman of an enterprise that also owns Wrigley Field and a 25% stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Tribune Co., which bought the team for about $20 million in 1981, will keep a 5% stake in the business as a way to avoid a hefty capital gains tax.

Earlier this month, approvals from Major League Baseball and a judge overseeing Tribune's bankruptcy case cleared the way for the transaction. The team is running out the clock on a 10-day period for objectors to register any dissent in Bankruptcy Court. That period will be up early next week; the deal's close is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, one insider says, although such dates can easily slip.

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White Sox launch new tech venture

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

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Ed Sherman at Crain's has learned that on Monday, the White Sox will officially announce the launch of a new business operation that has nothing to do with baseball.

The team has created Silver Chalice Ventures, a subsidiary that will focus initially on developing digital platforms for clients but ultimately could branch out into almost anything, according to Brooks Boyer, Sox chief marketing officer.

The company already helped develop a mobile application for the Southeastern Conference, among other ventures. That application lets fans of the University of Florida, Louisiana State University and other football powers get live score updates, news and game highlights on their iPhones.

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Bears sue Webio's Hernandez over unpaid ads

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

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The Chicago Bears claim a jailed businessman accused of running an $11-million Ponzi scheme has defrauded the pro football team out of $50,000 in sponsorship funds.

The Chicago Bears Football Club Inc. is suing David Hernandez, a convicted felon who in June was accused by federal authorities of violating the Securities Exchange Act as well as bilking investors out of $3.5 million.

Mr. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges; he also faces civil charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Read more about the suit. 


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Golf in Olympics; winners and losers

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

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Tiger Woods now will be able to add a gold medal to his trophy case.

 Golf was officially approved Friday to be a sport in the 2016 Olympics. Where are they are being held again? I have serious doubts whether golf will get much attention during the game.

Also, check out Business of Sports blogger Ed Sherman's weekly winners and losers feature.



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Bears among NFL elite - in ticket prices

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

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Bears fans who're choking down a Game 1 loss, Jay Cutler's interceptions and Brian Urlacher's busted wrist probably don't want to hear that it costs more to see their team play than all but two others in the league.

Bears' tickets are fourth-most expensive in the NFL, but when you start adding in food, souvenirs and beer, they jump to third. Of course if the season gets worse, they'll probably sell fewer souvenirs. But maybe more beer. Hard to predict.

Anyway, Ed Sherman breaks down the cost of loving it live -- as gently as he can.

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Crain's Golf Blog: Chicago witnesses history

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

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Golf fans in Chicago are witnessing history up close, as Tiger Woods is doing some of his best work around town. His 62 on Saturday at the BMW Championship at Cog Hill, and his 8-shot win Sunday means that nearly 10% of his 71 PGA victories have taken place in front of our eyes.

Since turning pro in 1997, he has won 5 of 11 starts at Cog Hill. He is 2 for 2 at Medinah Country Club with two PGA Championships. Only Olympia Fields has eluded him, as he failed to win the 2003 U.S. Open.

This year's BMW makes it tougher on Cog Hill to win a U.S. Open. Read the rest of Ed's blog, which includes his usual Birdies and Bogeys feature.

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Cutler drives ratings for Bears/Broncos pre-season game to 5-year high

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

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The Jay Cutler drama made NBC a big winner Sunday. The Bears-Denver game did a 7.3 overnight rating, making it the most-watched preseason game for any network in five years; 1 ratings point is the equivalent of more than 1 million households.

Ed Sherman's Business of Sports blog says the Bears also scored in a big way in Chicago. The game did a 22.6 rating and 36 share; 1 local ratings point is worth more than 35,000 homes and share is the percentage of televisions tuned to the telecast.



Sherman: McDowell throwing hard

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

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Crain's blogger (and Sox fan) Ed Sherman likes Jack McDowell's blog because Black Jack doesn't pull punches.

"I'll out-argue anyone," the former Sox ace tells Sherman. Read the post.

Cubs on-air deal: What hath Ricketts bought?

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

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One of the many speed bumps in the Cubs sale process was a negotiation over broadcast rights. The Cubs are an enormous draw, even when they suck (or should we say, even though they suck--101 years and all), and Tribune didn't want to give up its highly lucrative deal to air their games on its WGN-TV and radio stations. Ricketts presumably wanted Tribune to pay up for that.

Ultimately the two sides agreed to keep the Cubs on WGN through 2022--with some games still running on Comcast SportsNet (which the Cubs, and now Mr. Ricketts, own part of).

There must be more to it than that. Ed Sherman breaks it down.

Ricketts' plan for rickety Wrigley

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

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We're starting to get a sense of the direction Tom Ricketts may take the Cubs. Earlier today ESPN 1000 reported that Ricketts plans to retain team president Crane Kenney -- an old Tribune hand. That would seem to bode well for GM Jim Hendry and the rest of the front office.

And Crain's Sr. Reporter Mike Colias has gained some insight on Ricketts' plans for cramped, crumbling, revenue-under-generating Wrigley Field. Ricketts is likely to wait four or five years before undertaking a major ballpark renovation. It may take him that long to figure out how to pay for it. What he's planning may surprise you. Check it out.

Cubs sale: Now the hard part

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ChicagoBusiness Insider

Crain's Chicago Business has been the leading source of news and insight on the city's economic scene for over 30 years.

Yesterday's news that the Tribune has - finally - agreed on terms to sell the Cubs to the Ricketts family for $800 million brings to a merciful conclusion (well, almost - the deal is expected to close in October) a nearly three-year process.

Tom Ricketts met his wife in the Wrigley Field bleachers. Now, for better or worse, he owns the place.

But for Tom Ricketts, the Cubs' new boss, the hard work is just beginning. He's got to fix Wrigley Field. He's got to raise revenue in the teeth of a recession. Oh, and his team is a mess, on the verge of missing the playoffs even with baseball's third-highest payroll.

What will Ricketts do? Hard to say, but there are some options. Back in May, Crain's Ed Sherman talked to former Cubs (and current Sox) broadcaster Steve Stone about the prospect of Ricketts ownership - and the Cubs' financial bind. Stone figured Ricketts had one optIon: jack up ticket prices. Stone had lots of other insights. Check it out.

On the other hand, maybe Ricketts will look beyond raising prices. A year ago Crain's Ann Saphir reported that Ricketts had met with Boston Red Sox management about the innovative ways they've squeezed more dollars out of a beloved-but-decrepit ballpark. The piece is also a good introduction to Ricketts, if you don't happen to know him. Here's the story.

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