Report: Tribune, Ricketts reach Cubs deal

July 7, 2009 4:31:32 AM PDT
The Cubs may have a new owner soon. The Tribune Company reports it has reached a deal to sell the team, Wrigley Field and other assets for about $900 million. According to a Ricketts family spokesperson, the deal is 97 percent done. The family has been talking to the Tribune company since January.

As the sun set on a winning night at Wrigley Field, many fans hoped new ownership would mark the dawn of a new day for the Cubs.

"Change is good. I think it's going to be good that we have a personal owner instead of a company," said Billy Williams, Cubs fan.

Soon, the bankrupt Tribune Company may be handing over the keys to Wrigley Field and the Cubs to the Ricketts family. The deal is led by Chicago investment banker Tom Ricketts, who reportedly has reached a deal for just under $900 million.

Crain's Chicago Business reporter Ann Saphir says once finalized, the new owners should represent major change.

"The father and mother are involved, children are involved and they intend for their children to be involved. They are very long term as opposed to a company that goes quarter to quarter," said Saphir.

The Ricketts say, as lifelong Cubs fans, getting to the World Series is their goal.

"He wants the Cubs to be winners and he thinks he can do it better than anyone else," said Saphir.

That sounded pretty good to many Cubs fans on Monday night who say after so many years of suffering, the corporation had its shot so bring on the family.

"Tribune Company did the same thing over and over," said Jerry Lorenzo, Cubs fan.

"Well, if they can bankroll a team and go to the World Series, that's what we're looking for, right?" said Chris Burt, Cubs fan.

The Ricketts will get the Cubs, Wrigley Field, and a 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet, but the deal must first be approved by Major League Baseball and the bankruptcy court, and that could take weeks if not months.


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