Tribune Co. Sells Cubs And Wrigley Field To Ricketts Family

Posted Aug 21, 2009

Tribune Company has been dealing with selling off their properties over the last couple of years.  Now the deal is finally done and 95% of the Chicago Cubs along with Wrigley Field in Chicago will be sold to the Ricketts Family for $845 million.  This deal is pending approval by the federal bankruptcy court and Major League Baseball.

The Tribune Company would have 5% remaining in the joint venture.  This includes 25% share in Comcast SportsNet.  The entity that owns the Cubs assets will be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy so ?that the franchise can emerge free and clear of Tribune Company?s financial obligations.?

Tribune bought Wrigley Field from the Wrigley family in 1981 for about $20 million.  Tribune WGN radio and TV stations will keep the long-term rights as part of the deal.

At one point, Mark Cuban was involved in the bidding war.  The Ricketts family won the bid.  Joe Ricketts founded TD Ameritrade which is now being run by his son Tom.  Tom is a huge Cubs fan and grew up watching games there.  He once lived in an apartment above a bar across the street from Wrigley field.  Tom met his wife at a Cubs game.