Sam Zell, the now owner of the Tribune Co., which includes the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, and a percentage of Comcast SportsNet Chicago said yesterday that he wishes to retain minority ownership in the Cubs; a way to protect his television and radio assets, as well as see tax benefits.
Speaking in Denver as part of a tour of all Tribune assets, Zell addressed the sale of the Cubs. As reported by Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune:
"In all likelihood, the company will keep some kind of minority interest in the Cubs," Zell said, as he reiterated his interest in letting a new owner take over.
"An asset like that is an extraordinary asset for ego gratification and identification, none of which the Tribune took advantage of … nor do I think they were capable of doing that," he said. "It belongs in entrepreneurial hands and I think that would benefit the team, the city and, for sure, Tribune."
Zell did not expand on what percentage Tribune would look to retain.
Zell has mentioned that he would like to sell the Cubs and Wrigley Field as soon as possible, but the financial books that were reportedly to be delivered several weeks ago have yet to arrive in the hands of bidders for the storied franchise. The words “arrive shortly” have repeatedly surfaced.
Madison Dearborne Partners CEO, John Canning, Jr., along with the Ricketts family and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban are three of the eight that have put deposits down for the right to bid.
OTHER STORIES ON THE SALE OF THE CUBS: