apply online for barclays bank credit card credit cards to rebuild your credit rating prepaid credit cards no fees best indusind bank credit cards review online payday advance california apply for a mastercard debit how to apply for a credit card with bad credit on online best hotel rewards credit card uk list of online loan sharks online visa card application does paypal accept virtual credit cards cash back mastercard credit cards best rewards credit card us bank find lowest rate credit cards royal bank secured credit card in canada sheer black cardigan women;s payday loan no credit check online credit card reward points comparison wells fargo credit card machines for small business gnc gold card discount credit card number sample with cvv cheapest credit card rates in sa capital one credit card services login convert prepaid visa card to cash what;s the best credit card to get fast online cash advance 90 day pay loans citibank credit card payment emi calculator credit card debt help forum how to pay for android apps without credit card apple credit card scanner best canadian reward credit cards 2011 how to check bpi credit card application status online credit cards with low interest rates and no annual fees rbs credit cards online payment credit card charges abroad nationwide 24 month zero percent interest credit cards loan with bad credit uk credit cards for business start up wells fargo credit card rewards credit card comparison chart anz platinum card travel insurance terms and conditions valid visa credit card number 2011 maybank credit card 0 interest installment apply for credit card with airmiles best credit card to build credit rating online applications for credit cards with bad credit planet fitness black card cancellation fee square iphone credit card processing canada can a credit card company sue you after 7 years citibank credit card payment billdesk credit card comparison site india natwest black credit card bank of america credit card fraud alert quick cash payday loans north augusta sc getting a chip and pin credit card in the us qatar airways credit card verification can i apply for a walmart credit card and use it the same day how long to get a credit card after bankruptcy discharge credit card protection plans complaints apply for mastercard debit card new hdfc credit card charges apply for ge credit card online guaranteed payday loans for bad credit uk bank of america credit card uk apply icici credit card helpline india best gas reward cards is it illegal to charge for credit card processing fees barclay credit card application status how old to apply for walmart credit card how to redeem sbi credit card reward points online balance on credit card credit score iphone credit card reader starbucks payday online loans direct lenders pay american airlines credit card how to reduce credit card debt without hurting your credit fake credit card information that works online do i need a credit card to rent a car in the uk what is the best way to consolidate my credit card debt no annual fee travel credit cards canada mobile credit card processing reviews uk american express platinum card benefits review should i pay off my high interest credit cards first whats the average credit card limit how long does it take to get a credit card in canada prepaid credit cards uk euro best fast cash payday loans no foreign transaction fee prepaid credit card best credit card business rewards united credit card offer 60000 what do i need to apply for a credit card in canada credit card no credit history college student payment address for bank of america credit cards credit card limits are included in m1 or m2 state bank of india new credit card apply chinatrust visa cash card enrollment form car loans with bad credit low interest rate how can i get a best buy credit card with no credit how do i calculate monthly interest on a credit card balance transfer credit card bank rakyat easy to get unsecured credit cards with poor credit chase freedom visa credit card application start accepting credit cards online can you transfer credit card balance to another person chase first usa credit card store reward cards on android valid credit card information online travel rewards cards for average credit credit card fees for merchants ontario hdfc credit card application form for change of mobile number cibc lowest interest credit card amazon visa card wiki easy credit cards to get approved for with bad credit canada credit card travel miles no foreign transaction fee credit card citibank types of credit card fraud in india credit card 0 interest balance transfer credit cards abroad compare mastercard careers brassring business cash advances apply for barclays credit card online unsecured first premier credit card best buy reward zone credit card app what is the best travel rewards credit card in canada 2012 gift credit cards australia money saving expert best credit card for purchases starwood rewards credit card canada college students and credit cards debt virgin credit card online login visa black card credit score requirements secured orchard credit card credit card fraud punishment uk chase southwest airlines business credit card number activate cibc credit card mbna rate for life credit card reviews credit card with no international exchange fees best usaa credit card for active duty accept all major credit cards visa debit cards bank of ireland which credit card is best in india yahoo answers shell gas credit cards online easier get credit card credit union types of us bank credit cards usaa lost credit card phone number super fast payday loans balance transfer fee credit card reward credit card review canada top 10 uk credit cards if i apply for a credit card online can i use it immediately where do i mail my capital one credit card payment credit cards instant approval good credit which bank easiest to get credit card credit card information free 2013 top 10 uk credit card companies cibc visa cash back award unsecured loans online decision commonwealth bank cash advance rate free prepaid visa card hsbc credit card apply online chennai united credit card offer 50 000 top rated credit cards with rewards credit score required for credit card canada rci bank of america credit card login prepaid credit card paypal top up how to reduce credit card debt without ruining credit applying for a credit card for the first time with no credit lane bryant credit card customer service phone number credit union uk what are the major banks that offer credit cards in philippines payday loans online no credit check instant approval south africa bank of america credit card exchange rates citibank credit cards balance transfer offers credit cards for those with very bad credit best buy total rewards credit card southwest visa business credit card how to use a credit card machine video qantas frequent flyer credit card comparison balance transfer credit cards uk secured credit card bad credit uk good air mile credit cards hdfc credit card rewards catalogue titanium prepaid canadian credit cards best cashback credit card in india 2012 hdfc bank credit card reward offers pay amazon bank of america credit card credit cards for bad credit online application national city credit card pnc instant approval credit cards for bad or no credit bank of america credit card customer service uk hdfc offer credit card holder bad credit loan companies list compare business credit cards uk next pay loans bad credit amex credit card promotions philippines mobile credit card processing for blackberry torch virgin prepaid credit card home depot credit card services customer service visa cards with rewards cheap car finance bad credit miles and more credit card swiss air call capital 1 credit card service which credit card should i get quiz free credit card numbers generator download kisan credit card interest rate sbi virtual visa cards uk credit card applications online in india visa credit card student canada compare platinum and titanium credit cards credit card numbers that work 2011 visa mastercard working numbers hack halifax ultimate reward credit card compare credit card interest rates ireland activate usaa credit card online citibank credit card offer on ebay get a credit card instantly with bad credit no interest no payment credit card offers bank of america credit card 0 apr credit card fraud detection project source code citibank credit card rewards program credit card rate comparison calculator credit card loan consolidation rates view icici bank credit card statement good credit cards for limited credit history santander 123 cashback credit card review marks and spencer credit card charges abroad hdfc credit card customer care number india credit card verification phone number hilton hhonors credit card visa login best credit card offers usa need a loan with bad credit and no checking account citi american airlines credit card application status icici credit card helpline mumbai aqua credit card contact best no fee credit card for international travel low interest rate credit card australia british airways visa credit card usa credit card settlement process can i get a credit card if im under 18 capital one joint credit card instant online cash loans in cape town free credit cards that works info best travel rewards credit card 2012 with no annual fee hsbc 0 balance transfer credit cards free credit cards with no annual fee define apr for cash advances hdfc credit card payment online from hdfc new sbi credit card apply online credit card for bad credit with no deposit and instant approval pay belk credit card payment online credit card debt interest rate calculator no fee travel credit cards canada portable credit card machine for android debit visa card balance small cash loans online prepaid us credit card in canada capital one balance transfer how to get gnc gold card when will aib get visa debit cards hdfc credit card address change online walmart credit card cash advance policy how are credit card spending limits determined credit card reviews canada 2012 mastercard careers sydney inner fence llc credit card terminal generic credit card information form easy gas credit cards to get approved for i want to apply for a visa credit card online bmo prepaid travel mastercard credit card best visa travel card australia are visa debit gift cards reloadable hsbc credit card points redeem india best credit card for travelling overseas 2013 value city credit card customer service phone number hdfc credit card search citi business credit cards online best credit card payment machine account number on visa debit card citibank credit card application credit card helpline hdfc bank good credit card deals uk chase wireless credit card machines for small business credit card comparison site australia city bank credit card status online household bank credit card bill pay where to get prepaid visa cards vision visa prepaid credit card citibank credit card minimum payment percentage vanquis credit card payment number 5 gas credit cards with cash back bsnl to airtel balance transfer can you get a visa black card in canada virtual credit card number mastercard aqua credit card limit starting titanium visa prepaid credit card how do credit card limits work top credit cards for travel rewards where to mail amazon credit card payments can you get a credit card the same day you apply air canada credit card offers icici bank international credit card credit card offers for bad credit unsecured nhs black card login iphone credit card reader australia top ten credit cards 2013 is there a starbucks credit card hsbc online credit cards hdfc bank credit card application status tracking online track icici credit card application status newest verifone credit card machines aventura credit card cibc paypal credit card fees ebay credit cards with 3 gas rewards first usa credit card application american express credit card approval process credit card rewards taxable 2012 bank of america prepaid credit card application credit card online payment of hdfc can your wages be garnished for unsecured credit card debt pay off credit card student loan starwood preferred guest credit card canada how do tesco credit card points work mastercard credit card insurance coverage best credit card for rewards travel barclay credit card apple login apply for credit cards online visa gold card barclays chase freedom credit card international transaction fees visa gift cards walmart credit card payoff calculator canada rbc cash back visa redeem hdfc new credit card status cash advance credit card chase fake uk credit card number for itunes visa credit card information system customer reviews discover credit cards best online payday loans for bad credit payday loans online no credit check instant approval icici credit card charges international transaction legitimate poor credit loans credit card types uk rak bank credit card cash advance charges list best credit card processing companies best credit card to have to build credit secured business credit cards for new business natwest black card travel insurance average us personal credit card debt 0 balance transfer credit cards australia no annual fee american express costco credit card rewards apple id credit card declined tata sbi credit card online payment billdesk prepaid visa card canada vanilla hdfc credit card offer on flipkart payday advance loans online credit card for college students with no job costco credit card machine uk new york and company credit card phone number payday loans lenders online paypal mastercard prepaid ebay credit card offers india toys r us credit card login chase national city bank credit card application visa credit cards no credit check united credit card bonus points cheapest credit card machine for small business best unsecured bad credit cards best credit card for no credit history yahoo answers cash advance installment loans for bad credit lowest fixed rate credit card offers fast payday loans no credit check does td canada trust have visa debit cards bank of america credit card processing fees prepaid credit card australia woolworths business cash advance lenders compare sbi and hdfc credit card process credit card payments mobile apply online for hdfc silver credit card best rewards credit cards 2014 can a credit card company sue you in california best cash rewards credit card canada 2013 best airline rewards credit cards 2011 going over credit card limit hsbc online secured credit cards card applications gold card provident shops weekly pay loans prepaid credit cards to rebuild bad credit instant bad credit loans australia westpac credit cards rewards programs can i get a credit card without a job in india best credit cards deals 2013 credit card comparison 0 purchases best singapore credit card for overseas travel cheapest credit card processing uk best buy credit card customer service contact number best gift credit cards easy cash loans online south africa unsecured instant approval credit card mastercard credit cards with rewards does cibc have a prepaid credit card visa cards numbers free credit card rewards comparison calculator paypal virtual credit card 2012 visa credit card insurance uk does wi dmv accept credit cards mastercard credit card exchange rate canadian prepaid credit card companies chase increase credit limit request online citibank platinum credit card india best rewards cards app chase credit card payments how to choose a credit card how to block a credit card of sbi canadian tire credit card payment malaysia credit card review 2012 credit card cashback taxable income best low interest rate credit cards canada faxless no credit check payday loans online nigerian credit card fraudsters in new jersey barclay credit card apply online best canada credit cards 2012 how to get a rbc visa debit card best travel rewards credit card 2011 do you need a credit card for paypal on ebay capital one credit card transfer fee free orange pay as you go sim card with 5 free credit excel credit card apr calculator list of all credit cards in usa unsecured loan bad credit instant decision jpmorgan chase student credit card visa debit card application online best balance transfer no fee credit cards apply for credit card online canada easy store credit cards to get with bad credit us bank credit card payment processing cibc visa credit card services phone number tesco credit card points on fuel bad credit mortgage 2013 chase credit card minimum payment lawsuit monthly apr calculator credit card high credit limit credit cards for excellent credit best student credit cards with no credit no credit check credit cards set up credit card payment processing credit card credit limit decrease business loan quote online ameriloan? online cash advance payday loans - no fax credit card approval odds long term personal loans online natwest student credit card review citibank credit card instant approval pay sears credit card hsbc prepaid visa credit card australia citibank credit card credit limit calculator best credit card in canada 2013 can you sign up for netflix free trial without credit card apple app for accepting credit cards best cashback credit cards 2012 malaysia accept credit card payments mobile black and gold card provident bank of america cash rewards visa signature card review credit card processing fees law how to get a business credit card with bad personal credit canada how to get an unsecured credit card with no credit gas discount credit cards canada credit card low interest rates no annual fee free online credit card application in india visa card services online 0 credit cards transfer balance best chase credit card offers 2013 do i need a credit card for google play number to pay barclays credit card how to set up an online credit card payment system cheapest way to transfer money from credit card credit card cashback bonus offers is there a charge for using credit cards in canada annual fee free credit cards australia bad credit credit cards no deposit anz platinum credit card car rental first premier bank classic credit card reviews payday loans with bad credit how to check hdfc credit card payment history reducing credit card debt yourself best secured credit card for no credit history rbs credit cards online no credit credit card offers who has the best secured credit card citi student visa credit card login business credit cards canada rbc best low rate credit card walgreens prepaid visa credit cards credit card reviews canada fake credit card number security code and expiration date wireless credit card machine reviews best credit card canada no fee best first credit card to get uk fake credit card numbers that work best visa credit cards with no annual fee chase freedom credit card status santander credit card rate increase credit card information form html calculate credit card interest per month credit card interest rates 2013
Home All Articles Who Might Be Owning the Chicago Cubs?

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 598 guests online

Atom RSS

Who Might Be Owning the Chicago Cubs? PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
Articles & Opinion
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 28 June 2007 08:35

The Biz of Baseball ExclusiveThe Chicago Cubs – one of MLB’s crown jewels – will have a new owner in place before the start of next season. Here’s a break down of who’s in the hunt to own them.

With the All-Star Game approaching quickly, eyes are starting to focus on the sale of the Chicago Cubs — a major transaction that will happen between the end of the this season and the beginning of the 2008 season.

In-between, one of the most storied teams in all of baseball will be talked about, with the contenders and pretenders jockeying for position.

Remember this is the Cubs. They aren’t the Marlins, or A’s, or any other club for that matter, Red Sox or Yankees, the exception. The idea of owning them causes potential owners to go into Pavlovian fits of drooling that are of epic proportions. Billion dollar corporate takeovers ain’t got nothin’ up on owning a baseball treasure, and few, if any, would dispute that that is what the Cubs, and Wrigley Field are… a treasure.

The Cubs have incredible brand recognition. You go most anywhere from sea-to-shining sea and beyond, chances are, you’ll find a Cubbies fan. Walk into a Smallville USA bar or tavern, and someone is most likely wearing a Cubs cap. One might dare say that odds are pretty good that you’ll spot the trademark blue cap with the red and white “C” most anywhere around the world.

And, it’s not just The Loveable Losers that are attractive to a potential owner, it’s The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field; a place that a friend once said was like Disneyland.

“You go take some pictures. Eat some food. Take in the ride… er, ballgame.”

Wrigley is a destination unto itself.

As mentioned, with the exception of the Yankees and Red Sox, there is arguably no more valuable a commodity in MLB than the Cubs. Due to that stature, potential owners are lining up, and MLB is doing their due-diligence.

Plainly put, the Cubs are a hot commodity, and the sale price will be indicative of that. In a “supply and demand” world, MLB is preparing to see a sale, with Wrigley in tow, that may pass the $1 billion mark.

Take the figure in again… $1 billion.

Bud Selig and the rest of 245 Park have been focused on making sure that whoever offers up the ducats for the storied franchise, they fit a very particular profile. At the announcement of the sale of the Tribune Co. to Sam Zell, and with that, Zell’s announcement that he would be unloading the Cubs, Selig set the tone.

“The thing I've always said ... when viable local ownership is available, you bet," Selig said. "You always like to see local ownership, assuming everything else is good. Sometimes it just doesn't work out that way."

But, it will work out that way.

Here’s a break down of the four groups have that have stepped up, at least for now, and are making a case to MLB for the right to win the prize that is the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, a 25% stake in ComcastChicago, and Wrigley Field Premium Ticket Services, which is also part of the mix.

Select Read More to see details on who is in the mix to purchase the Cubs, as well as a history of who has owned the Cubs in the past, along with the sale prices

The Field of Four

John Canning, Jr. – Canning is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity investment firm that was recently behind the $5.7 billion purchase of Nuveen Investments and the recent $7.3 billion buyout of CDW Corp.

Canning has been rumored to be a front runner since nearly the day the Tribune Co. was sold to Sam Zell, for good reason.

As Selig mentioned, getting someone with local ties to the targeted club up for sale is extremely important in MLB. With the Cubs, it’s even more so.

Canning, and Madison Dearborn Partners are based in Chicago. While MDP will not be in the mix, Canning has strong ties to Chicago, with exceptionally deep pockets.

He also has something that the other suitors don’t have: ties to Selig. Canning is currently a minority owner in the Brewers, has known Selig and the ownership brethren for years, and actually tried out for the Milwaukee Braves at one point as a catcher.

Like the others I will mention, fully working capital has not yet been defined for the sale of the club. Rumors have Canning working with around $750 million at this time, but as with all the serious players, that figure is bound to rise.

If Canning lands the franchise, he would have to divest himself in his share of the Brewers, and there seems a very good chance that that will happen. Handicapping the field, I give Canning a 4:1 chance of landing the sale.

Jerry Colangelo – Colangelo is a sports executive that hardly needs introducing. The former owner of the Phoenix Suns, and Arizona Diamondbacks has deep ties to the Chicago area (Colangelo prepped at Bloom Township High in Chicago Heights, Ill. and grew up in Chicago Heights). He sold the Suns in April of 2004 for $401 million. During his tenure as an NBA owner, he was Chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governor, and served on the Finance Committee, Long Range Planning Committee, Expansion Committee and Competition and Rules Committee.

In the context of baseball, he was the man responsible for bringing MLB to Phoenix. He was granted an expansion team in 1995, with the Diamondbacks playing their first games in 1998. Late in the 2004 baseball season, Colangelo sold his controlling interest in the Arizona Diamondbacks to a group of investors lead by Jeff Moorad.

Colangelo has reportedly been able to pull together an ownership group with approx. $850 million in working capital. While he has been an owner in MLB, and therefore knows the Lodge, many owners are upset with the manner in which Colangelo back-loaded a number of contracts to gain high profile free agents, such as Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. While the move landed the Diamondbacks the World Series Championship in 2001, it left the club saddled with debt, which they are only now digging out from.

As one analyst mentioned to me, Colangelo might be best termed as the “Fred Malek” of the Cubs sale. Malek, you may recall, was seen as a near lock for the Washington Nationals, but in the end, was passed over in favor of local investor, Ted Lerner.

I’m handicapping Colangelo at 8:1 on his own. His prior history with the Diamondbacks works mostly against him, not for him.

That doesn’t mean that Colangelo will wind up looking in from the outside at the end of the sale. As I will get into shortly, moving pieces could come into play.

Thomas Begel and William Marovitz – Begal is the CEO of TMB Industries, a private investment firm in Chicago, and Marovitz is a former state senator and currently a restaurant owner. The interesting twist is, Marovitz is married to Christie Hefner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Playboy Enterprises, Inc. She was ranked at #80 in the Forbe’s list of the most powerful women in business.

We might be talking about these two as beyond the pretender role, if it weren’t for the fact that sources are saying they have the ability to pull together approximately $900 million of capital for the sale.

The partners, however, seem prime candidates for the role of ginning up the sale price, if that’s really necessary. Odds of them landing the Cubs: 30:1.

The Mystery Group
– Word is that there is a fourth group looming out there. One that is shifting and we have little background on at this time. This might be part of Don Levin’s effort. Levin founded D.R.L. Enterprises in 1969, which is a holding firm that including tobacco processing, aircraft and medical-equipment leasing. He also owns the minor league hockey Wolves.

And, no… here’s who appears to not be in the mystery group...

Scratch Mark Cuban and Oprah Winfrey off the list. Cuban has the ties, and the deep pockets, but his personality simply would not work with MLB. Winfrey was somehow mentioned briefly at one point as having interest, but has since clarified that she really never was.

Moving the Pieces Around on the Board

As any knows watching MLB work the sale of a franchise, Bud Selig is a master of assembling pieces together to make a stronger group. Be that with the Red Sox ownership, or more recently with putting Stan Kasten and Ted Lerner together on the sale of the Nationals, Bud moves the pieces around to get what he feels will make the strongest ownership group.

With that in mind, the idea of a Canning/Colangelo synergy seems a possibility. Word is circulating that Selig is very much concerned about the 60/40 rule on clubs carrying debt with this deal, and while this maybe nothing more than common sense given the steep sale price, the words “Jerry Colangelo” and “carrying debt” have been synonymous in the past.

One person not mentioned is Ernie Banks. He has shown interest in the past and could be placed in the mix.

Odds and Ends

Also, the sale price itself may be of interest.

MLB being able to puff up its chest and say that they sold a club for $1 billion is certainly something to consider. The figure is undoubtedly impressive.

But, associating the “B” word may actually work against MLB. Given that no sale is in a vacuum, and impacts future sales, those sitting on the sidelines might be deterred when the next sale comes up. After all, is $990 million all that bad?

And interesting sidebar will be how MLB wishes to address selection of an ownership group that may not have the highest bid. In that case, they may be able to justify the action based on the total amount of cash in the deal. 

Something else to take into consideration: Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. While the reference to Ferris Bueller is somewhat comical, it has a bearing on how some sales have gone down in the past.

Often times, it is the buyer sitting quietly on the sideline watching it all play out that has won the day. While Canning seems to have the best chance at landing the Cubs, it’s certainly not a given.

The sale of the Cubs will be a milestone in the history of MLB. To place some context around the storied franchise, here’s a time line of ownership.


 Year Sale Price
 Purchaser/Owner  Details
 1876 Charter  William Hulbert Syndicate
 Hulbert is one of eight charter members of the National League. Hulbert also serves as president of the new league.
 1882Ownership Transfer
 Albert Spalding takes over after Hulbert's death
 1902 Unknown
 John Hart 
 1905 $125,000 Charles Murphy Syndicate Funded by Cincinnati Times-Star owner Charles Taft
 1914 Unknown Charles Taft
 1915 $500,000 Charles Weegham Syndicate Weegham, a former owner in the Federal League, and nine others purchase the Cubs from Taft and move them to Weeghman Park at the corner of Clark and Addison.
 1921 Take over
 William Wrigley, Jr.
 As Weegham's businesses falter, he unloads more and more shares of the Cubs to Wrigley, who takes over as owner in 1921
 1981 $20.5 million
 Tribune Co. Includes Wrigley Field. When the Tribune Company buys the club from the Wrigley family, it ends the longest continuous operation of a franchise by the same family in one city.
 Sam Zell
 Sam Zell becomes the controlling interest in the Tribune Co., which is valued at $8.2 billion. Zell announces his intention to not own the Cubs. MLB announces that the club will be sold before the start of the 2008 season.
 2008 Projected: $1 billion
 The projected sale price of the Cubs, with Wrigley Field , a 25% stake in ComcastChicago, and Wrigley Field Premium Tickets might come in under $1 billion depending on how MLB intends to frame the sale.

 Maury Brown is the founder and president of The Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball and The Biz of Football. He is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and can be contacted here.



Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?