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View Full Version : Tribune finalizes sale to Ricketts family


It's Time
07-06-2009, 10:46 AM
http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/07/cubs-sales-deal-finalized.html

Great.

I can see this guy upping the payroll to about 150M.

It's Time
07-06-2009, 10:50 AM
And I meant to say he will up the payoll to 150M THIS YEAR. Levineline is on right now and he says that there is language in the contract that allows Hendry to come to him with any deals (before deadline) that he wants to make.

cws05champ
07-06-2009, 11:18 AM
And I meant to say he will up the payoll to 150M THIS YEAR. Levineline is on right now and he says that there is language in the contract that allows Hendry to come to him with any deals (before deadline) that he wants to make.

Oh, Levine said it...it MUST be true. I hope this does take 3 weeks for final approval so they can not get any help. Not that they have any decent farm help to make a deal anyway.

central44
07-06-2009, 11:21 AM
This guy can't be worse than having a media empire run the competetion. I don't expect the Cubune stuff to go away for a while, but hopefully its a first step in the right direction.

Lip Man 1
07-06-2009, 11:21 AM
There are a lot of folks writing baseball and sports for the Tribune who will breathe a big sigh of relief when this is over and the conflict of interest is finally finished.

Lip

jdm2662
07-06-2009, 11:26 AM
There are a lot of folks writing baseball and sports for the Tribune who will breathe a big sigh of relief when this is over and the conflict of interest is finally finished.

Lip

Honostly, I don't really see much changing. The Chicago media has too many Cubbie loving tools as it is. I will continue and not pay attention to any of them. The fact that David Fricking Kaplan is still running Chicago Tribune Live and Mike North being on the landscape just tells me what a joke the Chicago sports media is. And, it doesn't even stop there... I will just continue to ignore it and read yahoo sports and WSI for my news.

Red Barchetta
07-06-2009, 11:26 AM
Note to self...Don't watch ESPN news tonight.

I love some of the comments, i.e. from "TIC TOC". Someone needs to remind him that the "junior, afterthought" team in Chicago won the World Series four years ago. He also needs to reminded that the Cubs in the current form do not need to spend more, just peform better. :rolleyes:

I hope Brooks and JR really turn up the PR now that the Cubs don't have the power of the Tribue media machine backing them. The Tribune made incredible strides over the last 30 years in marketing losing baseball and making it look "cool, beloved and traditional".

Nothing would make me happier than the "junior team" continuing to win despite the naysayers with a few more WS wins mixed in there.

JohnnyInnsbrook
07-06-2009, 11:32 AM
The comments on the article are priceless

Unfortunately for fans of the city's junior team, this will bury them deeper down the priority chart for active dollars available in the area and leave them as nothing more than on afterthought to Chicagolands baseball fans. Perhaps a move to Charlotte is in the Sox near future?

So by being sold by a newspaper/radio/TV super-station the cubs are going to be more popular????

you think this will hurt the Sox? The Sox don't need any help with that, they are on a very bad course due to their own business practices, as media becomes the most important facet of ownership due to it's enormous revenue streams, the Sox will become the new Pirates, not because of the Cubs new owners.

I guess by bad busniess practices he means signing big name players who cant produce to incredibly long contracts for a ridiculous amounts of money.

It's Time
07-06-2009, 11:37 AM
The comments on the article are priceless



So by being sold by a newspaper/radio/TV super-station the cubs are going to be more popular????



I guess by bad busniess practices he means signing big name players who cant produce to incredibly long contracts for a ridiculous amounts of money.

http://www.mouthpiecesports.com/media/images/contacts/11311/image/alfonso_soriano.jpg
"Did someone say big, ridiculous contracts?"

DumpJerry
07-06-2009, 11:51 AM
Heavily leveraged deal, I don't see much $$$, especially in this economy, for adding large contracts to what they already have.

I'm sure they will have to pay a luxury tax to MLB with the new valuation of WGN broadcast rights.

roylestillman
07-06-2009, 12:17 PM
Heavily leveraged deal, I don't see much $$$, especially in this economy, for adding large contracts to what they already have.

I'm sure they will have to pay a luxury tax to MLB with the new valuation of WGN broadcast rights.

Absolutely agree. The Cubs now have a mortgage to pay and an owner whose pockets aren't as deep as they once were. This was a vanity purchase not a smart business plan purchase. Once the building inspectors take another look at old Wrigley, the new owners will be sinking money into new concrete before they get around to an outfielder that can hit his weight.

JohnnyInnsbrook
07-06-2009, 12:36 PM
Another gem

I agree with the fact that Chicago's two teams are going in very different directions. Anyone who follows baseball knows that for teams to have a chance in the future they will need to own their own media network, just as the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Dodgers, LAA and Tigers are building right now, the Cubs are in the next tier along with Texas, Houston and St, Louis. There will without question be an enormous gap going forward in revenues generated between these teams and the teams with the smaller fan bases. Baseball is very quickly changing and the teams left behind may never be able to catch up if they don't dramatically increase their fan base immediately.


Honestly why are these people so hung up on who has the bigger fan base and who brings in the most revenue. As a fan I would be concerned about winning. This guy is right however the two teams in Chicago are going in different directions. One is trying to be smart in the way they win, while the other tries to throw money at its problems.

tebman
07-06-2009, 12:45 PM
The Cubs now have a mortgage to pay and an owner whose pockets aren't as deep as they once were. This was a vanity purchase not a smart business plan purchase. Once the building inspectors take another look at old Wrigley, the new owners will be sinking money into new concrete before they get around to an outfielder that can hit his weight.

The ballpark is going to be the millstone around the new owners' necks. At some point sooner rather than later they're going to have to dump tens of millions into that place to keep it safe. Hell, the concrete's falling now -- they can't just keep putting nets up and hope nobody gets hurt.

In the long term they've got to do a huge rebuild or construct a new park. Neither option is going to be painless or economical.

I don't understand the business model unless they're counting on a big upswing in cable-TV revenue from the Cubs' share of CSN. I hope the buyer is really friendly with his banks, because he's going to need them.

It's Time
07-06-2009, 12:45 PM
Does anyone see Ricketts launching Hendry? How can he not after looking at some of the contracts that are on the books?

russ99
07-06-2009, 12:47 PM
Honostly, I don't really see much changing. The Chicago media has too many Cubbie loving tools as it is. I will continue and not pay attention to any of them. The fact that David Fricking Kaplan is still running Chicago Tribune Live and Mike North being on the landscape just tells me what a joke the Chicago sports media is. And, it doesn't even stop there... I will just continue to ignore it and read yahoo sports and WSI for my news.

You're totally right. The Cub-centric coverage isn't going away anytime soon.

Case in point Saturday's Sun-Times. The Sox run their streak to seven in a row and beat arguably the best starter in baseball, and the back page is all about the Cubs, with the quote "best Cubs coverage in town".

ode to veeck
07-06-2009, 01:10 PM
I'm sure they will have to pay a luxury tax to MLB with the new valuation of WGN broadcast rights.

Bring reality to this aspect was one of the best features of the whole Scrubbies sale

soxyess
07-06-2009, 01:30 PM
The simpleton media and the scrub fans dont understand the financials behind the "new" cubs. With the Tribune, they had no debt service so they could run up a 150mil payroll. Ricketts will have plenty of debt service and limited revenue streams. They will have to either increase ticket prices, rehab the urinal, or build a new stadium with more skyboxes and more seats. The Cubs have a very short window. In a year or two Ricketts is going to be saddled with a ton of bad contracts for old, fluke, or bad players, and I dont see any takers for Soriano. In order for Ricketts to have a shot he would have to gut the team and try and build their farm system.

DumpJerry
07-06-2009, 02:49 PM
Does anyone see Ricketts launching Hendry? How can he not after looking at some of the contracts that are on the books?
Those contracts were approved by Tribco. I would not think Hendry is on the hot seat for those deals. Also, those deals sold tickets. When Soriano was signed, the Cub fan in my office came into my office to look at my collection for World Series trophies "to get used to what they look like." When Bradley was signed, many of their fans, albeit ignorant fools they were, were very excited about the getting a switch-hitting high OBP guy.

Guys like Derrick Lee and Aramis Ramirez are, admittedly, worth whatever they get paid.

Fukudome was also a contract that generated excitment among the natives.

It's Time
07-06-2009, 04:28 PM
I went over to the cubdom and copied the link below. It's a very good article on the what's and how's of this deal. It appears Ricketts is borrowing 450M from 3 different banks to complete the deal.

http://www.thecubdom.com/archives/2009/05/tom-ricketts-cubs-debt-payments.html

Haha. 31M in yearly interest.

TDog
07-06-2009, 04:51 PM
You're totally right. The Cub-centric coverage isn't going away anytime soon.

Case in point Saturday's Sun-Times. The Sox run their streak to seven in a row and beat arguably the best starter in baseball, and the back page is all about the Cubs, with the quote "best Cubs coverage in town".

It is important that you pointed to Sun-Times coverage. The Cub-centric coverage of Chicago baseball was around long before the Tribune bought the Cubs. It was there at the end of the 1960s, and the Sox had to be making very strong runs to get the sort of coverage that the Cubs do.

Cub-centric coverage isn't going anywhere.

The sale doesn't bring a winning team to the North Side of Chicago. Winning is about making smart baseball moves and having players play better than their potential and better than the players on other teams making smart baseball moves. Money can actually make teams dumber.

We'll see what happens, but it wasn't so long ago that I worked with Cubs fans in Alaska who were planning late October vacations because there was no way they could fail to get to win the World Series with Prior and Wood heading up their rotation.

Expect things to change, but expect them to stay the same.

Lip Man 1
07-06-2009, 05:17 PM
Folks:

I'm talking about the day to day guys who are constantly putting up with the "bias towards Cubs" stuff.

I think it's certainly there at the higher level but guys like Paul Sullivan (a Sox fan by the way) at least won't have to deal with it anymore.

I know guys like him and Rogers and former folks like Ed Sherman, Bob Vanderberg and Melissa Issacson were waiting for this for a long time.

Without going into a long discourse, the Cubs didn't always "own" Chicago but they were certainly helped by some of the bad decisions the Sox made in the early 80's as well as the attitude that "we don't compete against the Cubs..." You can see the results of that folly.

Lip

Over By There
07-06-2009, 05:18 PM
I don't really have the desire to go read the comments in the Trib article, but if the comments posted in this thread are any indication, then it just goes to show once again how disingenuous Cubs fans are. They like to rag on Sox fans because "we care more about their team than we do our own," but it's them that have to bring the Sox into the discussion. Enjoy your new owner and drink some ****ing Old Style and forget about us on the south side, we'll be just fine, thanks.

Viva Medias B's
07-07-2009, 09:18 AM
The Ricketts are already planning a Wrigley Field renovation (http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/1654319,CST-FIN-wrig07.article) to mark the ballpark's 100th anniversary in 2014. The big part of this is the construction of a triangular retail/office space building on the largely vacant parcel of land bound by the ballpark, Clark, and Waveland. Somewhere nearby, a parking garage would also be constructed. As the article by Fran Spielman pointed out, how will the Ricketts afford the price tag for this after paying $900M for the franchise plus having to pay the debt and interest on that $900M?

WhiffleBall
07-07-2009, 10:49 AM
Doesn't the Rickett's family have all that TD Ameritrade money to back them up in case they hit a money crunch? According to Forbes the Rickett's family is valued at $2.6 billion and are the 161st richest family in the US.

It also sounds like that 100 year anniversary contruction plan should increase revenues (new skyboxes, year round cub owned retail/dining/drinking options, etc).

Unless the cubs go on a multi-year skid and wrigley litterally does become unusable then from a financial stand point they should be just fine. If they ever win in all then they will do very well. I'm sure there will be some growing pains and strong lessons for the new owners but it seems like all professional sports owners have to go through something like that (bloated contracts, alienating fans, etc).

dickallen15
07-07-2009, 12:55 PM
The Tribune company has also agreed to terms with the other group vying for the team. Ricketts has more cash upfront but the Utay group has more money overall. It will be up to the court but from what I understand Ricketts has the advantage, but its not over yet?

bigdommer
07-07-2009, 01:36 PM
I went over to the cubdom and copied the link below. It's a very good article on the what's and how's of this deal. It appears Ricketts is borrowing 450M from 3 different banks to complete the deal.

http://www.thecubdom.com/archives/2009/05/tom-ricketts-cubs-debt-payments.html

Haha. 31M in yearly interest.

According to MLB sources, the Cubs "netted" $45MM in 2008. With the economy still hurting and payroll up, I cannot imagine they can net that much in 2009. That does not leave Ricketts with much of a spread to operate.

Ricketts is a Cub fan, so he probably doesn't care about making money, but he sure as heck doesn't want to lose money. To make up for the ridiculous premium that he paid, he is going to have to raise ticket prices and introduce PSL's to Wrigley. In order to justify these items, he will have to spend significantly to upgrade Wrigley. The state will likely not be spending any money on this upgrade.

Now, most people will say, "It's the Cubs. They sell out every game. Who cares if they raise prices. People will pay anything." Well, the Cubs are already the #2 most expensive ticket and that was raised over 7% from 2008. And we saw what happened to the Yankees after they mispriced their tickets for the new stadium. While I believe that Cub fans will probably be willing to pay for another 7% increase next year, I think that PSL's will be an absolute disaster.

What does all of this mean as a Sox fan? Well, you can add the Cubs to a list of teams that are going to be constrained while trying to add payroll in 2010. The Mets are over-extended, the Yanks probably are tapped out from last year, the Dodgers are handcuffed by Manny, and the Tigers/Mariners/Braves/Red Sox all significantly cut salary from 2008-2009. The Sox also cut significant salary in 2009, about 20% (per USA today). While the Sox will have to spend on some arbitration guys and possibly Dye, they will also shed Thome/Contreras salaries, which is a pretty decent chunk. KW will probably not be looking to add much payroll, but with all of these other teams being handcuffed, KW may find the asking price for FA's to be even lower than last off-season. He will probably be looking to add a CF and/or DH (Dye may move to DH, allowing TCQ to play right), replace Dotel, and possibly add a 5th starter.

wulfy
07-07-2009, 01:50 PM
The Tribune company has also agreed to terms with the other group vying for the team. Ricketts has more cash upfront but the Utay group has more money overall. It will be up to the court but from what I understand Ricketts has the advantage, but its not over yet?


More on that here:

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=34661&ba=1

havelj
07-07-2009, 02:27 PM
and here:

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/07/new-bidding-war-for-cubs.html

slavko
07-07-2009, 04:38 PM
I can't believe that Zell is using one buyer to hold another buyer's feet to the fire. That goes against the grain of everything we know about the man, and a great man he is.

Not that the Ricketts bunch doesn't deserve it for trying to renegotiate just as the deal was about to close a few months ago.

Historically, not too many heroes in ownership on either side of town.