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View Full Version : Crain's: Ernie Banks Eyes Bid for Cubs


tebman
06-10-2006, 01:20 AM
Crain's Chicago Business magazine is reporting that Ernie Banks has seriously inquired about leading a group to bid on the Cubs.

The most interesting part of all this is that there is serious talk about breaking up the company, and they claim the Cubs could fetch $500 million.

:o:, then :rolleyes:


Interesting nonetheless. Check it out here (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=20942).

getonbckthr
06-10-2006, 01:27 AM
Very interesting. To look at this as a neutral party and not a fan of the Sox. That would be a good deal for both the Tribune Co. to get out of debt at least somewhat and for the actual team and its fans to get someone who knows baseball to take over operations.

IlliniSox4Life
06-10-2006, 02:56 AM
I've always like Ernie Banks, so I don't think I would mind this. He can't be any worse for them than the Tribune already is.

white sox bill
06-10-2006, 09:04 AM
I was plenty young when the '69 cubs did their swoon, but anyone here correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Ernie a pretty decent guy? I also liked Kessinger, Williams, Jenkins and the whole lot EXCEPT Ronnie Woo Hoo Santo.

RedHeadPaleHoser
06-10-2006, 09:39 AM
Could it be possible that Banks could instill integrity to that franchise?

Only if he doesn't add Santos to the Board of Directors.

tebman
06-10-2006, 10:06 AM
I was plenty young when the '69 cubs did their swoon, but anyone here correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Ernie a pretty decent guy? I also liked Kessinger, Williams, Jenkins and the whole lot EXCEPT Ronnie Woo Hoo Santo.
Banks always was a decent guy, and still is as far as I know. A great ballplayer in his prime, too. First-ballot Hall of Famer, but I always felt sorry for him because I don't think he's ever been taken as seriously as he should've been because of his pleasant demeanor and his identification with the Cubs.

That '69 Cub roster was really a good team. I think the two things that caused them to come up short that year were their lack of bench strength and the out-of-their-minds play of the Mets in the last month of the season. The Sox escaped that same fate from the Indians last year, and fortunately KW and Ozzie are fully aware of a similar threat from the Tigers this year.

In '69 the Cubs were not the yuppie darlings and marketing creatures they are now. It was not difficult for me as a White Sox fan to wish them well and be disappointed when they fell short. But now the Cubs are just a merchandising front for the Tribune, which persists in painting Sox fans as icky people who go to an icky neighborhood to smoke dope.

Banks was never that way and isn't now. I doubt that he personally has the business savvy to run the team, but he'd be a formidable front man for whoever actually closes the deal.

vegyrex
06-10-2006, 12:22 PM
Banks always was a decent guy, and still is as far as I know.

Heh, back in 2000 when the Sox were heading to the play-off's Ernie was asked if he would root for the Sox. His response, with a blank face was, "Sure, I could do that."

Gee thanks for your support :rolleyes:

Brian26
06-10-2006, 08:56 PM
Am I out of my mind here, or wasn't Ernie almost bankrupt (or at least in serious financial trouble) a few years ago? I seem to recall he had lost all of his money to his ex wife, and he was selling off his baseball keepsakes from his career. And now he wants to but a team?

ilsox7
06-10-2006, 09:06 PM
Am I out of my mind here, or wasn't Ernie almost bankrupt (or at least in serious financial trouble) a few years ago? I seem to recall he had lost all of his money to his ex wife, and he was selling off his baseball keepsakes from his career. And now he wants to but a team?

The article I read (not the one referenced here) basically said that there were two investment groups that wanted to "partner" with Banks to buy the team. From that, I gathered that Banks was simply a figure-head in all of this, not a financier.

Brian26
06-10-2006, 09:13 PM
The article I read (not the one referenced here) basically said that there were two investment groups that wanted to "partner" with Banks to buy the team. From that, I gathered that Banks was simply a figure-head in all of this, not a financier.

Gotcha. Interesting. So Banks, I would assume, would really have no power whatsoever. He'd simply be a spokesman? He'd never have the title of chairman or such. Is there another example of this in sports?

What about Ditka with the Rush? I don't know the details. I assume Ditka's got enough money (and AFL teams aren't the most expensive commodity to invest in) that he actually might own a decent stake in the team.

ilsox7
06-10-2006, 09:22 PM
Gotcha. Interesting. So Banks, I would assume, would really have no power whatsoever. He'd simply be a spokesman? He'd never have the title of chairman or such. Is there another example of this in sports?

What about Ditka with the Rush? I don't know the details. I assume Ditka's got enough money (and AFL teams aren't the most expensive commodity to invest in) that he actually might own a decent stake in the team.

I'm not sure how it would work. I'm not even 100% certain that he would bring nothing to the table from a finance perspective. But the article I read had one of the groups interested in "partnering" with him as some sort of Private Equity Investment Group. It might be a situation where Banks puts up a small sum of money, plus his public persona, and is somehow involved in the day-to-day operations of the club. Remember, JR does not own a huge portion of the Bulls and Sox, but is the figurehead for ownership.

From a Cub fan's perspective, it would probably be easier to accept an ownership group led by Ernie Banks than XYZ Corporation. However, it seems that none of this will come to fruition any time soon, as Tribune Corp. keeps repeating they won't sell. My guess is it will take a couple of years and then Tribune Corp. will be forced to sell to appease investors who know the company desperately needs the cash.

Brian26
06-10-2006, 09:23 PM
Remember, JR does not own a huge portion of the Bulls and Sox, but is the figurehead for ownership.


Correct. I believe JR actually only owns 12%.

ilsox7
06-10-2006, 09:28 PM
Correct. I believe JR actually only owns 12%.

And didn't they buy the club for about $20MM? Kinda crazy to think how much that investment has paid off.

Brian26
06-10-2006, 09:34 PM
And didn't they buy the club for about $20MM? Kinda crazy to think how much that investment has paid off.

He's having too much fun, but if he was going to sell, now would be a great time.

ilsox7
06-10-2006, 09:37 PM
He's having too much fun, but if he was going to sell, now would be a great time.

Yea, I doubt the group sells any time soon. It's just amazing the profit (on paper as of now) that the entire group has made. It really says more about how lucrative sports has become over the last two decades.

Brian26
06-10-2006, 09:39 PM
Yea, I doubt the group sells any time soon. It's just amazing the profit (on paper as of now) that the entire group has made. It really says more about how lucrative sports has become over the last two decades.

Plus he lobbied for and received a publically-financed stadium out of the deal, too, which only drives up the worth of the team.

Lip Man 1
06-10-2006, 09:42 PM
Story on this from the Tribune.com:

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/cs-060609banks,1,3036694.story?coll=cs-home-headlines

Lip

eastchicagosoxfan
06-11-2006, 09:25 AM
Weren't the Cubs purchased by the Tribune for 21 million from Wrigley in the early 1980's? I'd like to see the Trib get out of the baseball industry, but then again if the Cubs ownership ever took winning seriously...........

What did Veeck pay for the Sox in the 1970's?

roylestillman
06-11-2006, 10:32 AM
Veeck's group bought the Sox in 1975 for about $10 million, although I think the previous owner (Allyn) retained about 20% of the club. Veeck's share was less than $500,000, borrowed against his house. The group sold it in 1981 for about $20 million.

munchman33
06-11-2006, 11:04 AM
The Cubs, their fans, and the Tribune all deserve each other. I hope they never sell.

TornLabrum
06-11-2006, 11:31 AM
The Cubs, their fans, and the Tribune all deserve each other. I hope they never sell.

Have you heard any of their new radio ad campaign about how "It's special to be a Cubs fan." Hilarious stuff.

ericiii
06-11-2006, 12:19 PM
Have you heard any of their new radio ad campaign about how "It's special to be a Cubs fan." Hilarious stuff.


I just heard a radio ad yesterday. The theme for the ad was "why cub fans throw opponents home runs back onto the field of play." Completely ridiculous.

I can't wait to hear the radio ad for "why cub fans throw objects at Jacque Jones." :cool:

TDog
06-11-2006, 05:06 PM
I just heard a radio ad yesterday. The theme for the ad was "why cub fans throw opponents home runs back onto the field of play." Completely ridiculous.

I can't wait to hear the radio ad for "why cub fans throw objects at Jacque Jones." :cool:

Couldn't someone in Springfield introduce some sort of bill that would make it a felony statewide to throw objects onto baseball fields. Some prosepct in Peoria could lose an eye or something.

ewokpelts
06-11-2006, 10:54 PM
Correct. I believe JR actually only owns 12%.in 1981...jerry put up 1 million of his own money towards the purchase of the team...the team was sold for 20 million...assuming he didnt get more shares, he owns roughly 5%...or 1/20th of the team

Gene