And it's major league.
ACCORDING to The Chicago Tribune:
After nearly two years of intrigue, the billionaire Ricketts family has emerged as the winning bidder to purchase the Chicago Cubs from Tribune Co. for about $900 million, a source close to the winning bid said Thursday evening.I THINK THE CUBS will be a perfect fit for Omaha. After all, the ol' cowtown has long experience with crappy baseball teams, most notably the Omaha Royals, Triple-A farm club of the sub-woeful Kansas City Royals.
The family will now complete negotiations with Tribune Co.
The family edged out Chicago real-estate investor Hersch Klaff and New York private-equity investor Marc Utay, a Chicago native, for the chance to follow Tribune Co., the Chicago-based media conglomerate, as owners of the storied yet hard-luck franchise.
The Ricketts family effort, led by Tom Ricketts, who lives in the Chicago area, still has a number of hurdles to cross before taking ownership of the Cubs, including receiving approval from 23 of the league's 30 owners.
Cubs officials have said they hope to have sale completed by the start of the new season in April.
The deal would represent a return to family ownership for the Cubs. Before Tribune took control of the team in 1981, the Wrigley family, founders of the chewing-gum company, owned the Cubs for 65 years. The clan sold the team and Wrigley Field to the media company, which owns the Chicago Tribune, for $20.5 million.
In Chicago, the Ricketts family is hardly as well known as the Wrigleys, or any of the current owners of the city's major professional sports franchises, but certainly that would change quickly for the new custodians of one of the country's best-known teams, as well as one of its most storied stadiums. Along with the Cubs, the Ricketts are buying Wrigley Field, and a 25 percent stake in a regional cable sports network.
The family patriarch, J. Joe Ricketts, grew up in Omaha and started a discount stock brokerage. In the 1990s he transformed the company into an Internet trading powerhouse now known as TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. He is ranked among the world's billionaires, according to Forbes magazine, with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion. Shares of the company are also owned by his wife and four children.
Compared to that, it's going to look like we landed the World Series champs.
And people thought the new ball yard might sit vacant for much of the year. Heck, just to show the Windy City there's no hard feelings, we'll let the Cubs play in old Wrigley Field when our shiny new stadium is playing host to the College World Series.
After all . . . it's the World Series! Gotta hold on to that.
I mean, it's not like the Cubs will bring one home to Omaha any time soon.