Sale of Cubs to Ricketts Complete - NBC Chicago

Sale of Cubs to Ricketts Complete



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    CHICAGO - MAY 14: Baseball fans arrive at Wrigley Field to watch the Chicago Cubs play the San Diego Padres May 14, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. A deal by the Tribune Company to sell the ballpark to the state of Illinois recently fell through. The Tribune company now hopes to sell the team and the ballpark as a package. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    And this sale is outta here.

    The $845 million sale of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and other assets from the Tribune Co. to the Ricketts family was completed Tuesday, more than 2 1/2 years after the baseball franchise was put on the market.

    The family of billionaire Joe Ricketts, the founder of Omaha, Neb.-based TD Ameritrade, takes a 95 percent controlling interest in the baseball franchise, its storied ballpark and 25 percent of Comcast Sportsnet, which broadcasts many Cubs games.

    After taxes and fees, Chicago-based Tribune, which owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angles Times, other newspapers and TV stations, expects to reap about $740 million from the deal. Family members Pete, Tom, Laura and Todd Ricketts will control the team as its board of directors, though Tribune retains a 5 percent stake and will have a seat on the board.

    The deal tops the record $660 million paid for the Boston Red Sox and its related properties in 2002.

    Tom Ricketts, 44, who will serve as board chairman, said it was time to "go to work building the championship tradition that all Cubs fans so richly deserve." The Cubs have not been to the World Series since 1945 and have not won it since the second of back-to-back championships in 1908.

    A news conference was scheduled for Friday at Wrigley Field.