10/30/2009 12:42 PM ET
Ricketts Family Assumes Control of Chicago Cubs
Family is Only the Third Cubs Ownership Group in the Last 90 Years, Eighth in the 133-Year History of Storied Franchise Friday, October 30, 2009
CHICAGO - Marking a return to family ownership, the Ricketts family today was formally introduced as the eighth ownership group in the 133-year history of the Chicago Cubs at a morning press conference at Wrigley Field.
On Tuesday, the family completed a financial closing to acquire a 95 percent controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and 25 percent of Comcast Sportsnet Chicago. Family members Pete, Tom, Laura and Todd Ricketts form the team's board of directors. Tribune Company will retain a five percent interest in the enterprise and will also have a seat on the board.
Tom Ricketts, 44, will serve as board chairman and issued the following statement:
"My family and I are thrilled this day has finally come. We share the passion of Cubs fans for the team and Wrigley Field and are eager to go to work building the championship tradition all Cubs fans so richly deserve.
"Building a consistent winning tradition on the field, while at the same time improving our 96-year-old ballpark, will not be easy and will not happen overnight. From the beginning, we will promote excellence and accountability within the organization at every level. Our family will reinvest all of the club's profits into the team and the ballpark for the foreseeable future.
The closing of the deal, valued at $845 million, completes a more than two-year effort that started when Tribune Company put the team, stadium and broadcast interest up for bid. On August, 21, 2009, the Ricketts family signed a definitive agreement with Tribune Company to acquire the assets. On October 6, Major League Baseball owners unanimously approved the transaction by a vote of 29-0.
The Ricketts family represents only the third Chicago Cubs ownership group in the last 90 years, 62 years of which were marked by family ownership. In 1919, the Wrigley Family, led by William Wrigley, Jr., purchased the Chicago Cubs from Charles Weeghman. The Wrigley Family retained ownership of the franchise until 1981, when the family sold the club to Tribune Company.
A complete ownership history of the Chicago Cubs is attached.