The Chicago Tribune is close to finalizing the sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts family, who plan on buying the franchise (and Wrigley Field) for an estimated $845 million.
The Ricketts family, tentatively selected as the winning bidder last January, had agreed to pay about $900 million for the team, Wrigley and a 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago, which broadcasts many Cubs games.
But that total was renegotiated, with Tribune retaining a small stake for legal reasons.
The sale figure exceeds the record $660 million paid for the Boston Red Sox in 2002, although that deal did not include a ballpark.
The successful bid was led by Tom Ricketts, 43, a Chicago investment banker and Joe Ricketts' son. He is a Cubs die-hard who grew up watching the team, once lived in an apartment across the street from Wrigley and first met his wife in the stands at a game there.
Major League Baseball still must approve the sale, but that is not expected to be an obstacle. The ownership change needs to be approved by three-quarters of the league's 30 owners.
The Cubs continue to fall out of contention in both the NL Central and the Wild Card race. They’re currently 7 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals in the division and 6 games behind the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card standings.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL currently list the Cubs’ 2009 World Series odds at 18/1 and their NLCS odds at 9/1.
Posted: 8/22/09 2:15PM ET