The Tribune Company has settled on a buyer for the Cubs, Wrigley Field and the Cubs' interest in Comcast Chicago. The apparent winning bidder is the Ricketts family. Although the family does not live in Chicago, they do have business interests there and have pursued the Cubs for some time. Family patriarch J. Joe Rickettts founded what became T.D. Ameritrade and is estimated by Forbes to be worth $1.2 billion.

The purchase price is said to be $900 million, which would be a record for Major League Baseball far eclipsing the $700 million for which the Red Sox, Fenway and an 80% interest in NESN sold in 2002. Nevertheless, Tribune had wanted to get $1 billion but that was before the global credit crisis hit. While the Ricketts family resources are substantial and in any normal credit environment financing this purchase would not be an issue, these are not normal times. Don't assume this is a done deal until all the papers are signed and the wire transfers are completed and the Trib has received its money. While I would expect the Ricketts to be able to finance this deal, in this environment one never knows.

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