the Cuban thing

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whtigers
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Location: Iowa
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Cuban officially joins crowded field of Cubs suitors

ESPN.com news services

Updated: July 13, 2007, 7:41 PM ET

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Fans of the Windy City's lovable losers can count a maverick NBA owner among those interested in purchasing the Chicago Cubs.

Mark Cuban confirmed Thursday that he has submitted his application to Major League Baseball to purchase the Cubs. Cuban, who has owned the NBA's Dallas Mavericks since January of 2000 and is known for his free-spending ways, told the newspaper he sent the paperwork in last week.

Cuban's efforts to enter the already crowded field to purchase the team is being met with some speculation. The Chicago Tribune summed up Cuban's efforts to buy the team in its Thursday edition as follows: "And while Internet billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has expressed interest, most observers think Major League Baseball would balk at a potential owner as unpredictable and outspoken as Cuban."

When e-mailed by the Tribune to respond to the sentence, Cuban replied via e-mail: "I never comment on 'most observers' reports. It's like responding to a random blog post, a waste of time."

The Tribune Co. announced in April it would sell the team at season's end, after the ailing media conglomerate announced its acquisition by billionaire investor Sam Zell. It put one of sports' most storied and star-crossed franchises on the block, a year shy of the 100th anniversary of its last World Series title.

Gammons on Mike & Mike

Peter Gammons tackles the Cubs and Yankees. Peter doesn't see Mark Cuban as future owner of those lovable losers and says the Yankees should not be counted out either as postseason contenders or Alex Rodriguez's steady employer. Listen

Zell, a real estate magnate who already owns part of his hometown Bulls and White Sox, did not comment about why he's was not interested in keeping the Cubs in connection with the $8.2 billion deal. The team is one of Tribune's richest assets.

Cuban faces some stiff competition among suitors for the Cubs. Several potential deep-pocketed bidders are expected to vie for the Cubs and possibly for Wrigley Field, including Cuban and Chicago native Jerry Colangelo, the Phoenix Suns CEO who once ran the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Tribune reported Thursday that the Ricketts family, which founded discount broker TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., has joined the list of potential bidders.

Sources close to the situation said the Ricketts family is readying their application MLB requires for all parties wishing to bid on a franchise. The group is led by Thomas Ricketts, 41, who is the founder and chief executive of the Chicago-based investment firm, Incapital Holdings LLC.

Thomas Ricketts is the son of J. Joe Ricketts, an Omaha billionaire who founded Ameritrade. Forbes Magazine this year estimated the Ricketts' family worth is $2.3 billion.

The Tribune reports other bidders include John Canning, who heads the Chicago-based private-equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners and is a part-owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. Additionally, a partnership of restaurateur Larry Levy and Chicago business owner Craig Duchossois is also thought to be interested in entering the fray.

Don Levin, who owns the Chicago Wolves minor league hockey team has said he is interested in bidding for the team, as is a partnership of Chicago attorney Thomas Mandler and area businessman Jim Anixter. A group led by industrialist and private-equity investor Thomas Begel may also try bidding on the Cubs, the newspaper reports.

Bidding for the ballclub and historic Wrigley Field, however, is certain to be fiercely competitive. Forbes Magazine recently valued the Cubs at $592 million, fifth-highest in baseball, although experts speculate the bidding could start at $600 million. Tribune paid $20.5 million for the team in 1981.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella seemed impressed with Cuban's credentials.

"I don't know him, but the guy basically, he's a winner. He's a character. He has obviously got the resources," Piniella said Friday.

"I do know that he's got a lot of charisma. He likes the competition and he likes to win. So he's certainly a very viable candidate to buy the club. But there are going to be a lot of people that want the club."

Piniella said he didn't think he'd have any problems working with a hands-on boss like Cuban, if that should ever happen.

"I can work for anybody. I've done this for 20 years, all I do is my job on the field. Let me tell you this, there are going to be a lot of people that have interest, and Mark is one of them," Piniella said.

Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano, whose negotiations for a multiyear extension were shelved after it was announced the team would be sold, said he would welcome Cuban buying the team.

"I think he would bring whatever it takes to win the World Series," Zambrano said. "Plus, I can be signed by him. You know, I know he has the money for me. Hopefully he can buy the Cubs."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2934920

Would Mark Cuban Be Blackballed from Buying the Cubs?

Posted Apr 11th 2007 4:40PM by Matt Watson

Filed under: Chicago, Cubs, NL Central, MLB Gossip, Featured Stories

When the Tribune Company announced plans to sell the Cubs following the 2007 season, a lot of fans naturally assumed that Mark Cuban would throw himself into the running to buy the team. Although Cuban has declined to reveal any interest (at least until the team is officially put on the market), the debate about whether Cuban would be good for Major League Baseball has already started.

And it's a silly debate. Of course Mark Cuban would be good for baseball. His track record of turning around a moribund Mavericks franchise and engaging NBA fans of all stripes is one Bud Selig and the owners should be proud to add to their sport.

But, as Ken Rosenthal points out, it's not difficult to see that welcoming Cuban into baseball's exclusive ownership club might intimidate some of the other owners, especially those who are content simply making a profit instead of doing whatever it takes to put a winner on the field.

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has already suggested he'd blackball Cuban, reminding us that he tried to do the same when Cuban bought the Mavs. From the Chicago Tribune:

But Reinsdorf intimated what many in Major League Baseball have hinted: That Cuban's strong personality might make him a hard sell to baseball's conservative owners.

"It is a matter of public record that when Cuban was approved to buy the Dallas Mavericks, the vote was 29-1," said Reinsdorf, who is also the Bulls chairman.

What, does Reinsdorf want us to celebrate the fact that he can carry a grudge? That Cuban's undeniable success in another sport hasn't changed his mind about him? Does he really think the game would be better served with another old, stodgy owner like himself instead of welcoming with open arms a dynamic, innovative owner like Cuban? It's rationale like that which makes it easy to understand why baseball's popularity has steadily waned over the years.

http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/04/ ... -the-cubs/


whtigers
Posts: 317
Location: Iowa
votes: 0

More recent news:

Canadian Press 7/13/2007 11:38:35 AM

CHICAGO (AP) - Add Internet billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to the list of potential Chicago Cubs buyers.

''I submitted an app,'' Cuban said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Interested parties must submit an application to Major League Baseball to examine the team's finances. Cuban told the Chicago Tribune he sent in the application last week, although he wasn't sure of the date.

Tribune Co., which owns the team, announced in April it was selling itself for US$8.2 billion to Chicago real estate mogul Sam Zell, who made the deal contingent on shedding non-core assets. That means the Cubs will go on the auction block at the end of the season - a decision Tribune chairman and CEO Dennis FitzSimons has conceded was difficult but one that ''really makes sense for our shareholders.''

Several potential deep-pocketed bidders are expected to vie for the Cubs and possibly for Wrigley Field, including Cuban and Chicago native Jerry Colangelo, the Phoenix Suns CEO who once ran the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Tribune, citing unnamed sources, reported Thursday the family of Omaha, Neb.-based TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.'s founder Joe Ricketts also was considering a bid. Ricketts family representatives declined to comment on the report when contacted by The Associated Press on Thursday.

Forbes magazine recently valued the National League Cubs at $592 million, fifth-highest in baseball, although experts speculate the bidding could start at $600 million.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella seemed impressed with Cuban's credentials.

''I don't know him, but the guy basically, he's a winner. He's a character. He has obviously got the resources,'' Piniella said Friday.

''I do know that he's got a lot of charisma. He likes the competition and he likes to win. So he's certainly a very viable candidate to buy the club. But there are going to be a lot of people that want the club.''

Piniella said he didn't think he'd have any problems working with a hands-on boss like Cuban, if that should ever happen.

''I can work for anybody. I've done this for 20 years, all I do is my job on the field. Let me tell you this, there are going to be a lot of people that have interest, and Mark is one of them,'' Piniella said.

http://www.tsn.ca/nba/teams/news_story/ ... -mavericks


sorianosthebest
Posts: 76
votes: 0

Ya, I sawmost of this stuff, I don't think there will be more on this untill after the season.


whtigers
Posts: 317
Location: Iowa
votes: 0

I think your right, but it would be nice if he could buy the Cubs.


sorianosthebest
Posts: 76
votes: 0

Ya, if baseball would let him. At least we signed my man Al for a long deal, so we know he will be here.


#1cubfan
Posts: 76
votes: 0

I think 3 or 4 guys have put in applications to buy the team. Maybe someone who really want to win will buy them.


IrishHawkeye
Posts: 1
votes: 0

Last night after the game I was at Murphy's Bleachers...Cuban was there (he sat in the right field bleachers last night)...he was a pretty interesting guy. Nice...approachable. I asked if he was going to buy the Cubs and he said he really wanted to, he made no bones about it actually.


Dave
Site Admin
Posts: 842
votes: 0

He would be a nice owner for sure- he seems committed to winning, though I don't like his off-court antics with the Mavs. BTW welcome to the site IrishHawkeye!


whtigers
Posts: 317
Location: Iowa
votes: 0

Welcome Irish, my guess is that you are from Iowa somewhere. I live near Cedar Rapids. Go Hawks. I'm also guessing that #1 is a Hawk fan as well. LOL

I would like Cuban to own a team that I root for personally. I think he would do what it would take to win and wnat to win it all. Not only that but hewould take some of the pressure off the Club on the field. Antics may describe some of the stuff, but he does seem dedicated to his team(s), hopefully.


sorianosthebest
Posts: 76
votes: 0

I'm from Iowa, over by Davenport. I wish Cuban would by the Cubs too. Soriano and ARod would be great, my favorites.


whtigers
Posts: 317
Location: Iowa
votes: 0

Some financail stuff on the Truibune selling the Cubs. There's more there just click on the link.

Tribune: Books not out yet on Cubs/Comcast sale; may be necessary to hit leverage covenants, sources say By Jon Berke and Kate Laughlin in New York

Published: September 6 2007 14:54 | Last updated: September 6 2007 14:54

Please email [email protected] or call us at Americas: +1 212-686-5374 Europe: +44 (0)20 7059 6113 Asia-Pacific: +852 2158 9731 for further information on Debtwire and how to receive more articles like the one below.


Books for Tribune Co’s sale of the Chicago Cubs have not been distributed yet, but might go out in mid-September, people familiar with the situation said. Management may need proceeds from the sale to meet a 9x leverage loan covenant when the company comes back to market for the second step of its buyout financing, lenders said.

Tribune is selling the Cubs, their home ballpark Wrigley Field and a 25% stake in Comcast Sportsnet Chicago. Proceeds netted from the sale are expected to pay down debt stemming from Sam Zell’s USD 8.2bn buyout of the Chicago-based conglomerate.

If Tribune nets sale proceeds at the higher end of estimates, it could reduce leverage to just over 8x, as previously reported. Further, if it fails to meet the leverage test during Q4, it has until 31 May 2008 to comply before its debt commitment expires.

The auction could yield bids north of USD 1bn, said one potential buyside source. The Yawkey Trust sold the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park and a majority stake in the New England Sports Network for USD 700m in 2002, but franchise values for major market teams has appreciated significantly since then, noted one industry source.

As widely reported, potentially interested bidders are expected to include an investment group fronted by Chicago private-equity magnate John Canning, Internet billionaire Mark Cuban and the Omaha, Nebraska-based Ricketts family.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/67574d62-5c7f ... 10621.html


whtigers
Posts: 317
Location: Iowa
votes: 0

Cubs sale process moves slowly; well-heeled investors lined up

Sep 4, 2007

CHICAGO (AP) �" Five months after Tribune Co. announced plans to sell the Chicago Cubs, the first-place ballclub is making much more noise on the field than its corporate owners have been about the slow-moving sale process.

But whether the Cubs make the playoffs or even manage to capture their first World Series in 99 years, an emerging lineup of deep-pocketed bidders has put Tribune in strong position to net a record sale price for the franchise.

Tribune put the team and historic Wrigley Field on the block in April, saying it would sell the team after the season and intended to do so by the end of the year. But its bankers have yet to send out detailed financial information to prospective bidders and are not expected to do so until mid-September, jeopardizing that timetable.

A source familiar with the sale process said there's no chance of the sale being completed this year, with a more realistic target now baseball's opening day in spring 2008. The source, who declined to be identified out of concern of disrupting the process, said "five or six legitimate groups" have emerged as would-be buyers, but declined to give details.

Tribune, which is in the process of going private in an US$8.2 billion buyout being led by real estate magnate Sam Zell, isn't talking about dates, names or numbers. A spokesman for the media conglomerate, Gary Weitman, said the company doesn't want the process to be a distraction to the season.

"We'd like to get the sale done as soon as possible after the baseball season ends," Weitman said. "But I can't and wouldn't predict what the timing will be."

Currently, the Cubs are clinging to a slim - and rare - lead in the National League Central Division and trying to get to the World Series for the first time since 1945. They haven't won one since 1908.

That legacy hasn't scared off potential buyers.

While the price remains impossible to peg before the first bid is even placed, sports economists say the expressed interest of several billionaires, among other well-heeled investors, make it a good bet it will exceed the record $660 million paid for the Boston Red Sox in 2002 by a group headed by billionaire commodities trader John Henry.

The Cubs' package includes not only Wrigley but Tribune's 25 per cent stake in the Comcast sports channel in Chicago, fuelling widespread speculation the total could reach $1 billion.

That wouldn't scare off Internet billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban or the family of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.'s founder Joe Ricketts, both listed among the world's richest people. Neither responded to queries about their interest in the Cubs, although Cuban confirmed this summer that he had submitted an application to Major League Baseball to examine the team's finances.

They aren't even considered the favourites. That role falls, at least publicly, to a powerhouse group of Chicago-based investors headed by John Canning, chairman of private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC and a longtime friend and business partner of baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

Canning, who would have to sell his 11 per cent ownership in the Cubs' rival Milwaukee Brewers if the bid is successful, put together a group with McDonald's Corp. chairman Andrew McKenna, who also was Cubs' chairman from 1982-84, that includes about two dozen members of Chicago's business elite. Among them are David Donnini, Craig Duchossois, Michael Ferro, Edward Kaplan, Michael Krasny, Larry Levy, Richard Melman, Patrick Ryan and Michael Sacks.

"I think it's very clear at this point that he's the favourite," sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College, said of Canning. "He's got a strong group and he's got very good connections."

Selig, who has promised a fair and open process for selecting the Cubs' next owner, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his reportedly favouring Canning.

Another interested bidder, Donald Levin, the owner of the Chicago Wolves minor league hockey team, said he's confident the "best buyer" will prevail despite any Selig-Canning ties.

"I would think it would not behoove the commissioner of baseball to pick somebody early," he said. "You have to satisfy the 29 other owners in order to get it."

Tribune doesn't have total control over who ends up with the Cubs; major league team owners must sign off on the winner. In the Red Sox sale, Henry didn't even submit the highest bid.

One die-hard fan and business owner is organizing a fan-based effort to buy the Cubs, based on the model of the Green Bay Packers. Eric Majeski formed 4 Fans Sake to get his message out and round up commitments.

But he has a long way to go to match the financial backing of Canning or Cuban. As of Tuesday, his Web site said 479 fans have pledged $2,377,350.

"We are playing to win," said Majeski, 35, a one-time trader in stocks and options who now owns a music label. But "I'm realistic of the odds. We're acting out of love, out of belief, love of the game."

http://canadianpress.google.com/article ... Rd_pmuwTQQ


whtigers
Posts: 317
Location: Iowa
votes: 0

Mark Cuban wants to buy Cubs, be billionaire bleacher bum

By DAVE CARPENTER

AP Business Writer

October 8, 2007, 3:58 PM CDT

CHICAGO -- Mark Cuban wants to become a billionaire bleacher bum if he buys the Chicago Cubs.

The Dallas Mavericks owner, known for noisily cheering his NBA team and berating officials from courtside, reiterated strong interest Monday in owning the Cubs.

"Everybody thinks I'm going to be on the sidelines, in the dugout, jumping up and down. That's not where I'll be," he said on the Mike North Morning Show on radio station WSCR.

"When I went to the Cubs game a couple weeks ago, I sat in the bleachers, and I'll have a seat marked out for me and my friends. We'll be out in the right-field bleachers -- that's the best place to watch a game."

Tribune Co. announced six months ago that it would sell the club after the season in connection with an $8.2 billion buyout of the media conglomerate led by real estate magnate Sam Zell. But the process has moved slowly and many don't expect a sale to be completed until well into 2008.

Cuban said he hasn't made a final decision on whether to bid for the team. But once Tribune provides full details about the assets for sale, presumably including Wrigley, he expects to be in.

"It's a great sports town, it's a great franchise with a storied history. There's so many opportunities here," he said. "When a team that's so iconic and such an amazing team like the Cubbies come up, it's an opportunity I couldn't let slip by."

After last month's bleacher experience, the Pittsburgh native said he's becoming a Cubs fan.

"People think that because I'm not from Chicago, that's a big deal," he said. "I grew up in Pittsburgh, and there's no bigger Dallas Mavs fan now."

"If all this goes down ... if you cut any part of my body, you can see Mavs blood and you can see Cubbies blood coming out."

Cuban faces stiff early competition for the Cubs, including several Chicago groups. One front-runner is thought to be the group headed by John Canning, chairman of private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC and a longtime friend and business partner of baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com ... -headlines


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