Sports Outside the Beltway

Chicago Cubs file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

It is part of the Tribune Company’s plan to sell the baseball team. From AP-

The Chicago Cubs baseball team filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, a step that will allow its corporate parent to sell the team in an $845 million deal.

The filing in Wilmington, Del., was anticipated and is expected to lead to a brief stay in Chapter 11 for the Cubs. A hearing on the case was scheduled for Tuesday.

It comes as part of the Tribune Co.’s plans to sell the team, Wrigley Field and related properties to the family of billionaire Joe Ricketts, the founder of Omaha, Neb.-based TD Ameritrade.

Tribune, which also owns the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, filed for bankruptcy protection in December, but the Cubs were not included in the filing. The team’s run through Chapter 11 is expected to protect its new owners from potential claims by Tribune creditors.

Tribune bought the Cubs in 1981 for $20.5 million from candy maker Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. It announced plans to sell the franchise in 2007, but got tripped up by the recession and the collapse of the credit markets.

The complexities of bankruptcy law fly far above my head.

Other pro sport franchises that filed bankruptcy-

The Seattle Pilots in 1969
The Baltimore Orioles in 1993
The Phoenix Coyotes last year.

With the present state of the U.S. economy as it is, I wouldn’t be surprised if more teams or sports organizations go bankrupt.

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