Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bidding Opens At The Close

The Chicago Tribune is now a private company, saddled with more debt than Roger Clemmens has trac marks on his tush. Sam Zell, new owner of the Trib, has formally announced that he will sell the Cubs within 102 days:

The Chicago Cubs will be in new hands by Opening Day, Tribune Co.’s new CEO Sam Zell said Thursday.

The company also may sell naming rights to Wrigley Field, he told a roomful of journalists at the Tribune Tower, just hours after taking the company private in an $8.2-billion deal.

Based on transactions at other ballparks around the country, such rights could be "extraordinarily valuable," he said.

It's now a question of who.

While John Canning may be the media favorite, don't forget all that debt. Sam is going to sell the team to the group that pays the most. That's going to be the only criterion that matters.

Mark Cuban and Don Levin are by no means out of this. Nor is anyone else on the Wish List.

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