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Cubs Bids Due Today

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 18, 2008 7:30PM

2008_07_18_wrigley.jpgIf you have several hundred million dollars to burn and always wanted to own a storied baseball franchise, you'd better get a move-on: today is the deadline for submitting bids to buy the Chicago Cubs. Major League Baseball has approved ten owner groups to bid on the team while up to twenty bids have been made on Wrigley Field alone. The Tribune Company is accepting bids on assets including the team and the stadium both separately and in package form. One source told Reuters that total sales "could fetch more than $1 billion."

"It's a great franchise," said Andrew Murstein, vice chairman of Sports Properties Acquisition Corp, which raised $215 million in January in an initial public offering. "Hopefully, people will think with their wallet and not with their heart."

According to the Reuters story, other potential bidders include: John Canning Jr., chairman of Chicago-based private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners; Don Levin, owner of the Chicago Wolves; Jim Anixter, president of A-Z Industries Inc in Northbrook, Illinois; and, most famously, Mark Cuban, owner of the National Basketball Association Dallas Mavericks.

In related news, the Sun-Times reports that Oak Brook's Inland Real Estate Group of Companies Inc. made a $300 million bid on Wrigley Field. Inland Vice Chairman Joseph Cosenza, who is a professed Cubs fan, said, "I think anyone would want to own Wrigley Field." When quizzed on the oft-discussed topic of renaming the stadium, Cosenza replied, “Whoever ends up with that ballpark wouldn’t want to be in Chicago if they change the name.” Amen, Joe.

Photo by The New No. 2