Tag Archive | "Tom Ricketts"

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Ticket Prices to Remain “Essentially the Same” in 2010 at Wrigley Field

Posted on 06 December 2009 by Lou

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Chicago Cubs ticket prices will remain “Essentially the Same” in 2010 at Wrigley Field.

Given the economic climate, Cubs President Crane Kenney stated: “This isn’t the year to go crazy on ticket price increases.”

Thanks Crane – you care so much about the typical Cubs fan…

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Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts Meets with Florida Governor Charlie Crist

Posted on 02 December 2009 by Lou

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Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts met with Florida Governor Charlie Crist this week to discuss the Cubs future spring training site.  The Cubs currently train in Mesa, Arizona, but are exploring the opportunity to relocate such facilities to the east coast in Collier County, Florida.  Three Florida businessmen presented a plan to Ricketts and Dale Brill – the head of Florida’s office of tourism, trade and economic development.  The group proposed building a brand new $100 million training facility for the Cubs near Naples in Collier County.  The Cubs would also move their Class Daytona minor league team to the new location.  The new location would also serve as the headquarters for the team’s entire minor league operations.  The group also proposed the development of a year-round “Wrigley Village” that would serve as a tourist “trap” all season long.

One of the businessmen – Craig Bouchard – had this to say about the economic jolt that a Chicago Cubs arrival would have on the entire state of Florida: “With the governor, we discussed the merits of having $50 million of incremental revenue flow into Collier County annually and the additional boost the Cubs would generate to other towns in Florida which host Major League teams.  Because the Cubs are the No. 1 draw of all Major League teams in the spring, attracting the Cubs would provide a boost to the economies of several counties in the state.”  Florida has lost the likes of several MLB teams the last few years – the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds – so bringing in the Cubs would be a huge coup for the state.

While Ricketts has publicly said that the goal is to get “the best facility”, one would have to think that if the state of Florida offers incentives and tax breaks for the Cubs to re-locate to Naples, he would jump at that opportunity.  Arizona is still in the hunt too, so we’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear any further developments…

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Cubs GM Jim Hendry Asleep at the Wheel Again

Posted on 06 November 2009 by Lou

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Tom Ricketts 1st move as Chairman of the Cubs should be to fire GM Jim Hendry.  Enough is enough already.  After saddling the Cubs with bad, enormous contract with the recent signings of Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome and Milton Bradley each of the last 3 seasons, now it is his inaction that has cost the Cubs a leg up on the competition.  Over the last 2 seasons, the Cubs have mentioned trying to acquire Mark Teahan from the Kansas City Royals or Jeremy Hermida from the Florida Marlins.  Now, both players are off the market because other more qualified GM’s beat him to the punch.

The Boston Red Sox and GM Theo Epstein acquired Hermida from the Marlins for 2 minor league left-handed pitchers.

The Chicago White Sox and GM Kenny Williams acquired Mark Teahan from the Royals for Chris Getz and Josh Fields.

Pretty light prices to acquire talent like that.  Is it surprising that the Red Sox have won 2 World Series titles under Epstein since 2004 and that Williams delivered a World Series title for the South Side Chicago faithful in 2005?  Not at all.

Hendry must go!!!

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Cubs Coaching Staff A-OK with Ricketts Family

Posted on 31 October 2009 by Lou

Looks like we won’t have too much change this off-season with the Chicago Cubs coaching staff.  Jim Hendry will remain the Cubs General Manager; Lou Pinella will remain the Cubs Manager; and Matt Sinatro and Mike Quade will still be the Cubs base coaches… Even though Tom Ricketts joked during Friday’s news conference that his brother Todd would be the team’s new 1st base coach, it doesn’t appear that any rash coaching changes will be made before at least 1 full season has been played at Wrigley Field under the tutelage of the Ricketts Family.

Ricketts had this to say about the staff:  “You hire people you trust and give them the opportunity to make the decisions and hold them accountable.  I think we have the right people, the right manager.  Let them do their job.  If it doesn’t happen, then we think about it next year.”

That sigh of relief you heard on the north side was from GM Hendry.  As we have discussed before, Hendry has mortgaged the franchise for the foreseeable future with horrible free agent signings each of the last 3 seasons – see Alfonso Soriano, Kosuke Fukudome and Milton Bradley.  Hendry has to be on a short leash, and he knows it.  If the team doesn’t produce in 2010, look for Hendry to be asked to leave next October.  I hope at least. But for now, it looks like everything will remain the same at Wrigley Field for 2010.  Let’s just hope the quality of play and win-loss record improves from 2009…

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Chicago Cubs Press Conference Today @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 30 October 2009 by Lou

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I know we have been reporting a lot about the completion of the sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts Family, but the Cubs held a press conference at Wrigley Field today introducing the Ricketts Family as the new owners of the franchise.

The Ricketts family also released a statement to Cubs season ticket holders today – we’re still trying to get our hands on a copy of the letter, so we will post it to the blog as soon as we can redact certain information from the letter.

Tom Ricketts will lead the new ownership group as the Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Cubs franchise.  Ricketts emphasized the fact that his family is a family of Cubs fans and that they will maintain the integrity and tradition of Cubs baseball and Wrigley Field.  That being said, they are also committed to making sure that the Wrigley Field structure itself remains around for years and years to come, and in order to do that, there might be some changes that need to be made in order to reach that goal.  Ricketts mentioned nothing about raising ticket prices in 2010.  Given how bad the team performed during the 2009 schedule, it would be hard to imagine the Ricketts family raising prices.  But then again, I wasn’t the one shelling over $845 million bucks to become the new Cubs owner.  You gotta make your money back somehow…

Here are a few quotes that we have dug up from Tom Ricketts:

“It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to own the team, but it’s not the kind of thing that frequently comes true.  This is a dream come true, literally, for me and for the family, too.”

“I’ll be around [Wrigley Field].  I’ll be at almost all the games.  I’ll be with the fans more than the players… We only have a little time between now and Opening Day [2010], and we’ll do a few things to the stadium.  The real key is that we’ll spend all of next year planning the next five years, the changes we make to the stadium that bring it through to the next generation.  I think that will [involve] looking at all the options and trying to figure out what’s the best use of all the space, and both the space in the stadium and outside the stadium.”

“There are a lot of dollars committed to players for 2010, so a lot of the financial felxibility is limited for next year.  That said, there’s a great nucleus and great core team that’s coming back, and hopefully if Jim [Hendry] can find some of the right people to bring in and round out the team, we’ll have a great team next year.”

Let’s just hope they bring a championship to these loyal Cubs fans sooner rather than later…

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It’s Official – The Ricketts Family Owns the Chicago Cubs Franchise

Posted on 27 October 2009 by Lou

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It’s official – The Rickets Family’s purchase of the Chicago Cubs is finally done.  Hip Hip Hooray!

The Ricketts Family now owns a 95% stake in the Chicago Cubs franchise, Wrigley Field, and 25% of Comcast Sportsnet.  The deal was worth approximately $845 million.  The Tribune Co. will still retain a 5% interest in the Chicago Cubs franchise, and after applicable taxes and fees, will bring in approximately $745 million.

Joe Ricketts – the patriarch of the Ricketts Family – is the founder of TD Ameritrade, an Omaha, Nebraska based brokerage firm.  Tom Rickets, one of Joe’s sons, will serve as the Chicago Cubs new Board Chairman.  Rickets wrote in a statement release to the press that the Board “will go to work building the championship tradition that all Cubs fans so richly deserve.”

The Chicago Cubs have scheduled a Friday news conference at Wrigley Field announcing the closing of the sale to the Ricketts Family.  At last…

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