This is merely a fun factoid at a time when business-related topics are so aggressively discussed in the Cubs sphere.
With the Ricketts Family having purchased the final 5% of the Cubs organization – the portion that was retained by the Tribune Company as part of the original 2009 leveraged partnership – we have a data point on how the Cubs were valued by the parties for the purposes of that sale:
The Tribune era at the Chicago Cubs is finally, completely over. The Ricketts family owns 100% of the team. https://t.co/VcRmYWNt5C
— Chicago Tribune Biz (@ChiTribBiz) March 1, 2019
The Ricketts Family paid $107.5 million for 5% of the Cubs this year, so that means the valuation at the time was pegged at $2.15 billion.
In its most recent Business of Baseball, Forbes valued the Cubs at $2.9 billion, so the internal $2.15 billion figure is dramatically lower. The caveats there are many: we don’t know exactly what is being included in each valuation (there are related properties – a share in NBC Sports Chicago, external developments, the rooftop businesses, and, of course, Wrigley Field – that may or may not be included in each); we don’t know what financial elements of the deal might have spurred a particular price tag on the 5% purchase; and we don’t know exactly *when* the price tag on the 5% was agreed to (for all we know, it was an option price put into place many years ago).
That is all to say, there’s a data point that the Ricketts Family is valuing the Cubs business at $2.15 billion – a sizable increase from the roughly $900 million original purchase price. That price might be a little low compared to what the actual value is, and it’s *DEFINITELY* much lower than the price tag would be if someone wanted to show up and try to purchase the team today away from the Ricketts Family.
In short: the Cubs are very valuable, and if you wanted to buy 0.001% of the team, it would cost you between like $25,000 and $40,000.
… Let’s pool some money and do it!