by: Christopher Tkaczyk


…When the news broke in late August that the Ricketts family of Omaha was buying 95% of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, and the Tribune Co.’s stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago from Sam Zell in a deal valued at $845 million, more than a few fans were left scratching their heads. Indeed, until now the clan has kept a decidedly low profile, but that’s all about to change with the purchase of one of the most iconic…baseball franchises.

Zell, who is keeping 5% for tax purposes, had been trying to sell the ball club ever since he took the Tribune Co. private in April 2007 and added on $13 billion in debt. Why did it take so long? “Everything that could go wrong, went wrong,” says Sal Galatioto, president of Galatioto Sports Partners, who advised the family on the deal. “The banking market cratered, the economy cratered, the Tribune went bankrupt.” But the deal got done…

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