Tribune Considers Bankruptcy For Cubs To Clear Way For Sale
July 15, 2009 at 4:43 AM (PT)
The long saga of the TRIBUNE CO.'s attempt to sell the CHICAGO CUBS and WRIGLEY FIELD may lead to the team declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a brief time in order to clear any obstacles to the sale.
The bankruptcy, unusual but not unheard of in sports (the STANLEY CUP champion PITTSBURGH PENGUINS spent two stretches in Chapter 11 in 1975 and 1998, and the PHOENIX COYOTES are presently in bankruptcy proceedings), would be a procedural move to clear the title to the franchise so that TRIBUNE's own creditors would not be able to hold up the deal with claims against the team. The CUBS would be the first major league baseball team to file for bankruptcy since the SEATTLE PILOTS filed after their only season in 1969; the PILOTS were sold to now-MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG and moved to MILWAUKEE during spring taining in 1970.
A deal to sell the CUBS, the stadium, and a share in COMCAST SPORTSNET's CHICAGO regional operation to the RICKETTS family remains pending.