The sale may fetch more than $1 billion, according to John Puchalla, an analyst at Moody's Investors Service. Tribune reiterated today its going-private buyout will close by year-end, in a deal that will leave it with about $12 billion in debt.
You have to hand it to Sam Zell. The scare tactic that he might sell Wrigley Field seperately from the Cubs might work to get a premium on both. According to this mornings Chicago Tribune the state of Illinois is discussing buying the historic ballpark.
City and state officials have had discussions with Cubs executives about possibly selling historic Wrigley Field to a state government entity that currently owns and operates the White Sox's home, U.S. Cellular Field, sources close to the Cubs told the Tribune.
The talks with state and city officials centered on selling the 93-year-old facility to the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, the government unit the Illinois General Assembly created in 1987 for the purpose of building new Comiskey Park, now U.S. Cellular Field.
Now as an Illinois taxpayer, what I wondered how the hell would they pay for it?
It is unclear how the state and ISFA would raise funds for such a purchase, which would fetch hundreds of millions of dollars if consummated. One possible way the state could underwrite a purchase, or pay for major renovations to the ballpark that any buyer would have to fund, would be to sell naming rights to the park, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions. These sources said that even if naming rights were sold, the park likely still would retain the name Wrigley Field as well.
This all seems rather far-fetched to me. In a day where Springfield can't get a transit bill through they can buy a ballpark? What? Hmmmmmmmmm. I guess anything is possible.