Cubs Strong Showing on Forbes List Undermines Ricketts Claims


Hey, can you help a billionaire out and spare some change? Times are just so tough right now, especially for members of the family that founded the TD Ameritrade empire. As you will recall from this past winter, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts consistently cried and wailed about how his club had no money to spend on Bryce Harper, or any other prominent free agents this offseason.

Ricketts even backed out of his annual panel at the Cubs Convention in January, so as to not face the music from Cubs fans for their winter of discontent with the direction of the club.

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Ricketts’ claims that the Cubs have no money were total b.s. then, but this specific bit of intelligence-insulting propaganda has aged even poorer on Tuesday with the release of the 2019 Forbes list of the world’s 50 most valuable sports franchises.

The Cubs placed in a tie for 14th place, registering a valuation of $3.1 billion and an operating income of $87 million. Making the Ricketts narrative look even sillier, the Cubs value actually INCREASED from the past year, ramping up 7%, and that’s hard to do given the challenge of maintaining top line growth when you’re up at this level among the fiscally elite.

But hey, SoDoSoPa gentrification projects, your new gambling information portal partner and funding the challenger to the incumbent Chicago Alderman that you’re constantly at odds with just doesn’t pay for itself amirite?

Among Major League Baseball franchises, only the New York Yankees (#2, $4.6 billion), Los Angeles Dodgers (#10 $3.3 billion) and Boston Red Sox (#12, $3.2 billion) registered higher.

But hey, at least Cubs fans have hiked up ticket prices and the Daniel Descalso signing to show for it. Ricketts spent money this off-season, he just didn’t allocate it to Theo Epstein to spend on players.

And now, with eight days to go until the trade deadline passes, the Cubs have a roster that reflects their season thus far- very meh.


The opportunity is there to separate themselves from a really weak NL Central division, but the Cubs didn’t invest properly in building a roster that can and will.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.comand Chicago on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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