Chicago Cubs: Demanding excellence in every regard
Ricketts has not only transformed the front office and the on-field product for the Cubs but has served as the face of the family in a far-reaching Wrigley Field renovation project. The Ricketts bought up the rooftops and poured hundreds of millions into the ballpark and the surrounding area.
So while, yes, the Ricketts have made their share of money since purchasing the franchise, they’ve turned around and put it right back into the team, the park and the local economy. This serves as a breath of fresh air when compared to the former owners of the Cubs, the Tribune Company, who purchased the Cubs in 1981 following a 60-year ownership by the Wrigley family.
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With the Tribune Company at the helm, the Cubs claimed and embraced the “lovable loser” mindset and rarely competed at the highest level, winning only one playoff series in their time as owner.
While Wrigley Field finally got lights for night games under the watch of the Tribune Company, that was about it for radiant luster and shine, as it was 28 years filled with disappointment and heartache.
While Ricketts didn’t seem to have very big shoes to fill in Wrigleyville, his family nonetheless came out swinging, taking on the city of Chicago, Wrigley Field, Wrigleyville, the National Park Service, and MLB for good measure.
They have elevated a franchise bought for just under $1 billion ($845 million) with a large national fanbase (thanks to WGN carrying Cubs games nationally, and a brand name that had always made people root for the underdog) to a nearly $3 billion valuation per Forbes in just nine years.