Regardless of how you might feel about the Ricketts family, one thing is not up for debate: far too often in the wake of the 2016 World Series championship, Cubs ownership has found itself in some less-than-ideal public relations snafus.
There were the racist comments from the family patriarch, the purported ‘biblical losses’ comment from Tom Ricketts in 2020, a failure to extend the team’s competitive window via contract extensions with fan favorite players and a recent bid to purchase Chelsea FC, which carries a reported price tag somewhere in the $4 billion range.
Had you told me six years ago that all the good will that came with the renovation of the Friendly Confines and erasing a 108-year title drought would be gone by this point, I’d have called you crazy. But that’s where we are. Coming out of an offseason where the Cubs watched Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez sign with new teams while Chicago stayed comfortably below any luxury tax thresholds, fans have had enough. Throw in a likely forthcoming Willson Contreras trade and it could turn into an all-out mutiny.
Can’t get worse, you say? Wrong. After watching Ricketts cry poor (both through words and actions), for years, the latest Forbes MLB franchise valuations are out: and they paint a very different picture of the financial health of the Cubs organization.
Despite the pandemic, from 2020 to 2021, the value of the Cubs grew by about five percent. But from 2021 to 2022, that skyrocketed all the way up to 13 percent, which places the value for the storied franchise at a whopping $3.8 billion.
Given MLB owners locked out players and brought the sport to its knees this winter for 99 days, the fact that the average franchise is now worth more than $2 billion. Forbes points out the expanded postseason and jersey and helmet sponsorship agreements in the new CBA will be major new sources of revenue – and will help keep driving the values even higher in years to come.
Cubs fans scrape by as ownership continues to see room for growth
The 13 percent growth the Cubs experienced over the last 12 months was topped by only the Dodgers and Yankees, both of whom checked in at 14 percent. Chicago is the fourth-most valuable franchise in the league now, trailing only New York ($6 billion), Los Angeles ($4.075 billion) and Boston ($3.9 billion).
Want your voice heard? Join the Cubbies Crib team!
It’s another tough sell to Cubs fans, who are gearing up to watch what’s expected to be a pretty lackluster club in 2022 – while shelling out for the most expensive game day experience in all of baseball.