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Cubs should be sold by spring training: Kenney

Crane Kenney says Tribune Co. will hold onto very small percentage of team.
Chicago Cubs chairman Crane Kenney says the sale of the team, Wrigley Field and a share of a cable sports network should be completed by the beginning of spring training and shot down speculation the Tribune Co. and Sam Zell would retain up to half of the team..

"The bids that came in were for control of the team where for Sam, any interest would be a small interest," Kenney told the Chicago Tribune. "I think at some point people were talking about Sam holding almost half of it. That’s not the way they [bid]. People are ready to come in, and while the economy is as challenging as it is, I think the value of the franchise really hasn’t changed long-term. I think the bidders are all well financed and understand that. They didn’t deviate much from where the value should be."

That value, as we’ve been reporting since last year, should be well north of a billion dollars for the combo. So far there are three confirmed bidders making the second round: Chicago real estate magnate Hersch Klaff; Chicago financier Tom Ricketts; and Mark Utay and Leo Hindery Jr., private-equity investors in New York. This doesn’t mean other groups have not stepped forward with bids; one notable thing about this process is how much action has gone on in relative privacy.

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