(CBS) In a wide-ranging interview with the Mully and Hanley Show on Friday morning, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts confirmed reports that the team is considering selling some shares of the team to investors to help finance the Wrigley Field renovations.
In January 2013, the team announced a $300-million plan to renovate Wrigley Field, which today is hosting its 100th Opening Day as the Cubs host the Phillies.
“Almost every team has a number of investors,” Ricketts said. “Many teams have dozens of investors. Right now, it’s basically us with a small stake, a residual stake for the Tribune (Co.). When you look at a project the size that we’re looking at, you basically look at all the financing options and you see what’s out there. We will have a few discussions with potential co-investors and try to find people that want to invest in the ballpark and invest in the ball club, help fix Wrigley, help get to the World Series.
“It’s just one of the options on the table, but if we do go down that route, it’s certainly a case where we’d get just a handful of small, committed investors to put in a relatively large investment, and we’ll use that as part of the financing for the renovation of the ballpark.”
Full interview: Ricketts talks dispute with rooftop owners, season expectations, relationship with Sammy Sosa and more
Ricketts admitted ownership would like to have been much further along in the Wrigley Field renovations by now but added, “I think we’re moving forward pretty soon, but we’re not quite there yet.” Renovations haven’t started because of a dispute with Wrigley Field rooftop owners, who are opposed to advertising signage and video screen that would block some of their views.
In another intriguing topic, Ricketts spoke of why former Cubs great Ryne Sandberg — a fan favorite — has been passed over for the team’s managerial position several times, including 2010, when the Cubs hired Mike Quade.
“At the time, Jim (Hendry) interviewed a handful of guys and thought that Mike Quade was just more ready and the guy who would be the better manager for the Cubs at that time,” Ricketts said. “We love Ryne. Obviously, he’s one of the greatest Cubs of all time, one of the greatest players of all time and a good guy. He’ll always be a Cub. I’m really happy for him the way it worked out. He got to go to an organization that he came up with and an organization that gave him a chance to be manager and I wish him all the success in the world — except for the next three days.”