Wrigley welcomes Ricketts family
October 30, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Members of the Ricketts family were introduced officially as the new owners of the Chicago Cubs Friday, and it didn't take long for new Cubs chairman, Tom Ricketts, to make a promise that fans hope will come true.
"We're gonna win the World Series," he said.
The Cubs haven't won a World Series in more than a century. The Ricketts are also pledging to put more money into the team and the historic ballpark.
The family has gone from relative anonymity to being the faces of ownership for one of the country's most storied sports franchises. And that franchise no longer has a faceless corporate owner. Now, it's a family of Cubs fans.
The biggest difference, they say, between their ownership and the Tribune company is that they don't have to answer to stockholders or look at quarterly results. They want to make a profit, but they say the fans first, and they want to make long-term decisions that will turn the Cubs into a perennial playoff team.
"Everyone needs to know that we're here for the long term, and we are here to win.," Tom Ricketts said
"Winning for the Cubs now is not just something we want as fans, but it's also a matter of family pride," said Laura Ricketts, new Cubs board member.
Those words are music to ears of long -suffering Cubs fans. But after a century of losing, some are understandably skeptical.
"They sounded really exciting with the plans that they had. But then, of course, there's reality, and we'll see what happens," Cubs fan Chris Tracy said.
"It is too early for me to have an opinion. I haven't seen how the team's doing with the new ownership," said Mike Posey, also a Cubs fan.
The new owners say they realize they are now going to be the target for fans' joy and anger about the team's performance.
"The fans live and die with this Cubs team. It matters so much to us, each pitch, each game. It seemed like the owners were all about the bottom line. Well now, with Tom Ricketts, I feel like we have an owner that really, really wants to win the World Series," said ESPN 1000's Harry Teinowitz.
The owners say winning a World Series is their main objective, but they also addressed a number of other issues. Regarding Wrigley Field naming rights, it's possible they would sell the rights, but the Wrigley name would remain a part of it.
On the issue of spring training, the team is weighing an offer to move from Mesa, Arizona to Naples, Florida for better facilities, but they've made no decisions yet.
As for the ball park, the new owners want to clean up the concourses, improve the food options and renovate the restroom facilities by next season. Eventually, they plan to put a new facility on the so-called 'triangle' of land next to the park.
And one other thing: no more talk about goats or black cats.
"There is no curse. If anybody on our team thinks he's cursed, we'll move him to a less cursed team," said
There are couple other issues the Ricketts family talked about Friday. They expect a small increase in ticket prices but have no plans for personal seat licenses. Also, they hope Lou Piniella will return but will leave decisions about outfielder Milton Bradley's future to General Manager Jim Hendry.
ricketts family, chicago cubs, sports, john garcia
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