Zell's Dilemma: Sell Cubs Now Or After (Maybe) Winning It All?

Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Jeff Roberson
Wrigley Field in Chicago.

If you were the owner of the Chicago Cubs and you were going sell the team, would you sell them before a shot at a championship run or would you wait to see if they won it all?

That's the dilemma that confronts Sam Zell.

Ten bidders have to have their bids in by July 31, as the Cubs will likely enter the month with the best record in baseball and the best home record in the league.

Now Zell said earlier this month that he's going to keep a small percentage of the team (reportedly 5 percent), but given what he said on CNBC this morning, it appears like he thinks there's a chance to get the deal done and approved before the a possible Cubs World Series appearance.

When asked if he'd be willing to wait for the Cubs to try to win it all this year, this is what Zell said: "The answer is that as far as I'm concerned I announced we were going to sell the Cubs. I'm thrilled with how well the Cubs are doing. I think that there's somebody out there who really wants to hold that trophy and I hope this is the year we get that trophy and I'm planning to find that guy."

I always thought it would be best for Zell to take a chance and see if the Cubs--after 100 years -- could finally win one. After all, it would make the Cubs hotter than ever and would boost all the revenue projections, thus bolstering the sales price. But now I'm starting to think that Zell's apparent strategy of selling while the Cubs are hot--if things can finally move here-- might be a better one. And if a new owner can buy into the fever right now, that championship premium might already be baked in.

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