Baseball owners didn’t buy their teams to lose money. The Chicago Cubs are no different, and the Ricketts family is watching their bottom line.
Despite plenty of success on the field, the Cubs’ bottom line, similar to the rest of baseball, is still catching up to the pace of play in a full season due to the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. No matter how many fans flock to Wrigley Field to see a winning ball-club, odds are the Cubs are taking on losses in 2021.
Baseball saved face with a 60-game season in 2020. While they lost money from the top-down, it could have been much worse. Said financial deficits are manageable now, but Tom Ricketts would be lying if he didn’t admit finances would play a role in his decision-making moving forward.
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“Any team going into next year is going to be careful on expenses just because we may end up with a situation where your revenues are delayed,” Ricketts said. “But for now we’re just assuming that it’ll work itself out and we’ll be back in the game next year.”
The big issue at play here is the CBA, which has yet to be agreed upon by the players and owners. Should that fall through, it would force both sides to take on even more losses just two years after a compact 60-game season. The league as a whole would take awhile to recover from such a blunder.
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez are all in the final seasons of their contracts. It’s unlikely the Cubs will bring back all three of them, and at one point it appeared Jed Hoyer and ownership were preparing to lose all three.
Suddenly, a winning attitude has changed their mindset. The door remains open, though the decision is as complicated as ever.