CHICAGO (CN) – The Chicago Cubs filed for bankruptcy on Columbus Day, listing $13 billion in debts. The filing is expected to facilitate the sale of the team to the Ricketts family. The Cubs’ corporate parent, Tribune Co., filed for bankruptcy less than a year ago after real estate mogul Sam Zell burdened it with debt in buying it in 2007.
The Cubs were not included in the Tribune bankruptcy filing.
In its Chapter 11 filing, the Cubs listed $8.6 billion in debt to JP Morgan Chase Bank and $1.6 billion to Merrill Lynch Capital Corp.
It’s the first Major League Baseball bankruptcy filing since the Seattle Pilots filed in 1970. Current Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig bought the team, which became the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Chapter 11 filing does not mean the Cubs are in financial trouble, the team’s bankruptcy attorney Gregory Cross told Bloomberg News Service. “You do not have to be insolvent to be in bankruptcy,” Cross told Bloomberg. “All you need is a legitimate business reason.”