CHICAGO
12/11/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Final Cubs Bids Due By Thanksgiving: Report

Tribune Co. has asked bidders for the Chicago Cubs to submit new offers before Nov. 27, Thanksgiving day, according to two people involved in the negotiations.

The bids have to include details on how the prospective buyers will finance the purchase of the team. Chicago-based Tribune, which also owns the Chicago Tribune and other media properties, also is looking to sell Wrigley Field and a 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet, a regional sports network. Before the financial crisis gripped Wall Street, the package was once valued at more than $1 billion.

Sam Zell's Tribune is seeking a heavily leveraged deal to minimize the capital-gains tax for the company. The company bought the Cubs and the landmark stadium for $20.5 million from the Wrigley family in 1981.

The deadline leaves bidders less than three weeks to line up commitments from banks and other financiers. Under ordinary circumstances, the deadline would be difficult to hit. But the credit crunch makes such a task even more arduous because banks are reluctant to lend.

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