Mark Cuban wants to become a billionaire bleacher bum if he buys the Chicago Cubs.
The Dallas Mavericks owner, known for noisily cheering his NBA team and berating officials from courtside, reiterated strong interest Monday in owning the Cubs.
“Everybody thinks I’m going to be on the sidelines, in the dugout, jumping up and down. That’s not where I’ll be,” he said on the Mike North Morning Show on radio station WSCR.
“When I went to the Cubs game a couple weeks ago, I sat in the bleachers, and I’ll have a seat marked out for me and my friends. We’ll be out in the right-field bleachers — that’s the best place to watch a game.”
Tribune Co. announced six months ago that it would sell the club after the season in connection with an $8.2 billion buyout of the media conglomerate led by real estate magnate Sam Zell. But the process has moved slowly and many don’t expect a sale to be completed until well into 2008.
Cuban said he hasn’t made a final decision on whether to bid for the team. But once Tribune provides full details about the assets for sale, presumably including Wrigley, he expects to be in.
“It’s a great sports town, it’s a great franchise with a storied history. There’s so many opportunities here,” he said. “When a team that’s so iconic and such an amazing team like the Cubbies come up, it’s an opportunity I couldn’t let slip by.”
After last month’s bleacher experience, the Pittsburgh native said he’s becoming a Cubs fan.
“People think that because I’m not from Chicago, that’s a big deal,” he said. “I grew up in Pittsburgh, and there’s no bigger Dallas Mavs fan now.”
“If all this goes down … if you cut any part of my body, you can see Mavs blood and you can see Cubbies blood coming out.”
Cuban faces stiff early competition for the Cubs, including several Chicago groups. One front-runner is thought to be the group headed by John Canning, chairman of private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC and a longtime friend and business partner of baseball commissioner Bud Selig.