Market Monday (#3): Chicago

Wrigley Field - Home of the Chicago Cubs

Every Monday theBRKDWN releases our Market Monday segment. These are a series of articles that break down the history and current state of the sport market in a given city each week, focusing specifically on teams in five of the major professional sports leagues in North America; NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and MLS. I will try to include only the most important and noteworthy information about each team including things like year established, years a team existed if they are no longer in existence or relocated, number of championships won or participated in, other cities where a franchise previously existed, financial information such as team estimated value, and any other noteworthy information. This week we’re heading to Chicago.

Previous Market Monday(s)

New York

Los Angeles


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MLB Breakdown

Chicago Cubs

Year Franchise Founded: 1871 (Didn’t become a professional club until 1876)

Year Established in city: 1871

# of championships: 3

Team Estimated Value: $2.9 billion USD

Current Home Stadium: Wrigley Field

The Cubs claim to share the legacy of being the oldest team in baseball alongside the Atlanta Braves but there are disputes about this. Both franchises were established in 1871 but the Cubs franchise was unable to play in ‘72 and ‘73 because of a massive fire in 1871 in Chicago which killed hundreds of people. For this reason the Cub’s did not play baseball for their first two seasons, thus creating the debate amongst baseball fans. The Cubs have played under various names (mostly odd) in the past like the White Stockings, the Orphans, and the Colts.

Currently the Chicago Cubs play on the North side of the city in Wrigley Field — a stadium well known for its ivy-covered outfield wall. The Cubbies fan attendance was high over the course of their record-breaking 107-season championship drought and despite this, the team managed to become MLB’s third most valuable franchise. The Cubs are worth almost double the amount of their cross-town rivals, the Chicago White Sox, and also tend to be the more popular of the two teams. Recently the Cubs have found some success. They’ve made the playoffs the last four years straight and won the World Series in 2016 ending the aforementioned 107-season World Series drought.

Chicago White Sox

Year Franchise Founded: 1900

Year Established in city: 1900

# of championships: 3

Team Estimated Value: $1.5 billion USD

Current Home Stadium: Guaranteed Rate Field

Twenty-nine years after the Cubs came into existence, Chicago got a second professional baseball team, originally known as the White Stockings. Eventually they changed their name to the White Sox. Interestingly enough, the Cubs were originally known as the White Stockings until they changed their name in 1889. The White Sox were involved in a scandal in 1919 dubbed the “Black Sox Scandal” in which the team intentionally lost the World Series after receiving money from a Gambling Syndicate. The Sox play in the South end of Chicago and most recently won the Series in 2005 after an 80+ year drought.

NFL Breakdown

Chicago Bears

Year Franchise Founded: 1919

Year Established in city: 1921

# of championships: 9 (only 1 Super Bowl)

Team Estimated Value: $2.9 billion USD

Current Home Stadium: Soldier Field

The Bears are one of the founding members of the NFL and have a rich history. The Bears are one of the most popular team in the NFL given their success in the early days of the league. They have the record for most inductees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as well as the most jerseys retired by any franchise in the league. They also have the most regular season wins by any NFL franchise (749) and have won nine championships. Only one of these titles was won during the Super Bowl era in 1985.

NBA Breakdown

Chicago Bulls

Year Franchise Founded: 1966

Year Established in city: 1966

# of championships: 6

Team Estimated Value: $2.6 billion USD

Current Home Stadium: United Center

The Chicago Bulls made the NBA famous world-wide during the ‘90s when they created one of the greatest dynasties in the history of sports. They won all six of the franchises’ NBA championships from 1991-1998 (including two three-peats) with the help of Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Scotty Pippen, and Phil Jackson. Michael Jordan and other key parts of this dynasty helped revolutionize the game of basketball across the globe. At the moment, the Bulls are one of the most valuable professional sports teams in Chicago and sit as the fourth most valuable NBA franchise.

NHL Breakdown

Chicago Blackhawks

Year Franchise Founded: 1926

Year Established in city: 1926

# of championships: 6

Team Estimated Value: $1.05 billion USD

Current Home Stadium: United Center

The Chicago Blackhawks are an NHL Original Six team. Like most cities home to an NHL and NBA team, the Blackhawks and Bulls share a home arena. Similarly to the Bulls, the ‘Hawks are the fourth most valuable team in the NHL. Within the last decade, the Blackhawks put a nice little dynasty together. From 2008-2017 they made the playoffs for nine consecutive seasons, and won three Stanley Cups.

MLS Breakdown

Chicago Fire

Year Franchise Founded: 1997

Year Established in city: 1997

# of championships: 1

Team Estimated Value: $245 million USD

Current Home Stadium: SeatGeek Stadium

Chicago Fire are named after aforementioned Great Chicago Fire of 1871 which ravaged the city. The franchise was successful early on in their existence winning their only MLS Cup in their debut season as well as the U.S. Open Cup. The Fire went on to win the U.S. Open on three other occasions and are currently the 13th most valuable team in MLS.  

Chicago Sports Market Recap

Total Estimated Value: $11.195 billion USD

Total # of Championships in the city: 28

Overall, Chicago can be described as a well-rounded sports city. They have at least one team in each of the five major leagues, have a decent sport market value, and have won a reasonable number of championships. Chicago sports fans do not have too much to brag about, but it’s easy to see why Chicagoans are proud of their sports.

2 thoughts on “Market Monday (#3): Chicago

  1. I read through your blog post here. I was hoping you could help me with something. I was wondering, What is the best time of year to visit Chicago? I’m going there to see a Cubs game but I want to go during nice weather. A really appreciate any advice you can give.

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