The McCaskey Family Has A Succession Plan So The Bears Remain A Family Business FOREVER

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Current NFL bylaws state that a single lineal family (not necessarily a single person) must control 30% of each franchise, which the 99-year-old McCaskey does via that voting trust. When she dies, the voting trust expires, and the Bears ownership will be thinly spread over more than a dozen Halas heirs, without a single person or descendant anywhere close to that 30% threshold.

Estate planning has been a quiet priority of the league’s owners for decades, according to a number of people in and around the NFL, but the issue has taken on increased importance of late, following a series of very public fights. The issue is compounded by the league’s stated desire to keep franchises as family businesses, an aging cohort of owners, and soaring multibillion-dollar valuations, which makes teams both more desirable and harder to pass on to heirs.

Specifics of that plan weren’t provided, but would require re-consolidating control of at least 30% of the team, which is now worth $5 billion, into a single wing of the McCaskey family. It could also involve the sale of some equity.

The team has won one playoff game in the past 15 years, prompting many fans to push for a change in ownership. But the team has made money, including an estimated $140 million operating profit in 2021.

Virginia McCaskey turns 100 in January, and it’s unclear how much she still owns of her original 19.7% stake. She can go as low as 1% under NFL rules, and it’s most likely that her stake has been whittled down to further reduce the tax hit when she passes.

I need a reality show on this. It's NFL Succession except the head of the family is a 99 year-old sweet old lady instead a boorish, ruthless, sociopath who hates his children. It would appear that Virginia McCaskey LOVES her children and that is why George, despite only having led the Bears to one (1) playoff win in the last 15 years is still largely the face of the organization and why Ted Phillips has been able to run the Bears for decades without any sort of sustained on field success. And maybe that is simply because the NFL is such a well-oiled machine at the level above the individual franchises that the Bears can run their organization like Homer Simpson when he gained weight for a disability

Simply vote "yes" at league meetings and then print checks. The Bears made $121M last year while putting an embarrassing product on the field. Not exactly a big incentive exists to upset the apple cart. Sit back, enjoy the perks of NFL ownership, and distribute those LARGE annual dividends to the shareholders to do whatever they see fit. Not a bad life for the generations who have come after Papa Bear Halas and his original $100 investment. 100 bucks for an NFL franchise. That article said a lot of concessions to the rules have been made over the years to accomodate some of the original ownership families. The McCaskeys along with the the Rooneys and the Maras. I don't get that. If I were a newer owner and just dropped down $3B for a franchise, I don't think I'd want to listen to families who paid a combined $3100 for their teams 100 years ago. That's just me. 


Anyways, it sounds like the Bears won't be going the way of the Broncos. They'll never be up for sale under any circumstances. The new stadium in Arlington only further cements the family's status as everyone stands to make a shit ton more money with stadium ownership and all the extra money that comes from that. Forbes said that the discussion of an Arlington stadium raised the Bears valuation 42%. That smells like even bigger dividend checks for everyone involved. 

I am sure that as there are more heirs and great grandchildren and further dilution there will be internal pressure by the family to sell and cash out and squabble over roles and power, but for now it appears that we have the McCaskeys for at least another generation. There is something sort of cool about that, but only if they have the success of the Rooneys and the Maras. Those two houses have united. Maybe the Bears need to do the same. There's got to be a way to bring in a more successful NFL royal bloodline into House Halas at Arlington.