Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts wants the 2020 season to happen, even if it means additional losses for his organization and the rest of the MLB owners.
While also discussing the financial state of the Cubs and saying the league is in rough shape, Ricketts said he remains optimistic games will be played this season.
"The scale of losses across the league is biblical," he told ESPN's Jesse Rogers on Tuesday.
"Here's something I hope fans understand," he added. "Most baseball owners don't take money out of their team. They raise all the revenue they can from tickets and media rights, and they take out their expenses, and they give all the money left to their GM to spend.
"The league itself does not make a lot of cash. I think there is a perception that we hoard cash and we take money out and it's all sitting in a pile we've collected over the years. Well, it isn't. Because no one anticipated a pandemic. No one expects to have to draw down on the reserves from the past. Every team has to figure out a way to plug the hole."
A group of MLB owners would be OK with canceling the 2020 campaign to reduce payroll costs and alleviate other financial losses, according to a recent report. However, Ricketts says he's unaware of any discussions of that nature.
"There are scenarios where not playing at all can be a better financial option, but we're not looking at that," the owner said. "We want to play. We want to get back on the field. ... I'm not aware of any owners that don't want to play. We just want to get back on the field in a way that doesn't make this season financially worse for us."
If a season takes place, games will likely be played without fans in attendance. Combine that with players earning prorated salaries as they've reportedly requested in negotiations, and there would be heavy financial implications for owners. An estimation of $640,000 lost per contest was revealed in a 12-page presentation MLB made to the players on May 16.
Despite that financial burden, Ricketts maintains that playing the season is important, and he's hopeful the league and its players will work things out soon.
"I'm pretty optimistic we'll get games back on the field," Ricketts said. "I have full faith and confidence in the commissioner. How we get there is yet to be written, but I'm pretty sure we'll get there."