Virginia McCaskey says Bears will stay in the family
The father of Virginia McCaskey founded the Bears. After she passes, she believes the descendants of George Halas will continue to own the team.
In an interview with Dan Pompei of TheAthletic.com, the reclusive NFL owner said that the team will stay in the family “until the second coming.” (Some would say that day may be coming sooner than later.) More specifically, the 93-year-old matriarch of the McCaskey family, who still attends every Bears game, is confident that the family will still own and run the team “long after she is gone.”
Mrs. McCaskey owns 80 percent of the franchise. Estate taxes on a billion-dollar business with ever-growing worth could be difficult to pay (unless the estate tax goes away), and in multiple cases that obligation has forced the sale of teams.
When Halas died in 1983, Virginia McCaskey had no doubt that the family would keep the team.
“A lot of people were saying we should sell,” Mrs. McCaskey told Pompei. “It never occurred to me to do that. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. . . . I still hope we can do better than we’ve [been] doing. We have to. People are so good. The Bears fans are so good.”
Mrs. McCaskey is a good and caring person, as evidenced by this observation, which sounds like nothing the stereotypically hard-hearted sports team owner would say: “My least favorite expression is next man up. It sounds so cold. It isn’t that. It’s caring about the injured player, getting the proper treatment and rehab, whatever is best for him.”
That attitude is good for the NFL. A Bears team owned the Halas/McCaskey family is good for the NFL, too.