As he did with the Red Sox, Epstein looks to drive revenue for the Chicago CubsTheo Epstein recently left his position as general manager for the Boston Red Sox to take over as team president of the Chicago Cubs. Officials from the Cubs affirmed they chose Epstein because of his ability to not only produce winning teams, but also derive additional revenue from ballparks.

To say that the 86-year interim between the Red Sox' 1918 World Series win and its 2004 victory frustrated Boston's rabid sports fans is a gross understatement. In fact, the decades of disappointment, anger and disbelief became defining characteristics of the city's sports fans, signs of their unwavering – and fanatical – support of the Sox.

Under Epstein, the Red Sox were able to break their infamous losing streak in 2004 when they defeated the St. Louis Cardinals. Epstein was a major architect of the team's victory, and his ability to help the club recapture its position atop the highest rungs of Major League Baseball was spurred by his eye for talent and his ability to cut business costs and improve efficiency.

Teams hire general managers to run their operations, and overseeing a successful baseball franchise is a lot like managing a company. Epstein was charged with acquiring big name talent and creating additional revenue streams for the team. He was ultimately able to accomplish the former because of his prowess in the latter.

The New York Times reports that while Epstein served as general manager of the Sox for nine years, he produced two World Series championships and helped significantly augment revenue at Fenway Park. As the nation's oldest professional baseball park, Fenway has long been a fan favorite, but Epstein turned it into a cash cow that enabled the Sox to sign some of the biggest and most talented players in the league.

The Red Sox poured more than $280 million into renovations of Fenway, giving the facility a much-needed facelift. Additional seats were installed, the park's luxury wing was upgraded and a host of other features were implemented. The results were staggering, as Fenway's capacity since 2001 surged by 3,500 seats.

In fact, data compiled by Forbes indicates the Red Sox experienced a surge in growth, revenue and total value during Epstein's tenure. In 2011, Forbes ranked the Red Sox as the second most valuable MLB team, with its total worth estimated at $912 million. Forbes affirmed the team logged revenue of $272 million the year prior, with its total value climbing 5 percent from 2010.

Annual revenue jumped under Epstein, while the upgrades at Fenway helped to trim some of the facility's operating costs. By increasing its investment into the facility, the Red Sox were able to drive earnings higher and acquire some of the talented players – David Ortiz, for example – that were critical in winning titles.

The Chicago Cubs hope Epstein can accomplish a similar feat in the Second City. Like Boston, Chicago has a storied ballpark in Wrigley Park. Also like Boston, Chicago is suffering from a 103-year World Series drought, and fans in the city are voraciously seeking another title.

Tom Ricketts, the Cubs' chairman, acknowledged that the team hired Epstein as much for his ability to sign top players as his overseeing the transformation of Fenway. Ricketts was asked whether Epstein was more attractive to the team because of his business acumen and his ability to implement business cost reductions and drive profitability.

"The answer is yes," he replied.

Nevertheless, Epstein has his work cut out for him in Chicago, as he faces a depleted roster and circumstances that differ from those in Boston. One thing that remains the same, however, is the pressure from both management and fans to generate a World Series title.

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