Quantcast

Back in 2004, the Chicago Cubs added some additional, premium seating behind home plate by moving the brick wall there forward about 10 feet. It was a modestly controversial move, because it reduced the distance between home plate and the wall to just 50 feet, one of the shorter distances in baseball (and shy of the 60 feet recommended by MLB). Ultimately, though, the three additional rows of seating – and added revenue – soothed most concerns, and it became just another part of Wrigley Field (which is, by the way, what has already happened with the patio seating and LED board in right field).

The Cubs are reportedly trying to do it again with the wall behind home plate, moving it forward about three feet in order to add 56 premium box seats. With three fewer feet behind home plate, Wrigley Field would be home to the shortest distance between home plate and the backstop in all of baseball (which, considering Wrigley’s age and seating limitations, is probably about right). Moving the wall requires landmark commission approval, though.

The details of the process, from Crain’s:

The proposed renovation, which is on the meeting agenda for the permit review committee of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks on Thursday, would disassemble part of the current wall and salvage all the brick and stone cap to be incorporated into a new wall behind home plate, according to the agenda.

Since the wall falls under the guidelines of the stadium’s 2004 landmark designation, the project must get a thumbs-up from the committee before the Cubs can get to work.

The Cubs, naturally, are declining comment until after today’s committee meeting.

Those added 56 seats – assuming they don’t become the empty eyesores like those at, for example, Yankee Stadium – could cost $200 or more, depending on the opponent. With 81 home games, that suggests an added revenue stream upwards of $900,000. In reality, that’s probably a very conservative guess.

As for the impact on the game, the shorter distance would have an impact not only on ricocheting wild pitches and passed balls (probably of little impact on the game), but also on foul balls behind home plate. In theory, the more you shrink foul territory, the more hitter-friendly a park becomes (fewer balls that could have been caught in foul territory are actually caught, given hitters more lives). Here, with some back-of-the-napkin math, you’re talking about a 6% decrease in foul territory, only in the area directly behind home plate. How many pop-ups does a catcher get behind home plate in a given season? 25? Fewer? If so, you’re talking about a decrease in foul outs of about one or two per season, tops. That’s almost negligible enough to be considered “no difference.”

In other words, as long as precautions are taken to assist with player safety, this looks like an opportunity for the Cubs to add significant revenue at almost no expense. Since Tom Ricketts has said that every dollar in the door will be put back into the organization, more revenue is a good thing.

It looks like they’re measuring things this morning, in fact.

  • When the Music’s Over

    I disagree, in order to find ~$800K – $1M, there’s got to be better alternatives to making the backtop roughly 25% shorter than the suggested distance.

    If the plan goes as its been laid out, I can’t wait to see tickets prices when the Cubs are consistent contenders in a few years.

  • Spencer

    This is pretty ridiculous. If every single new seat is sold for every single home game at $220 (Which, um, it’s going to happen next year because the team will be complete shit. Again.), that nets just under $1 million. It doesn’t seem like 900K is very conservative at all – it’s probably just about right. Three feet doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but then you take into account the fact that the backstop would now be only 47 feet behind home plate when MLB recommends 60, I think it’s a big deal. And it could be dangerous to catchers that run back there to make plays. It’s not like the backstop is padded; it’s brick.

    Next, why was Theo unaware of these changes being made? That seems really, really weird to me and I’m surprised it wasn’t talked about in the post and just linked. I would think the President of Baseball Operations would want to be involved in discussions about changing the ballpark. Wasn’t he instrumental in the video board this year?

    Lastly, why are these PREMIUM seats being added in a season after the Cubs lose over 100 games? Attendance numbers are the lowest they’ve been in probably 10 years or so, so the guys in charge decide that now is a good time to add seats that cost over $200 to the stadium? Does that really make sense to everyone? This leaves a bad taste in my mouth that makes me think money is more important to baseball to a lot of people in the organization.

    • Spencer

      my parentheses in the first paragraph is a typo and should say “Isn’t going to happen”

    • Pete

      To further maximize profits, the Rickettses will next be hiring bullies to shake down change from drunken fans as they leave the game.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I didn’t talk about Theo’s comment because I think he was just doing what he always does, and was playing coy. This was not news to him.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Dude, 3 years ago just to do it, I got Row 2 tix behind homeplate on a Saturday. Those tix were like $325 per seat. It was against Houston and Soriano hit a walkoff single in Wells season debut against Oswalt. I haven’t seen those $220. They may have come down, but if they are that much, that is a steal. Best experience I had at Wrigley.

      • Sandberg

        I agree. In the past, I would go to 3-4 games and spend on cheaper seats, but one year I decided to go once and sit in the 2nd row. Being that close is amazing. It has been my strategy ever since.

  • scorardpaul

    I think thinking like this is exactly why we should be excited about our future. Complain all you want, but if they make more money it is simply more money to spend. I love the idea!!!!
    The timing of this has nothing to do with it. So, we had a bad year, let’s keep looking to future success. In my opinion, any time the team can bring in more money it can only help.
    Go Cubs Go !!!!!

    • SoCal Cubs Fan

      I agree! More money means more money to spend on players, coaches, player developement. They have only so many ways to derive income out of one of the smallest ballparks in the major leagues.

      This also could be directly applied to the renovation!

    • Spencer

      Are they going to actually make more money next year though? You have to take into account that the construction project costs money to do, coupled with the fact that there is no possible way they are going to sell all of these seats next year. And who would want them?

      • Cubbie Blues

        You can’t look at it in a short term deal. The “potential” revenue will be there after next year (they aren’t going to demolish them after the 2013 season). :P

        • Spencer

          No, I know. I just think that this is really a slap into the face to fans. We just suffered through one of the worst seasons the Cubs have had in a REALLY long time, and the response is, “Let’s add some seats behind home plate that only rich people can afford!! Oh, and by the way, ticket prices will probably go up next year again, even though attendance continues to decline.” Cosmetic changes to the stadium aside (which I also think is silly), this is just a poor move. Disappointing.

          • Mick

            I know, and can you believe they’re negotiating with the City to renovate the grandstands, luxuary boxes, and increase the advertising around the ballpark. They’re also talking about building executive offices outside the ballpark too and, wait for it, they just bought the McDonald’s across the street!!! And if that wasn’t enough, they just built a Cubs Academy in the Dominican Republic and our are in the process of building a new spring training facility in Mesa. I agree with you that all of these plans should be scrapped because we just lost 100 games this season. In fact, we should be punished by removing seats, vendors, and lights. If we don’t start winning games, I propose we close the bathrooms too!

            • Cubbie Blues

              What? No more slip and slide urinals?

            • Spencer

              at least we’re on the same page.

              • Mick

                Yea, we’re either on to something or on something.

      • Hee Seop Chode

        Who would buy those seats? Anyone in the Chicagoland area wanting to create a memorable, high impact experience for a client or prospect. Some relationships are worth 6, 7, or 8 figures a year. A memorable $600 day at Wrigley can be a low cost marketting plan.

        Put another way, probably not an individual like myself or many people on this message board.

    • Jeff L

      The only way Ricketts will spend is if he realizes the only way he will make a profit is by fielding a competitive team. Cub fans and not just on this site still come out in record numbers to Wrigley even during a 100 loss season. This has to stop if you want Ricketts to spend money on talent.

      He said to his dad before the family trust bought the team that WIN OR LOSE WE WILL MAKE MONEY!!!

      • TWC

        By Cubs fans “com[ing] out in record numbers” you, of course, mean “five straight years of declining attendance”, right? Because that’s what the facts are.

        • Jeff L

          Still one of the highest attendance in the MLB

          • TWC

            translation: “No, now I want the goalposts over THERE!”

        • MightyBear

          Gotta be a record for a 100 loss team. I know they outdrew the Astros. Cubs still lead the National League in road attendance and despite the empty seats, sold more season tickets than anybody in the NL. I like adding the seats. More revenue and more opportunities for me to see a game there. I guarantee when the Cubs become competitive, they will sell those tickets and fill those seats.

      • Mick

        Like the Marlins did by buying every available free agent, oh wait, they’re last in their division and lost money this season. Make them your cautionary tale before you start begging for every free agent this off-season.

    • Cub Fan Dan

      Agreed. I dont know why the club trying to add revenue makes people so mad. More money, the better. Id rather the club adding $1mm in revenue in 56 extra premium seats than raise ticket prices elsewhere. This isnt the Trib trying to line their pockets. This owner is actually interested in using money toward the product on the field, be it free agency, international signings, more scouts, or eating salaries.

  • Spriggs

    Where is the Pink Hat Guy going to sit? Have they cleared this with him? I guess since he leaves at about the 6th inning every game, it shouldn’t matter.

  • Jeff L

    I don’t have any clue why you guys are so worried about the Ricketts saving money on players salaries. Also, stating that theres no reason to spend money lets save for a couple of years. LOL

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2005/54/4H9T.html
    The Ricketts family has 2.5 billion dollars guys!!! They are 93 on forbes richest people in America list. I don’t think you guys have to worry about them saving money!!!

    • Jeff L

      I made a mistake there its 93 on the richest people in the WORLD list

    • Pat

      First, the Ricketts family does not “have” 2.5 billion dollars. They are worth 2.5 billion dollars, assuming they could liqdate all of their assets for full appraised value. There is a huge difference as much of the wealth is based on the stock price of Ameritrade. If Joe starts selling his personal shares (which he likely has an agreement not to) do you think the price of those shares will hold steady while he unloads them? No, they will tank and all of a sudden that 2.5 billion is more like 900 million.

      Second, there is nothing to indicate the kids have access to anymore money than was put into trust for the down payment on the team.

  • Fastball

    I agree with Jeff L. All this talk about the Ricketts needing to pinch pennies and save money on salaries etc. is nonsense. If anything he should put in some new seats and make them free. At the front gate before every home game Ricketts could stand out there and have a lottery drawing for fans who have a ticket to get a free upgrade to the new seats. He could say it’s a Giving Back To The Fans Promotion. He might sell a bunch more tickets that way. And it sure would be a nice gesture on his part since he is selling tickets to watch AAA baseball in Wrigley.

  • Fastball

    Pink Hat guy is awesome. I actually worry about him when he misses an occasional game here than there. He is getting up there in age. My wife and I always wonder if there is something wrong with him when he is not at the game. Also he usually has some pretty hot guests setting with him.

  • Kevin

    This nickel and dime stuff is getting old. Put real money in real renovations.

    • Hee Seop Chode

      +1

  • Kevin

    There’s a sign in the bleachers that says “Respect Wrigley”
    There should be is billboard across from Wrigley that says “Respect the taxpayers”

  • Jeff L

    The reason Wrigley Field is not getting funding from Chicago.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/12593671-418/rahm-blasts-plan-to-attack-obama-by-super-pac-linked-to-rickettses.html

    Not like the Ricketts with at least 2.5 bil can’t afford to do it on their own

    • Mick

      But yet the Cubs have to negotiate with the City anytime they want to make ballpark upgrades due to the landmark status. If the City wants to have a say in Wrigley, they need to pony up for the right.

  • Jeff L

    The Ricketts want to spend 10 mil on anti obama campaign ads but wont spend 10 mil on a solid pitcher for the Cubs… Hmmmm

  • DarthHater

    That would be a legitimate point, if it weren’t completely factually inaccurate.

  • Jeff L

    Darth read the article and if you want to make a comment like that back it up with facts or at least a website that is legitimate and proves your point.

    • DarthHater

      I read that article and a lot of others a long time ago and am perfectly familiar with the facts. Money in Joe Ricketts’s bank account does not belong to the Cubs and what Joe does with his own money is his own goddam business. I happen to not like what he is doing with his money, but that’s my problem. It hasn’t the slightest iota of a logical connection with how much money the Cubs will or will not spend on players. And I don’t need to cite a website to prove that an illogical comment is illogical.

      • Kevin

        Sorry Darth – Chicago politics is not polite!

      • Jeff L

        Darth it is the “Rickets family trust” that owns the Cubs!! Where do you think that comes from??? It comes from Joe Ricketts pockets. Think my man seriously.

        • Cubbie Blues

          The trust was there for the siblings benefit. Also, a large portion of the purchase is debt owed to a bank. Joe owns the Cubs about as much as the bank does.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            The only thing I’ll say on the matter is that, many years ago, my great grandma gave me $10,000 that I could use for college, or however else I chose to use it if I got scholarships. I used it for college and for an old beater car that cost me a thousand bucks.

            My great grandma, bless her, does not own my college degree or the car. And she didn’t want to own them, either.

            • Pat

              But your grandma gave you the money, right? As a lawyer I assume you realize there is a world of difference between gifting something to someone and setting up a managed trust where money can be dispersed for approved purposes.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                I wouldn’t call that a “world of difference” – it’s actually a rather fine distinction (one that, yes, I’m very familiar with).

                We’re talking about the more theoretical concept of money coming from X, but ownership by Y. Some would have us believe that if the money comes from X, it is impossible for anyone but X to own “the thing.”

                It’s absurd, it ignores the debt portion of the deal (who “owns” someone’s mortgaged house?), and it isn’t even functionally true in thousands of situations. Anyone who pretends to know the particulars of the legal ownership of the Cubs – or of the trust that underlies its purchase – is a fool or has an agenda.

                But from our outside perspective, it’s been laid as plain as it can be: the Ricketts children own the Cubs. Whatever that actually means, I don’t know (and I’m not sure how much I care). They make the decisions about the organization, they are the public face, they direct the revenues. That’s what matters to me as a fan; that’s what impacts my experience as a fan.

                • Pat

                  Yes, the banks actually own the team more than anyone. The kids most definitely manage it. Do they own that other 20 percent or so. Maybe, maybe not. From a practical perspective they act as ownership.

                  However, I disagree that the difference between a managed trust and a gift is a fine line. There’s a huge difference between here is x amount of money to do with as you wish and here is money you can access with approval for specified expenses or at specified times.

                  • Hee Seop Chode

                    Actually something like 4 banks own the team. When there is a large placement like that, the risk is spread around to many organizations. Most of the large banks in town got a piece.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  This

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    That was towards Brett.

                • Jeff L

                  Brett,

                  I think you should care a hell of a lot. It makes a huge difference in Cubs payroll and how much money we are working with here. We don’t know how big is the trust and how frugal they are to spend it. With Joe Ricketts even being a part owner in the Cubs and if he had interest in them winning there would be unlimited funds.

                  IT MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE!

                  • ptbnl

                    “We don’t know how big is the trust or how frugal they are to spend it”

                    With that sentence you show why your argument doesn’t make sense. You don’t know. None of us knows. Unless one of the Ricketts or their attorney is posting here nobody on this site has any idea of how the trust is set up.

                    The Ricketts say Dad doesn’t have anything to do with the Cubs. You don’t believe them. That’s fine, but your starting position is filled with your assumptions. Is it possible that Dad hated the idea of wasting money on a sports team and told the kids they can only use their money for it?

    • Cubbie Blues

      Fact: Joe Ricketts does not own the Cubs.
      2012 Matt Garza salary $9.5M.

      • Jeff L

        Fact: In a way Joe Ricketts does own the Cubs. It is his money that made it possible for the Ricketts “family” to buy the cubs. The “Rickets family trust” Where did that money come from and where does the money come from Joe Ricketts TD Ameritrade powerhouse 93 Forbe magazine money!

        • Cubbie Blues

          Joe doesn’t own the Cubs any more the the bank (that loaned the Siblings a large portion of the money) does.

          • Cubbie Blues

            Guess I capitalized siblings out of respect.

      • Kevin

        You are 100% correct about Joe Ricketts not owning the Cubs. The Cubs are owned by the Ricketts children after Joe bought the club for them. People know Joe has some very deep pockets and the public will never let that go.

        • Jeff L

          Kevin if your 100% sure Joe Ricketts doesn’t own the Cubs at all and his children are primary owners which is one hell of a present. Show me factual information that proves this.

          Plus if it is true the Cubs are in real trouble. That means there probably wouldn’t be any outside funds which usually comes from somebody who purchases a team for over 700 mil… I would say if they want a high salary they would go to Joe for more money…. I think we all just figured out why the Cubs will suck for many years if Joe Ricketts isn’t a big part of how the team will be funded.

          • Pat

            I don’t think anyone knows the details of the trust for certain.

            Can the kids decide to sell the team without approval from the trust? If yes, then they own the team ( well, about twenty percent of it). If the answer is no, then Joe owns the team. The ultimate test of ownership of anything is the ability to sell it.

          • Mick

            Jeff, I’m not sure what kind of argument you’re trying to make here. Are you implying that since Joe Ricketts is the 93rd richest person in the world that he should operate the Cubs budget at a deficit in order to improve their roster? Do you know how many other professional sports’ franchise owners operate their clubs at a deficit? Do you know how they all became the richest people in the world?

            Another question that I actually don’t know the answer to, do you think Joe Ricketts has the same access to Wrigley that Tom has?

            • Jeff L

              Mick, I’m merely saying that since Joe is the 93rd richest person in the world that a 130 mil dollar payroll shouldn’t be a problem. A 200 mil dollar payroll shouldn’t be a problem. That is what I am saying. If they need outside resources besides what they get from profits from the Cubs organization then they can go to the man that runs the “trust” and ask for more money.

              Like I said if Joe’s willing to spend 10 mil on anti obama adds I think he can help his kids out a little more.

              • Cubbie Blues

                Tom has already stated the baseball operations budget is set by revenues from the previous year and whatever may rollover from previous years.

                • Pat

                  This is correct. He has stated this repeatedly. Which does make the ownership question moot from a payroll perspective. There is no reason to believe any additional money will be coming from whatever family members own the team.

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    I never said more money would be coming in. Actually I was saying no other money would be coming in. The only money that the team has to work with is from revenue. (I think I just repeated my last post)

                    • Jeff L

                      There in which lies the problem. They have like I said before 2.5 billion dollars or more in the family. It shouldn’t only be on the revenues the Cubs bring in because losing will in deed lower those profits or should lower those profits. The Cub fans should find ways of hurting the Ricketts pocket books by not BUYING TICKETS TO GAMES. Not just not attending but buying tickets.

                      They have to know that we are not ok being the luvable losers and Tom Ricketts wasn’t right when he told his daddy WIN OR LOSE WE WILL MAKE A PROFIT!

                    • Pat

                      I was agreeing with you there

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      That’s not going to happen. Will some fans not buy tickets? Sure. Most fans will still go (though maybe not as many games). I know I probably will attend a couple games next year.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    (Except for, hopefully, some of the funds for the Wrigley renovation.)

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Who is replying to who here? looks like the indention is gone now.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Eventually it goes away to preserve the site layout.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Oh, I know. It just gets hard to follow. It doesn’t happen often.

              • Mick

                So what you’re proposing is to just spend all of the Ricketts money until there’s no money left to spend. Cool. Is that what you and your friends were talking about during recess or on your bus ride home? How is first grade going? One day when you get to college you’ll take an economics class and understand more about money. Until then, leave the this kind of stuff for the adults.

                • Jeff L

                  Mick even if they tried to spend all their 2.5 bil I think it would take a while. Also do you think even having a 200 mil dollar payroll will bankrupt them. I think you should read what you wrote and look at yourself in the mirror and say “I’m pretty damn stupid”.

                  • Mick

                    Jeff, it’s cool that you want to field a $200 million team but fiscally, it’s irresponsible for a business to operate a budget at a deficit. Maybe someday, after all of the revenue generating plans are in place at Wrigley, the new TV deals are signed, and whatever baseball budgets have rolled over there could be a chance we have a $200 million payroll.

                    Losing $50 million cash every season could absolutely bankrupt the Ricketts. How much of Ricketts fortune do you acutally think he has just sitting in a bank account? He may be a billionaire but if he only has $40 million sitting in a bank account and $50 million in bills come due, what do you think happens?

          • Cubbie Blues

            A quote from Tom Ricketts:

            The resources to buy the team were set aside a decade ago into a trust for the Ricketts siblings. It’s grown to be something that’s pretty substantial.

            Joe doesn’t own the Cubs. The money was placed into a Trust for the siblings to use.

            • Pat

              But Tom still had to talk Joe into making the purchase. That mean Joe controls the money in the trust, otherwise Tom would not have had to talk him into anything. Does Joe also control whether the trust can sell the team? If The trust owns the team, and Joe has control over the trust, then I don’t see how you can say he doesn’t have an ownership role.

              • Cubbie Blues

                The siblings had to convince Joe it was a good investment because Joe is the Trustee and that is how Trusts work. You can’t take a large portion of a Trust out without giving good cause and merit.

                (They should come up with a word that means you have a feeling you’ve done this before.)

                • Pat

                  So you are one hundred percent certain that Joe is not a member of the trust as well as trustee?

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    Nobody that hasn’t seen the documents can be 100% certain. The only thing we can be 100% certain about is what the family has told us and they have told us the siblings own the team. If you want to get right down to it, I guess technically the bank owns the team, since the trust was only used as a down payment to the bank.

                    • Pat

                      No. What they told us is that the Rocketts family trust, which was set up for the kids, owns the team.

                      You are assuming that set up for the kids means that only the kids are beneficiaries of the trust, and that Joe isn’t. That would be unusual in a family trust. Usually the patriarch or matriarch of the family would have control of the assets in the trust, with their ownership percentage divided up when they pass.

                      Since they have not provided detail of the trust, the baseline assumption should be the scenario I just presented.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Rockets? Do you mean these guys?
                      [img]http://www.psykonline.com/teamrocket/img/rocket.gif[/img]
                      It’s obvious we are going to disagree and neither side is going to be swayed. I will only point back to Brett’s statement above. Here

                  • Jeff L

                    Pat you are correct a trust is generally run by the trustee unless the trustee which is probably Joe Ricketts has stipulations in the trust that say by a certain age Tom or one of the other kids will run it.

                    We can go round and round here in circles but unless we have the legal documents of the trust we will never know. I can just tell you 100% that Joe Ricketts has a hand in how the trust is run simply by the notion that Tom had to convince his daddy that it was ok to buy the Cubs.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Nobody that I have seen has said Joe doesn’t have a say in what the Trust spends money on. I agree though that we are going round and round and nothing is ever going to come of it. We don’t have enough information other than what the family has told us and that is the kids own the Cubs.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      If the downpayment was in a trust for the kids, isn’t it possible that the convincing Tom had to do was to get Joe to agree to be a co-signer on the loan? You think a bank is going to loan the Ricketts kids $600 million because they might eventually have control over some huge assets?

                      The point I’m making isn’t what I just said – the point I’m making is that there’s an enormous amount that we don’t know. Trusts involving a billion dollars, and loans involving hundreds of millions of dollars, are profoundly complicated things, governed by rooms full of banker’s boxes full of documents (guarded by dozens of high-priced lawyers who are quite adept at keeping the details confidential). We know only what we’ve been told. Why would we presume that we’re so smart that we can figure out what’s in those rooms full of boxes on the basis of a hunch or some random article we read?

                    • Jeff L

                      Brett,

                      Please read what I wrote before responding.

                      “We can go round and round here in circles but unless we have the legal documents of the trust we will never know.”

                    • Pat

                      Brett, if as you suggest above, Joe consigned the loans, then he absolutely is an owner of the team.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Le sigh. I expressly said that *wasn’t* the point I was making.

                      The point – again – is that we don’t know the details. That’s just one of hundreds of possibilities that we don’t know. So why are we fighting with each other about unknowable details?

                    • TWC

                      Because otherwise we’d have to, like, watch the game?

                    • Hee Seop Chode

                      I recently took some continuing ed at UofC, and we may or may not have looked at a case study with the psudanym “northside baseball” as the client. Joe did not directly co-sign the note. The collateral is more than sufficient to cover the outstanding liabilities.

                    • DarthHater

                      Brett,

                      Please read what I wrote before responding.

                      “We can go round and round here in circles but unless we have the legal documents of the trust we will never know.”

                      Well, Jeff, since you admit that you have no factual basis for actually knowing anything about this subject, perhaps you should stop pulling opinions about it out of your trollish backside and STFU.

  • jt

    Michael Bowden tossed 39.6 mlb innings in 2012 for an ERA of 2.95 and a WHIP of 1.255.
    He added 32.3 IP at Iowa with a 2.76 ERA and a 1.102 WHIP.
    Even if you subscribe to Kyle’s theory that a season is homogeneous, the results of this season indicates that Bowden should at least be included in conversations concerning 2013.

  • Kevin

    Joe can do anything he wants and so can the gov’t officials too.

  • Stevie B

    Haha….”Pink Hay Guy was almost a part owner of your beloved Cubbies folks….

    Don’t you worry about him going anywhere.

  • Stevie B

    Or hat…hay or hat works fine either way.

  • Hebner The Gravedigger

    I love that the team is adding seating. As a dad with a 5-month old son, I will gladly pay the price to have my son see the team in person. My dad did the same thing with me a long time ago and the tradition will continue. The product on the field is irrelevant to us. I am sure ownership knows this and I am fine with it.

  • baseballet

    Maybe they will make everyone sitting in the new seats wear a Toyota hat as a condition of purchase.

  • Johnr42

    How about you win some games before adding additional ridiculously priced seating.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That would seem a good point if the Cubs weren’t still selling seats. Why should they forgo additional revenue, especially if it’s simply by adding additional seats (rather than, for example, raising ticket prices even further)?

      • Jeff L

        Maybe because from a PR standpoint it can be looked at from a negative viewpoint when they are doing this and continue to lower payroll and have just lost 100 GAMES!

      • Johnr42

        I see where you are coming from Brett, as long as you can sell the seats, you should do it. Gain revenues, etc. I don’t necessarily disagree from a business standpoint, but the fan in me disagrees. I am having an argument with myself, per say.

  • Jeff L

    Cubbie Blue ,

    There lies another problem. Cub fans would have to not buy any tickets to the game and it would have to be city wide. There would have to be protests around Wrigley Field to prevent it.

    If I would have to guess what the Cubs curse would be it would be the party at Wrigley Field. No matter how bad the Cubs are people still turn out to Wrigley because it’s a party. Tom Ricketts was right when he told his daddy that win or lose the Cubs would make a profit and that’s because of wrigley field.

  • Cubbie Blues

    So, if he was right, the Cubs will have revenue to work with. This means Epstein can continue his plan to build the team into a perennial contender.

    • Jeff L

      Wont happen with a 50-70 mil dollar payroll unless your GM’s last name is Friedman or Beane and it still took them at least 6 years after taking over to achieve the goal of making it to the playoffs.

      • Cubbie Blues

        I don’t think anyone actually thinks the payroll will stay at $50-70M. Even if it happens to be next year (probably more like $90-110M), it won’t stay there.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Who is willing to sign with the Cubs is going to be a big factor. A lot of big money teams, including the Sox and the Yanks, need pitching, so the competition for the few decent arms that will be on the market will be intense and expensive. The Cubs biggest positional needs (3B and CF) will not have much available. 3B in particular does not have anybody big available: and we’ve got to abandon the fantasy that the Pads are just going to give up Headley. CF will have Bourn and Upton. Upton’s OBP has been plummeting while his extremely high K rate remains unchanged, which suggests that he’s already losing his batting eye. Bourn probably is going to command a big contract from someone who overvalues SB; however, his OBP is not really spectacular for a guy with fairly low power.

          Upshot? The Cubs have money to spend, but it’s not clear that there is any candy in the store to buy.

          • Cubbie Blues

            I don’t disagree with any of that Doc.

        • King Jeff

          I disagree. There are definitely people that read BN that think the Cubs will have a low payroll and will suck every year that Epstein is here.

          • Cubbie Blues

            Ok so I shouldn’t have used an inclusive. I should have used a majoritive. (Are those actual words?)

            • King Jeff

              Works for me.

  • Jason

    I really hope these new seats, and added revenue relate to roster additions this offseason. I would love to see a lineup of:
    Grady Sizemore
    De Jesus
    Castro
    Rizzo
    Mark Reynolds
    Cody Ross
    Castillo
    Barney
    and a rotation something like:
    Samard
    Brandon McCarthy
    Ervin Santana
    Travis Wood
    Carlos Villanueva

    • Jeff L

      Jasen if you and millions other don’t show up to games that would be the only way to force ownership hand to go out and get talent. Revenue doens’t matter the family has the money 2.5 bil to go out and get talent.

      • Chris

        You keep going back to this $2.5billiion number, but that’s extremely misleading and naive. Is the value of the team factored into that figure? They spent an awful lot of money to purchase the team. I think it’s realistic and fair to expect that the baseball budget be limited to team revenues, and not more money out of pocket. And having all that money doesn’t mean the players are there to spend it on. Not to mention your comments are contradictory. If revenue doesn’t matter, then how would fans not going to games impact their decisions? This isn’t simply about throwing money at the roster. Money will play a factor, and what they save now I expect will be spent on future talent acquisitions, whenever they make sense.

    • cubs1967

      to finish 4th?………..why bother…..let them continue to tank; let the attendance fall below 2M and maybe around 2018 when all these kids don’t pan out; Rickett will wake the fuke up and spend some money. so far; only higher ticket prices; lower payroll and NOT one signficant FA signing………..yes and that includes the dejesus lovers.

      but he needs 150M from uncle rahm becuz you know; it’s not his fault wrigley is decaying since he only HAD 3 freakin’ years to review everything before the longest sale in the history of professional sports was completed.

      ricketts is a joke.

      • Tommy

        You’re a real ball of sunshine, cubs1967. I wanna party with you.

  • Jeff L

    Cubbie Blues,

    We are still speculating. We don’t know where the payroll will lie. But with the ownership having at least 2.5 bil… The Cubs because the 4th highest valuation team in the 3rd major market in the US with the 2nd highest ticket prices in baseball we deserve hell we should demand to be in top 5 payrolls in the league.

    • Cubbie Blues

      That’s why I said probably and will be. Personally, I only want the team to spend the money on the big league club if they see it helping them get to the playoffs and not just a band-aide. The budget is said to roll-over to the next year. That would make for a hefty budget to work with in the following years.

      • Jeff L

        Cubbie Blues,

        The whole point is we are also speculating on a budget. The whole argument over Joe Ricketts has to do with this point. The Ricketts family should be investing more money on the product they put on the field. That is where the revenue comes from. Bandaids can turn into championships just ask the 1997 Marlins.

        2.5 billion I think the Ricketts can afford 100 mil dollar or even 200 mil dollar payroll. Dont you????!!!! There lies the point…. That 2.5 billion is in addition to revenue the team acquires.

        • Cubbie Blues

          We aren’t really speculating on a budget (exact number yes). Tom has stated that all revenue will be put back into the club. In addition, as Mick has pointed out. To be a viable business you should not take money out of pocket for operations. You should only use revenue (which they have plenty of (will continue to grow)).

          • Jeff L

            Believe me Mark Cuban and many other owners will disagree with that. You need to spend to make money. You put a great product on the field even if part of that is out of pocket it will bring in higher dividends. Especially when you just start out with a business. Later on once your business is thriving then I agree with you that you should only use revenue. But not until then.

            • Cubbie Blues

              I was unaware the Cubs were a new start-up.

              I am full aware of what a start-up company does. I am a part of one. If you were to only look at revenue I think you would say, as a business, the Cubs are a thriving.

            • King Jeff

              The Marlins spent all kinds of money this year that they didn’t have and they are now one year closer to being out of business. So, I’d rather see the Cubs stick to the plan that they have now, than to see my favorite team use yours.

              • cubs1967

                you really think the marlins are close to being out of business……..when you know they get revenue sharing; in 2014 25M more and they show a profit every year becuz of the revenue sharing…………

                please go read bizofbaseball.com and learn a few things.

                what is the plan…………suck and all of a sudden in 4 yrs we’ll be good with an all rookie team??………it doesn’t work that way.

                • King Jeff

                  I’ve lived in Miami for 7 years now and follow what happens with the team more closely than I’d like. Yes, Miami is not going to have a baseball team for very much longer. Loria and the owners built a brand new stadium, spent a bunch of money that their baseball income doesn’t cover on free agents, and didn’t sell more that 20,000 tickets to any of their games except for opening day and when the Yankees and Cubs came to town. The Marlins don’t show a profit, they get a handout from MLB and don’t even meet minimum payroll most years.

                  On your other comment, I don’t think the Cubs will just keep sucking. From what I can see, all signs point to the Cubs being aggressive in free agency moving forward. I think what is going to determine when the Cubs can compete again isn’t some imaginary development line for their recent additions, but how quickly they can stock the system with young pitching and how much production they can get out of the limited crop of free agents in the next few years. I know it’s going to be difficult, but I’ve lived through more 90+ loss seasons than I care to count, and I can easily sit through another one if it means that the team is going to put a consistent winner out there moving forward.

  • Spencer
    • Cubbie Blues

      Had to stop reading after this in the first paragraph:

      Right now they boast a triple-digit loss column and somehow, miraculously, are not in last place, depriving fans the consolation of saying, “Well, things can only go up from here.”

      Is the author not aware that Houston is leaving the Division for the AL next year?

      • Spencer

        definitely a troll article.

  • Jason

    Jeff,

    Net worth and liquid cash are two different things. ANd fans have decreased their attendance. If i recall correctly, we did not reach the 3 million number this year in attendance.

  • Jeff L

    Jason,

    Got to be much lower than that to make a difference. I say with confidence that if the Ricketts family want our payroll to be in the lower half of the league average our attendance should be the same.

  • Hee Seop Chode

    Alright, I decided to do some digging. If you go to the Illinois Secretary of State’s website (http://www.ilsos.gov/corporatellc/index.jsp), you can search any corporation or partnership and see (to an extent) who owns it. The Cubs legal name is Chicago Cubs Baseball Club, LLC, who is owned by CHICAGO BASEBALL HOLDINGS LLC. CBH is owned by:

    Name Address
    LARSEN, NILS E. 1060 WEST ADDISON STREET, CHICAGO, IL – 60613
    RICKETTS, LAURA M. 1060 WEST ADDISON STREET, CHICAGO, IL – 60613
    RICKETTS, J. PETER 1060 WEST ADDISON STREET, CHICAGO, IL – 60613
    RICKETTS, THOMAS S. 1060 WEST ADDISON STREET, CHICAGO, IL – 60613
    RICKETTS, TODD M. 1060 WEST ADDISON STREET, CHICAGO, IL – 60613

    …the 5 children individually. If it was owned by a trust it would say “Ricketts Family Trust” or whatever.

    For what it’s worth, the stadium is owned by Wrigley Field Holdings, LLC, which is also owned by CHICAGO BASEBALL HOLDINGS LLC.

    Argument settled.

    • Pat

      And Chicago Baseball Holdings is a subsidiary of…? You are seeing who owns public corporatiions there. It does not show you the breakdown of the private trust.

      • Hee Seop Chode

        re-read my post:

        Chicago Baseball Holdings is owned by:

        Name Address
        LARSEN, NILS E. 1060 WEST ADDISON STREET, CHICAGO, IL – 60613
        RICKETTS, LAURA M. 1060 WEST ADDISON STREET, CHICAGO, IL – 60613
        RICKETTS, J. PETER 1060 WEST ADDISON STREET, CHICAGO, IL – 60613
        RICKETTS, THOMAS S. 1060 WEST ADDISON STREET, CHICAGO, IL – 60613
        RICKETTS, TODD M. 1060 WEST ADDISON STREET, CHICAGO, IL – 60613

        it is not owned by a trust. Based upon what Tom has said, the resources used to create Chicago Baseball Holdings LLC derived from the trust. However, it is now owned by the 5 individuals outside of the trust.

        Don’t believe me? Go to the website. Search it again.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I should have done this homework before. It would have saved a lot of head bagging a brick wall.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I don’t know that this really resolves things, but it certainly helps.

            • Cubbie Blues

              It’s the best we are going to get.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Just to include it, and then leave the discussion, here’s an interview that Al at BCB did with Tom Ricketts last February, which includes a lengthy discussion on ownership (Tom won’t really go into detail, saying only that the “Ricketts family” owns the Cubs, that his dad is part of the family – take from that what you will – and that the kids run the team), and Tom’s comment (which he’s repeated elsewhere) that the dollars that come into the organization will be spent on the organization.

                http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2011/2/9/1982909/bcb-interview-cubs-chairman-tom-ricketts-part-i

      • MightyBear

        First of all Chicago Baseball Holdings is a private company, not public. If it were public it would be registered with the SEC. Second, this is an LLC so it is either treated as a partnership or C or S Corp and Joe Ricketts has no ownership in the Chicago Baseball Holdings LLC because he’s not a named partner or shareholder. He’s not even on the board of directors. Finally, I own more of the Cubs than Joe Ricketts does.

        • Hee Seop Chode

          MightyBear: You should use your ownership interest to push for a better beer selection. Old Style sucks, and Goose Island is just down the street!

  • Hee Seop Chode

    …although that public information is directly contradicted by Joe Rickett’s personal website (http://www.joericketts.com/about.html#cubs), which states,

    “(In October 2009, a trust that Joe and Marlene Ricketts established on behalf of their family acquired a 95-percent controlling interest in Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field, as well as 25 percent of Comcast Sportsnet Chicago.”

    so you’re right, I guess I don’t know.

  • Stevie B

    I just read over this thread, and to be frank, it made me feel the need to go take some type of hard drug.
    This, is going to be one looooong off season……

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+