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1_PROPOSED_MARQUEE_VIEWWarning: You will probably be angry, or at least annoyed, after reading this piece. When I write, I go to painstaking lengths to see both sides of a story, and to represent things in the most even-handed, fairest light. The Cubs aren’t always right, and I try to divorce myself from my fandom when it becomes necessary to do so. The best I can do in that regard today, however, is to say that there is a lot going on behind the scenes with respect to the Wrigley Renovation story, and we aren’t privy to the vast majority of it. Things may not be as they seem.

But if they are as they seem, the Chicago Cubs continue to get screwed by the power drill that is the Chicago political machine.

Earlier this week, the Ricketts Family announced that they’d partnered with the Chicago Athletic Club on plans to bring a state-of-the art facility to the proposed hotel across from Wrigley Field. It’s another job-generating, tax-generating, neighborhood-nicening, swell thing that the renovation plan will provide. It should have been met with, at worst, silence by those who remain discontented about the renovation.

Instead, it was met with a nasty response from each of Mayor Rahm Emanuel (indirectly) and Alderman Tom Tunney (very directly), the two men who hold the political cards necessary for the Chicago Cubs to actually proceed with their plans to renovate Wrigley Field.

First, from the Mayor. The Sun-Times reports that an anonymous “mayoral confidante” – aka, someone in the Mayor’s Office who has strategized together with everyone else in that office about just what they want to say to the media – says the Mayor was unmoved if the athletic club announcement was any kind of pressure tactic. From the confidante: “It didn’t work when the Cubs were demanding public financing and it won’t work now.”

As if the request for public funding and the offer to build a state-of-the-art facility in a very-desirable hotel are the same thing. As if the latter isn’t a good thing for Chicago citizens who live in the Wrigleyville area. As if the request for public funding that would have come from the absurdly high amusement tax on Cubs tickets was so deeply insane in the first place. As if anyone in the political machinery isn’t willing to say the most ridiculous, over-the-top, completely thoughtless, unsophisticated tripe so long as it advances their agenda. And gets them elected or re-elected, of course.

Alderman Tunney’s response was even more self-serving, and even more politically glib. From the Tribune:

Ald. Thomas Tunney, 44th, said Thursday that he would not sign off on a deal unless it included more parking, better police protection and “aesthetic” assurances sought by Wrigleyville residents and businesses — all issues that have yet to be settled.

Reminded that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing for an agreement, in part because the Ricketts family that owns the Cubs is not asking for any government funding, Tunney replied, “Yeah, but it’s not going to be on the backs of my community, sorry.”

The Rickettses have maintained that a deal needs to get done by Opening Day in early April so they can line up the contractors and materials needed to fix up their aging ballpark, but Tunney dismissed that concern.

“You’re talking about one of the wealthiest families in America,” the alderman told a throng of City Hall reporters pressing him on the issue. “End of statement.”

So many noisome bits in two little statements. “Aesthetic” assurances? Yeah, I’m sure it’s the “aesthetics” of the Wrigley renovation that are troubling Tunney and his constituents. How’s that falling concrete treating the folks of the neighborhood? Is it aesthetically pleasing? Tunney does realize that the Chicago Cubs are his largest constituent, right?

And, oh, the Ricketts Family is super wealthy? Oh, ok. Well, then, in that case, they should not be permitted to run their business like any other business in the neighborhood. Grr! Rich people!

And, oh, let’s completely ignore the fact that the business at issue is the one that, historically, has propped up the very neighborhood Tunney seeks to protect.

Which gets me back to even-headedness, and calms me down. We can’t forget – and all sides would be well-reminded – that everyone in this dispute stands to benefit from the Wrigley renovation plan, if done properly. There is still so much incentive to work collaboratively – be it with the political elements, the Cubs, the owners, the rooftops, the other businesses, the neighborhood residents, the fans – that everyone just has to get over the idea that they’re going to get exactly everything they want. It seems to me that the Ricketts Family and the Cubs gave up on the idea that they could get their perfect solution a long time ago. So they bent, considerably.

It’s time for everyone else to start bending, and to stop saying ridiculous things to curry political favor.

  • Peter

    They need to build a ballpark somewhere else, besides, real Cubs fans only care about the well being of the team and winning, not some crappy run down sentimental ballpark. If Yankee stadium with all its winning glory can be abandoned for a new facility, then the Cubs can leave a run down shithole with nothing but failure and taint attached to it.

    • Sandberg

      You said taint.

    • Eric

      You realize the new Yankee stadium was built right across the street from the old one, right? The Schaumburg Cubs? No thanks.

      That being said, Rahm and Tunney are complete a-holes so I’m fine with the Cubs threatening that option (even though I don’t think it will carry much weight at this point).

    • 100 Years of Tears

      As much as I love Wrigley (and I am a STH), Peter kind of nails it… this is so frustrating!

      Either the Cubs are allowed to bring Wrigley into the 21st century or they need to get out of Dodge… This politcal bullshit has to stop. The Cubs (and the fans) are being held hostage.

      • pete

        I think the Ricketts need to be willing to play the relocation card (or at least make a credible threat). While I love Wrigley, the last time the Cubs won the Series, they were on the West side (as my grandma, who attended a couple of games in ’08, reminded me all the time when she was alive).

        • Edwin

          He could play the card, but it would be an empty threat. The Cubs have a lot more to lose by leaving Wrigley (prime location, historic atmoshpere) than they would gain by relocating.

          A relocation would be expensive, it would probably draw less fans, and it would mean sacrificing an important part of the Cubs’ brand.

          • Eric

            Exactly.

          • John T

            Relocating, at least initially wouldn’t draw less fans. I believe the excitement of a new park, partnered with what should be a team that is very competitive at that point would lead to huge crowds.

          • mak

            Yes, but don’t forget he owns the stadium as well. So a double negative threat.

  • http://ivychat.blogspot.com Chuck

    I can make a small excuse for the Mayoral reaction. My read on this is that the Mayor is saying that both sides have agreed to shut up until a deal is announced. The info on the athletic club can be seen as a pressure tactic on Tunney. That feeds the fire.

    Note that the Cubs reaction to Tunney’s latest has been silence. My guess here is that the Cubs screwed up in releasing the club info. I guess we know they are “Committed” to not doing anything stupid, eh?

    • aCubsFan

      No Ricketts was on WGN news this morning talking about how the renovation plan, the hotel and such is beneficial to the community and the city of Chicago.

      • http://ivychat.blogspot.com Chuck

        Yeah. My guess is he violated a handshake agreement with the Mayor to stay quiet. Ricketts didn’t with the hotel announcement. Since it’s out of the bag, he may as well talk about it on WGN today. Damage already done.

  • Edwin

    Maybe Tom needs to do a better job distributing bribe money.

  • http://www.worldseriesdreaming.com Rice Cube

    Brett, do you recall if one of the stipulations of the original sale to the Ricketts was that they could not move the Cubs out of Wrigley, whether because of the city or MLB? I don’t know why that keeps popping up in my head.

    I get that they need permits to do certain things, but what is the monetary penalty if they just said “screw you guys” and just started building anyway?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Hmm. I don’t recall it off-hand, but it would have been an interesting stipulation. I suspect, though, if it were in place, we’d hear about it all the time in these stories.

    • JB88

      I’m not sure how that could be a stipulation of sale. The Cubs own the stadium. I’ve certainly heard of easements running with the sale of the property, but I’ve never heard of a condition that the team agree to stay in a building/ballpark that they actually own and don’t lease.

      That isn’t to say you aren’t right, just that would be a legally interesting provision to include in a contract.

      • mak

        I’ve never heard of that either, and frankly, the Ricketts would be nuts to agree to it (and Zell equally nuts for insisting upon it, which would come at a cost of other leverage in the deal). The motives to stay there are inherent anyways.

        Reminds me of Khan’s deal with the Jaguars, which came with a verbal agreement to not move them right away. But never in writing. See you in LA.

    • http://ivychat.blogspot.com Chuck

      No such stipulation exists.

      • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

        Thanks Chuck!

  • http://www.trin-linc.com Twin31s

    I think it’s time for the Cubs to begin exploring suburban options.

    This all goes back to Ricketts senior daring to oppose Obama publicly, and now his cronies are playing “hardball” in retaliation. Fine; that’s politics, and this is the real world.

    It’s time to realistically check out other locations (not in Chicago) for a new stadium.

    • Noah

      I think you’re overplaying Ricketts’ senior’s political views’ role in this. The mayor has generally been supportive of this, but just saying that all sides work to an agreement. I generally agree with Chuck above that it seems more like the mayor was responding to taking this to the public than with the actual plan.

      Regarding Tunney, this is a personal interest thing. No matter how much the Cubs spend in the community, the jobs they are going to create are generally not going to be things that his voters are going to feel a direct benefit from (they won’t be jobs they fill), and people are generally really terrible at understanding indirect economic benefit (and it’s hard to calculate for already full bars and restaurants). So if the residents in his community feel that he has betrayed them for the Cubs, the business owners and rooftop owners might have more sway over the people that vote for him than the Cubs would.

    • Internet Random

      I’ve been thinking for a while now that they should consider playing their 30 allotted night games at Wrigley, and the rest somewhere they can operate without so many restrictions. While expensive, it would solve a great many problems.

      Also, if I were the Rickettses, I’d be looking to make obscene donations to have someone other than Tunney elected next go round.

  • cjdubbya

    I don’t know when the “move the team” card gets played in public, but Good Lord, that thought has to be at least in mind, I’d think.

  • notcubbiewubbie

    wrigley field is a shrine they say , so is the alamo, lets get santa anna to blow it up.in this town you won’t have to call central casting.lol.

  • itzscott

    In all honesty as a major, lifelong Cub fan and supporter of Ricketts, the new regime and the team rebuilding plan as they’ve laid out for us and plainly stated…. I have to say that when it comes to the renovation part, the Ricketts family has played this with a heavy handed, threatening and bullying posture throughout that is uncollaborative with the very people capable of throwing a monkey wrench into the whole idea….. which they have. No surprises there.

    I think Tunney’s a hack, but I do agree with his (and the community’s) concerns about aesthetics and the Cubs lack of clear drawings or limitations on the signage behind all this.

    Unfortunately Joe Ricketts shot himself and his family in the foot going into this by openly payrolling his conservative and libertarian leanings which did nothing but give pause and dropped jaws among a labor-friendly, historically political city which is the polar opposite of Joe’s political philosophies.

    Basically we have a microcosm of the same type gridlock that’s been happening in Washington.

    From the Mayor and Tunney’s standpoint, they have to know this is good for the city, neighborhood, tax revenues and jobs. A win all around for them. But they also have to put a lid on the comments at some point and understand that you attract more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

    Both sides need to rethink their strategies.

  • Dan W

    “the Chicago Cubs continue to get screwed by the power drill that is the Chicago political machine”.

    That’s why you write for a lving…..

    Keep up the good work, Love it.

  • Chris

    I’m a bit confused by Tunney’s comments that the renovation is “going to happen on the backs of his constituents”…

    Haven’t the Cubs outlined a good number of ways that the renovation will be improving the community and providing services (and new jobs) that aren’t currently available to them — street markets, new hotel, state-of-the-art athletic facilities, etc.

    It seems like Tunney is ignoring a good deal of his constituent base in favor of the wealthy rooftop owners, and then chiding the Cubs’ ownership group for being wealthy themselves. Am I missing something here?

    • JB88

      Not to defend Tunney, whatsoever, (because I think he is a douche and have thought so since I was one of his constituents), but I think this comment is really about the traffic issues. There is so little room around Wrigley, especially on Addison and Clark that any construction in that area is really going to impact traffic patterns. I mean there is what fifteen feet between the southwest side of the stadium and Addison?

      • TNN2

        The neighborhood can obviously handle more than 40,000 visitors a day and has been for the last 30 years. Since the construction would take place during the off season its impact on the traffic would be relatively light especially since most of the work would take place inside the stadium.

        • JB88

          I don’t disagree with anything you said. I was just trying to explain what I think Tunney meant by “on the backs of his constituents.”

          • Noah

            I also think he’s saying that the people who stand the most to lose are rooftop owners who might lose sight lines, who are people who have more actual control over voters in his ward than the Cubs.

      • aCubsFan

        How is construction at Clark and Addison any different than anywhere else in the city of Chicago? It’s not. Traffic is impacted anywhere you have construction.

        • JB88

          Once again, I understand all that. I’m merely trying to interpret what Tunney is saying when he talks about this reno being born on the backs of his constituents.

          • Coal

            The back of his constituents is just his way of publically telling the rooftops that he’s fighting for them.

            Wealthiest families in America? Just another sound bite. Tunney is not in a position to play “common man” here. He is quite wealthy, and has effectively a permanent job (with many above and beneath the table perks) as long as he keeps getting elected by those that have the clout in the neighborhood. Guess who those people are?

            Aesthetics? Crowds? Look at a picture of the rooftops 10 years ago vs. today. Most of the buildings are only facades at this point – purpose-built to house as many free-riders as possible and the height of these bleacher structures on top of them can’t possibly pass any archituctural or building code ‘sniff test.’ Plus they are effectively “all you can drink” establishments for a cheap flat fee. The extra police protection “needed” stems in large part from the crowd he created.

            I live in Tunney’s ward and have no faith that he is representing me in any way. There are potholes throughout the streets in our neighborhood. He should be focused on improving the city’s infrastructure just like Rickett’s is focused on improving Wrigley.

            • gocubbies

              You and other like-minded residents of Wrigleyville should collectively write a letter to the editor / opinion piece for the Tribune, Sun Times, and whatever other publication will listen. I feel like the actual voices of the Wrigleyville residents are not being heard at all in the media.

              • Coal

                Of course I’d be nervous about starting my car….kidding (sort of).

                My opinion is just that – one person’s opinion. My hope in posting was in part to make sure that some realistic local spin gets put on the junk that Rahm and Tunney are putting out there, at least among the fan base here. It REALLY paints Chicago in a bad light, as if murders, shootings, financial malaise, and other forms of corruption weren’t enough.

            • JB88

              I used to live on Roscoe between inner Lakeshore and Broadway. The number of times our condo association complained to Tunney’s office about the cabs going 40 and 50 down our street were too numerous to count. We requested that a speed bump be put in and the basic response was “go pound sand.” We had a metal plate covering Roscoe for nearly a year because Streets & Sanitation wouldn’t come out to fix it.

              The irony of course is that there is an Ann Sather right around the corner from where I used to live, so you’d think that Tunney would have been more interested in taking care of that neighborhood. Based on my five plus years of living in Tunney’s ward, I was never once confused where his interests laid, and it wasn’t with his “constituents” …

      • notcubbiewubbie

        another reason to leave

  • aCubsFan

    Plenty of places in the burbs to build a new stadium in close/next to public transportation and they could build a state of the art stadium and hotel complex.

  • fortyonenorth

    My feeling is that Wrigley’s “neighbors” aren’t as opposed to all this as Tunney positions it. I lived there for a number of years and, well, if you move to Wrigleyville, you kinda know what to expect. Those who are OK with the Cubs plans are the silent majority, while those opposed are a lot more vocal.

    I do think the Cubs should explore other options, but I think the west burbs would be a better option than the NW.

  • ChicagoDawg

    Tunney is a windbag. The Cubs are the life blood of this (i live a block away) neighborhood and have provided millions in tax revenue and jobs. As far as the rooftop owners, they should be jumping for joy they get free views of the games, 17% back to the Cubs is nothing. That’s money the Cubs have no interest in losing so let’s drop the blocking views argument. Let’s also add that Tunney has received THOUSANDS of dollars from the rooftop owners in contributions so what is he really looking out for? He is a bad business owner (his restaurants are failing and closing) so he clearly missed the math lesson in business class 101.

    Let’s drop the (insert suburb name here) stadium relocation. The Cubs would lose millions in ticket sales leaving the city. Imagine a fan trying to get from Naperville to Arlington heights or a family staying downtown Chicago from Nebraska trying to jump on Metra to head north. Aint going to happen when all trains lead to Wrigley right now.

    • JB88

      To be honest, I would think that building a stadium in Des Plaines or Rosemont could be really financially beneficial to the Cubs. Plus, if you put the stadium fairly near the Rosemont or Cumberland stops, then you are still connected to the City by the El.

      I think a suburban stadium would be a last resort, but I think there are certainly ways to make it work and I truly believe that you’d get a really favorable deal in Rosemont.

      • Chris84

        Mostly joking, but maybe the Ricketts family could buy a chunk of Niles? I could then walk to Cubs games and I’d be fine with that. :p

    • Chris84

      I have zero interest driving up 90 or 94 from the northwest side to Arlington Heights or Schaumburg during rush hour, when right now, I’m three stops from the Irving Park stop off the blue line and a bus ride and short walk away from Wrigley.
      I have the feeling the folks suggesting it are the ones who live out there already or don’t live in Chicago and know how bad traffic gets going out to the burbs.

      • aCubsFan

        Who says you have to drive to Arlington Heights or Schaumburg? There is this thing called the train (Metra Rail) that stops in Arlington Heights and Schaumburg.

        • Chris84

          End of the day, I’m still in Arlington Heights or Schaumburg.

          • aCubsFan

            So suburban Cubs fans are supposed to constantly drive or train-it to games in Chicago, but Chicagoans can’t do the same?

            • medler

              I know this is going to be the biggest dick comment ever, but…

              Yes.

              I love the Cubs and will follow them and their exploits anywhere, but the days of being a STH will be out the window if they move to Algonquin, Schaumburg, Gurnee, etc…. I leave the city for work and to visit family. That’s it.

              • TWC

                Yo, kid if you think that was the “biggest dick comment ever”, you must be new to BN!

                Unless by “biggest dick comment” you mean you wrote it with…

                nah…

                • medler

                  Not new to the board, but don’t post much.

                  I don’t particularly enjoy the city-suburban pissing fights that happen from time to time. I don’t like the burbs and travel 45 minutes one way to just avoid having my home anywhere other than the city because…the city is awesome.

                  Move my Cubs to the burbs…meh…I get it.

                  Want me to go to Suburban Wrigley to watch it live? Probably not often.

              • aCubsFan

                That’s really a messed up attitude. But, there are plenty of suburban Cubs fans more than willing to take your and any other Chicagoan who doesn’t want to go to a suburban ball park. And, there are plenty of villages who’d be more than willing to accept the Cubs tax revenue. And, plenty of drinking establishments willing to accept your beer money.

  • Chris84

    The frustrating part is that so many people who live in Wrigleyville now haven’t lived there their whole lives and haven’t lived in Chicago their whole lives. I watched that neighborhood change from sort of a run down mess to a desirable place for the self-serving yuppies who make up Tunney’s community. This was all due to the Cubs rise in popularity throughout the 1980′s.

    They moved to Wrigleyville knowing full well that there is a ball park there and that both day and night baseball happens. I get it – you don’t want your neighborhood to become a tourist trap or deal with the headaches of traffic and suburbanites walking on your lawn, but these folks moved there knowing this goes on.

    Everything the Cubs have proposed has been both reasonable and an improvement to the neighborhood. Sheffield is already closed during games. Why can’t they have a street festival? Permits for street festivals cost money and the Cubs are willing to pay it. They want to bring jobs to the neighborhood and make the eyesore that is the McDonalds and “Cubs Store” a hotel (which the north side really needs. Hotel options are pretty rough north of Diversey).

    Grumble grumble grumble.

    • Internet Random

      “Hotel options are pretty rough north of Diversey.”

      It’s difficult to conceive of a truer statement.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Indeed. That hotel is needed badly. And it would make a mint.

  • MDel

    Brett’s intro summarized my immediate reaction when I read the original article he was quoting. In an post a few days ago Brett also had a discussion on the topic of “all revenue going to baseball operations,” and how paying down debt was viewed by ownership. It’s interesting how these post intersect.

    I think it is unfortunate that, of all teams, in my opinion the Cubs have the biggest political anchor weighing them down, because “all revenue” is just what’s left over after these politicians and their constituents get a cut of that revenue in some capacity. Maybe it’s the Cubs paying for more police, maybe it’s rooftops limiting the ad revenue the Cubs can generate, but at the end of the day it is taking away from the money available to the product on the field. For the fans (which includes Cubs management, who want to win), that just sucks. I’m not saying the Cubs shouldn’t help the community, I’m just saying they should be allowed to run their business, their ballpark, their team, with the same flexibility as any other organization.

  • dash

    “And, oh, the Ricketts Family is super wealthy? Oh, ok. Well, then, in that case, they should not be permitted to run their business like any other business in the neighborhood. Grr! Rich people!”

    Is it really an attitude of resentment toward the rich, or a feeling that ‘we can’t allow the rich to operate without getting a cut for ourselves’?

    • EQ76

      true point.. and that’s a mentality all over our country. resentment towards the rich for being rich is pretty ridiculous to me. resentment towards to a rich a-hole is one thing, but resentment towards a smart business person for being really good at what they do and succeeding?? that is something people in our country need to quit griping about and get over.

  • mak

    Starting to wonder what exactly Tunney wants out of this deal. (I know, obviously money, in some form). But as far as the community goes (in which I am a member), a privately-funded renovation project is pretty appealing.

  • TommyK

    Mr Ricketts, start talking to suburbs. You won’t have to move. The threat will be enough. And if you do move, if you build it we will come.

    • Rich H

      That should have happened a year ago. Now it is probably too late. It will smell of political maneuvering. Perception in theses type of situations is the reality.

      Ricketts should have followed the Cardinals model of how they got their new stadium exactly where they wanted it.

      • Boogens

        “That should have happened a year ago. Now it is probably too late. It will smell of political maneuvering.”

        Wile I agree with your statement in general I think it’s fair to point out that no one ever thought the Dodgers would leave Brooklyn despite all their issues with their city planners.

  • Mr. Mac

    How is this still going on? I wish the Cubs would move out of the neighborhood already. This is way beyond ridiculous, and the snarky responses by Rahm are exhausting. If the New York Giants and Jets can play in another state, surely the Cubs can play in a suburb. I would support this 100%!

  • wkk881

    Relocation is bad for everyone. It’s such an empty threat. I have no idea what it would take to get Tunney to stop being such a douche though. His ward would be nothing without the Cubs. The local resident complaints is such a copout that he keeps falling back on. If a major league stadium, hundreds of college kids bars and a little traffic/noise bother you then don’t move to Wrigleyville. Duh.

    If parking is a problem we can start by turning Ann Sather Garden into a few extra spots right now. Anything beats a fenced in piece of grass with a couple statues made of garbage.

    • TNN2

      If the Ricketts can’t cut a deal and don’t want to make a move to the burbs (which they have stated) they still have an ace in the hole. They could decide to just blow the whole thing up in a couple years after they cut whatever TV deal they can. Then they can slash the payroll, let Wrigley deteriorate, watch attendance plummet, watch bars and restaurants close, and watch the neighborhood slowly die. They could do all of that while still remaining profitable (actually they might make more money doing that depending on the TV contracts) and Tunney couldn’t do a damn thing to stop them.

      I’m not hoping this happens, nor do I think it will happen. The Cubs have been a pretty decent neighbor for a long time and by all appearances are trying to remain one. But this could get really ugly and truly burdensome for the neighbors if the Ricketts one day just said to hell with it all.

      • Boogens

        “They could decide to just blow the whole thing up in a couple years after they cut whatever TV deal they can. Then they can slash the payroll, let Wrigley deteriorate, watch attendance plummet, watch bars and restaurants close, and watch the neighborhood slowly die.”

        I’m sure that their TV partner would just love that approach. Won’t hurt the ratings at all.

  • cedlandrum

    Moving the team out to the suburbs really isn’t an option in my opinion that is just a bluff that everyone will say that is a bluff. What the Cubs need to do is start a process where some other Cities begin to court them. I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but maybe Indianapolis, San Antonio, Portland or Oklahoma City. The Cubs have very little leverage and they need to start creating some. There would be outcry if the Cubs were moving to the burbs, but a damn near riot if they were moving out of state.

    As to the guy who said the cubs are being bullies… B.S. they have been very accommodating to the City and the Neighborhood. It’s time they start playing hardball. The 500 million they want to use of their money will go a long way to build a new stadium elsewhere and to be honest for a brand like the Cubs someone somewhere would want to build it for them.

    • Edwin

      Moving to another city would be even more of a bluff.

      • Boogens

        Agreed.

  • Michael Caldwell

    The Cubs should just move out of Chicago and take the jobs and revenue with them. !@$% corrupt looting Chicago and Illinois politicians, and !@#$ the moochers who keep reelecting them. Leave it all behind Cubs, and let the looters and moocher hold an empty bag.

  • DarthHater

    This kind of obnoxious, unnecessary, obstructionist response from the city a-holes provides a perfect opportunity for Ricketts to publicly raise the prospect of moving the team. He should seize the day and make a statement today to the effect of: “Yesterday, I made an announcement of more things we were going to do for the city and the neighborhood and the response was a bunch of negative posturing. The Cubs organization cannot allow the timing of its plans for the future to be indefinitely delayed again and again by pointless political gamesmanship. Accordingly, we have no choice but to immediately begin exploring alternatives opportunities and I have instructed my staff to proceed accordingly.” Carpe diem!

    • DarthHater

      Let the Tribune run a headline story about that and the flood of calls and email to the mayor’s office will perhaps assist him in understanding what real pressure politics are!

    • Edwin

      That would be a disaster, since everyone knows it would be a bluff. It would be like when a child tells his parents he wants to run away from home because they won’t let him stay up past 9:00.

      • DarthHater

        It doesn’t have to be a bluff for the Cubs any more than it would be for any other team. And it would be less childish than your own attempt to attack views you disagree with as childish.

        • Edwin

          The Cubs would have more to lose than other teams by relocating. Their brand is built on being the Chicago Cubs who play in Wrigley. They are very popular and have good to great ticket sales, especially when they field playoff caliber teams. If you take that away, you’re taking away a large chunk of their brand. You can’t just move the Cubs to a new city/field and expect it to be the same as it was before.

          • MightyBear

            That’s exactly what the folks in Brooklyn said.

            • Edwin

              Sure, although they were able to move to LA, a very comparable if not better baseball market, especially since they no longer had to compete with the Yankees.

              It’s not like it could never work, but it’d be hard for the Cubs to find a better Market/Brand than they already have right now. I think eventually the politics will work itself out, and it’s not worth losing what the Cubs already have just to try and spite the Mayor/Alderman.

        • Edwin

          I’m not attacking your view as childish. I just think the Cubs have more to lose by moving than they do by staying. They might find more favorable politics, but they’d be losing a lot of tradition, which would be impossible to replace, and they’d be leaving one of the top baseball markets in the country.

      • hansman1982

        Ya, the earliest you will see anything regarding relocation will be right around the start of ST next year, IF Tunney is still being an arse.

        • JB88

          I think it would be a mistake to wait that long, but, that said, I also think the time to make these threats (either directly or through back channels) was earlier.

          • hansman1982

            The Cubs are going to want to ensure that when they use it, it is seen as potentially credible and the LAST possible option they have.

      • Michael Caldwell

        It wouldn’t have to be a bluff. Indiana, which is a lot more business friendly state (namely because it’s not run by a bunch of !@#$%^& communists) has been saying for years they’d give the Cubs the land and incentives to move just across the state line as part of their efforts to revitalize East Chicago and that area. The Cubs are on the verge of putting a consistently winning product on the field for the first time in a long time. Now is the perfect time to move to a new ballpark that is away from the collapsing cess pool that is Chicago and Illinois.

        • Edwin

          Indiana isn’t the baseball market that Chicago is. I think a move to Indiana long term hurts the Cubs more than it might help in the short term.

    • Cubbie Blues

      and while your at it Carpe nightem.

      • DarthHater

        Carpe nocturnem. ;-)

  • hansman1982

    If parking/noise is bad now when basically everyone knows parking is next to impossible around Wrigley, how bad will it get when people think they will have a chance to park next to Wrigley?

    Every time Tunney talks, the more and more it seems that he is just looking for validation that he is important.

    • Michael Caldwell

      No, Tunney is looking for a bribe. This is about the mayor and Tunney and possibly even Dear Leader Chairman Maobama shaking the Ricketts down.

      • DarthHater

        Knock it off with the political bullshit that has nothing to do with the Wrigley issue.

        • Michael Caldwell

          Political corruption has everything to do with this, and if you think not, you are a fool. Tunney wants to be paid, and the mayor probably wants a cut too. The cost probably went up when Ricketts old man gave money to the wrong side in the Presidential election. That’s how this stuff works. BTW, I’m a libertarian. I think any pol from Chicago or Illinois, D or R, is a corrupt scumbag. I love the Salukis, Cubs, Bears and Blackhawks, but I’m proud to say I don’t live in People’s Republic of Illinois anymore. You all truly deserve what you’ve voted for all these years.

        • D.G.Lang

          Back in the 70′s I lived in the pastor’s quarters on the second floor in back of a church in the South Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago. One day a Chicago alderman came up the stairs and knocked on the door thinking that I was the pastor. He wanted to use the church as a polling place.

          Being a life long resident of Chicago who was fully aware of the political corruption there, I politely refused to agree to him using the church. He then started making several threats about how ‘good’ the city was to our church and how there were ‘several’ building code violations and other problems that the city was ‘letting slide’. I politely told him that I was recording when he knocked and the recorder was still running.

          He literally fell down the stairs trying to get away before he got into deeper trouble.

          To be truthful, I wasn’t really recording anything but I really enjoyed the look of terror when he thought that he had been caught threatenimng a church with punishment for not wanting to let the city use the church building for political purposes.

          In my mind, a church should be a hily place and not in any way connected to any corrupt political organization like the Chicago machine. Chicago has been a very corrupt city for many years even before the days of Al Capone.

          I believe that three of four of Ilinois’ past governors are either still in jail or were sentenced to jail for their actions. The Corrupt Dem machine is not only still active in Chicago but they are also exerting a great and terrible influence nationwide as well as state wide. They even came down to Florida to try to steal both of the national elections back in 2000 and 2004.

          Full disclosure, I have been a life long Cubs fan and I always will be but I am NOT in anyway favorable of Chicago politicians who are among the most corrupt politicians anywhere.

          I moved to Florida over 20 years ago and therefore no longer have any concern as to where the Cubs play, only that they play well. My attitude towards Wrigley is that it is a great and historic ballpark and I would love to see the Cubs remain there and greatly improve it not only for the teams sake but also for Chicago’s sake as well.

          HOWEVER if Chicago continues it corrupt ways of extortion and obstruction, I would fully agree to the Cubs relocating to the Suburbs and building a new stadium complete with abundant parking and lodging.

          The Rickets can sell the old Wrigley and the lot they recently purchased across the street from it and be much better off and the Cubs as a team will also be much better off as well.

          • D.G.Lang

            edit “huily place” should be “holy place’.

            Sorry bout da typo, I did thouroughly spell check but missed it. It must be a combination of old age, poor eyesight, and a flat screen monitor with very small type.

  • ETS

    First Brett got on his soap box about The Internet and now he is ranting about Alderman Tuney. I love it. Great start to my BN day.

    Anyway, if Rahm can’t quit being a French shower, Des Moines will gladly welcome the Cubs.

  • JulioZuleta

    I really hope the Cubs start shopping suburban locations. I know everyone would see right though it, but it would but doubt in some people’s minds.

    Also, Rahm is just the worst. Hard to see what he’s done in the last year. I think he’s still tired from his DNC appearance back in September. Remember that? When he left Chicago 2 days before a city-wide public school strike to hob-knob with the Barack? It’s really frustrating to live in Illinois, and Chicago specifically. Some of the highest taxes in the country to fund the most corrupt government around.

  • MightyBear

    Emmanuel and Tunney sound just like Robert Moses and look how that turned out.

  • http://www.trin-linc.com Twin31s

    I’m not talking about a bluff to move to the burbs. If good faith efforts aren’t enough to allow the Ricketts to manage their team like other MLB teams are run, and pay for the improvements themselves (all while the city is collecting taxes on Cubs tickets), maybe the hand writing is on the wall. They’d be crazy NOT to check out alternatives, and avail themselves of one of them if necessary, should this continue to be a political circus, while Wrigley circles the bowl.

    • Boogens

      Agreed 100%. Plus, when the Cubs win the World Series fans will be likely to follow them anywhere in the suburbs.

  • wkk881

    Has Rahm really improved any neighborhood since taking office? When’s he gonna follow through on his vague plans for Uptown’s Music District? Let’s go ask the locals and try not to get stabbed or shot on the way up there.

    • JB88

      Yeah, Uptown can be a bad place. I had a friend that moved out of Uptown recently. They’d decided to move already, but the shooting on their block the week of their move didn’t hurt the decision …

      • medler

        Actually…those of us who’ve been associated with Uptown for years knew that Rahm had a big hill to climb there. Uptown has a strange past, built largely through a refusal of their former alderman (name escapes me) to push for modernization projects and a firm refusal of gentrification.

        Uptown is very spotty…there’s a stretch around Wilson and the Howard-Dan Ryan CTA that is supremely rough, but the rest is rather calm. I believe Albany Park…especially Irving and Albany has a higher crime rate and a bigger gang problem.

  • ruby2626

    Didn’t I read somewhere that the rooftop owners have given Tunney millions for his campaign, didn’t realize he was in essence working for them, talk about a conflict of interest.

    Actually the Schaumburg Cubs has a nice ring to it. If the mayor and alderman are going to act like this I say screw em. Time to enter the 21st century and burn down Wrigley Field and build a modern state of the art in the burbs. Want to bet we could sell 50,000 season tickets in a new venue.

    • Boogens

      “…I say screw em. Time to enter the 21st century and burn down Wrigley Field and build a modern state of the art in the burbs.”

      Hard to take anything seriously in your post when you end it like that.

    • D.G.Lang

      I think that the ‘Chicagoland Cubs” would be more readily acceptable to the fans and would help reinforce the teams image of continuing relationship to the Chicago fans while including a much larger population area.

      It would also continually tweak Chicago for forcing the team out of there.

    • DarthHater

      The Chicago Cubs of Schaumburg. Sadly, there’s precedent. :-P

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