Quantcast

respect wrigleyOne of the tenets of Wrigley rooftop buildings’ position with respect to the Cubs adding new advertising signage in Wrigley Field is that doing so would violate the “uninterrupted sweep” of the bleachers, which are protected as a landmark. In reality, the rooftops are afraid – understandably – that new outfield signage would block their views into Wrigley Field, effectively putting them out of business.

The rooftops’ champion is Tom Tunney, the Alderman for the 44th Ward, in which Wrigley Field and the rooftops sit. It is logical, then, that his position with respect to the virtues of the landmark laws that protect the “uninterrupted sweep” would be the same as the rooftop buildings’ position.

So, when the Sun-Times reports that Tunney has suggested that the Cubs tear down the Old Scoreboard in center field, another landmark, to make space for a large video board (JumboTron), which could host advertising and wouldn’t block the rooftop buildings’ views, I get upset.

From the Sun-Times’ report:

Determined to preserve the birds-eye view from rooftop clubs overlooking Wrigley Field, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) has made a bold suggestion to the Cubs: replace the iconic landmarked centerfield scoreboard with a video scoreboard that would generate millions without blocking anybody’s view.

Two sources close to the negotiations said Tunney has made that suggestion repeatedly in his continuing effort to protect rooftop club owners whom the aldermen counts among his most reliable campaign contributors.

“Put it in centerfield. Make it as big as you want,” a source close to the negotiations quoted the alderman as saying.

“He wants no signs that block a rooftop. [But], how do you think the fans would react? They would revolt. The Cubs wouldn’t dare to suggest it. To have Tunney suggest it underscores what this is all about.”

I get pretty frustrated by the ostensible hypocrisy, to say nothing of inanity of suggesting the Cubs tear down the iconic scoreboard.

That Tunney has the temerity to even make such an incredible suggestion confirms that his loyalties in this dispute lie with the rooftop owners, at the exclusion of all other constituents. It’s a fair bet that if you asked any other Wrigleyville resident – any one of them – if they’d like to see the Old Scoreboard torn down, you’d get a resounding no, reverberating all the way to Lincoln Park.

Ricketts Family spokesman Dennis Culloton told the Sun-Times, “demolishing the landmarked old scoreboard has never been part of any plan discussed or envisioned by the Ricketts family.”

That’s the right attitude. Not to pull the “tradition” and “sanctity” cards, but if anything in this world remains sacred, it’s the Old Scoreboard at Wrigley freaking Field. A larger video board below the Old Scoreboard, if technology allows it? Sure. Absolutely. But replacing the scoreboard? No way.

Tunney does the rooftops no favor by making such a suggestion, either, because I’d think they would want no part of such an absurdly unacceptable plan. But, who knows. People will do crazy things when their livelihood is on the line.

I don’t pretend to have any inside information on these discussions, and, indeed, I’m sure there’s a lot I don’t know. But I still believe there’s a compromise here where all sides benefit. Too many of those who seek to benefit from the Wrigley renovation are focused on the size of their slice in the pie, instead of focusing on how large the pie can grow. The Cubs and the Ricketts Family have been as flexible as I think they can be. Now it’s time for everyone else to bend, and if that means the rooftops have to share more revenue and tolerate some ads on their buildings and in the stadium in order to survive? Isn’t that better than digging your heels in and killing the renovation, which, eventually and certainly, will kill your business?

Hopefully Tunney and the rooftops see this sooner rather than later, and an agreement can be made. One that doesn’t involve anyone laying a finger on the Old Scoreboard, other than the folks charged with keeping score.

[Disclosure: Some of the rooftop buildings advertise on BN, but that has not impacted how I've covered this ongoing story.]

  • cjdubbya

    I find it interesting that this story, as well as the lawsuit that was recently filed against an owner of one of the rooftops (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-3-wrigley-rooftop-servers-file-suit-against-employer-20130319,0,5253400.story), both come out just after the Cubs-to-Rosemont story.

    I also find it interesting that all of this comes while Rahm Emanuel is on mayoral Spring Break.

  • Indy57

    So Alderman Tunney has now exposed the real truth. It’s not about landmark status, its not about extra police protection, its not about extra night games causing a nuisance in the neighborhoods after hours and its not about a new “L” stop. Plain and simply it is about $140,000 and campaign fund-raisers from a handful of roof top owners. The very people who steal the product of the largest tax dollar producer in the 44th Ward. Government sanctioned theft with an additional shakedown from the good Alderman.

    Hi-Tops, Cubby Bear, Sluggers and all the rest of you bar, restaurant and business owners who make your business from the 3 million (plus or minus) people who attend Cubs games, you need to organize. Today, you need to go to Clark and Addison, make sure the cameras are rolling and you need to demand that the “good” Alderman cut a deal with the Cubs. That deal should be in return for investing $500 million in the midst of his Ward, he will support any number of night games, any in-park signage, any improvements to the park and surrounding area that maintain the viability of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball Team residing in the Wrigleyville neighborhood for years to come. If don’t do this, you have a lot to lose.

    If I’m Tom Ricketts, I’m calling every mayor in every city that is within a 25 mile radius of the current Wrigley Field today and I’m asking if any of them are interested in significant increase in their tax base to fund their cities’ growth over a long period of time. Signing on to any currently proposed deal with the City of Chicago, the Alderman of the 44th ward and a half a dozen or so building owners will be a day he regrets for as long as he and his family owns the Cubs.

    For the rest of you in the 44th Ward who have not organized yourselves as well as a handful of thieves and extortionists, please keep in mind that Alderman Tunney will be running for office again and my guess is his campaign slogan will be “Reserve Not Met.” Good luck “convincing” him to see the error of his waysS$$$.

    • Spriggs

      Nice post!

      I don’t get why all the good “Cubs supporters” and businesses in the ward have not made more noise. How can they allow the alderman and a handful of his supporters to jeopordize what they all have now? What are they waiting for.

      Call all the Mayors!!!

      The longer this goes on, the clearer the real agendas become.

    • Northside Matt

      George Loukas, owner of the Cubby Bear, Sluggers, and Sports Corner, also owns a few of the rooftop buildings. I’m guessing you won’t see him organizing any of the anti-Tunney protests anytime soon.

  • DarthHater

    If you could design a new state-of-the-art stadium for the Cubs with anything you want in it, would you include a retro, manual operated scoreboard taking up a huge amount of valuable space in center field? No freaking way.

    We are approaching the point at which more and more people are becoming open to the idea of actually packing the team up and leaving Wrigley altogether. In order to avoid that prospect, I say anything that gets the Cubs out from under any of the existing restrictions on remodeling Wrigley – including the scoreboard restrictions – is a good thing.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “If you could design a new state-of-the-art stadium for the Cubs with anything you want in it, would you include a retro, manual operated scoreboard taking up a huge amount of valuable space in center field? No freaking way.”

      It would still be in the ballpark. I have no doubt about that. And I’d be pissed if it wasn’t.

      • DarthHater

        Any place you put that thing in the stadium sacrifices a large amount of potential advertising space/revenue. I’d move it to the outside of the stadium and incorporate it into a renovated entrance to the bleachers at the corner of Waveland and Sheffield.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          deal with it

          • DarthHater

            Well, we’re a little pissy this morning, aren’t we? I guess your entitled after dealing with the website issues. ;-)

            • DarthHater

              *you’re [sigh]

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I was just trying to respond in your preferred language. :)

              • DarthHater

                I’m glad to see I’m having such a cultural influence. :-D

            • Spencer

              ironic post is ironic.

        • CubFan Paul

          Exactly. The Cubs could easily make $10M-$30Mish a year (at least) by replacing the old scoreboard.

          Tunney knows this. The Cubs know this. Tunney is just proposing the inevitable. Its not much of a bargaining chip when it’ll get replaced within the next 5 years.

      • hansman1982

        Cut the scoreboard in half!

        Replace it with a jumbotron with flanking, smaller, video boards.

        In inning – the main screen displays a picture of the manual scoreboard (we can place the manual scoreboard in a storage garage somewhere (or, more reasonably, you just have a digital version) and the side boards display ads/stats/etc…

        Between innings – the main screen displays ads, the side boards display the two halves of the scoreboard.

        • DarthHater

          I suggested a version of this weeks ago that does not even require harming the existing scoreboard. During innings, everything remains unchanged. Between innings, the scoreboard guys come out and unfurl a huge screen in front of the scoreboard and a giant projector on top of the grandstand displays ads (or whatever) on the screen. when play resumes, roll up the screen. Suffciently low-tech to satisfy the ardently romantic luddite. :-P

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            … except that 75% of the point of the ads in the outfield is so that they’ll be seen during game broadcasts …

            • hansman1982

              I wonder why the idea to have ads in the OF on top of the bleachers that extend up only so far as to cut off the bleachers from the rooftops hasn’t been floated out there.

              Add those plus ads on the rooftops and I bet the revenue would come close to equalling free reign of ads in the OF (minus any jumbotron revenue).

            • EQ76

              And Culver’s butterburgers would lose business!

        • CubFan Paul

          Lets cut potential earnings in half!

  • cubchymyst

    This probably will never happen and I’m sure a few people will disagree but what about using the old score board as a frame for a jumbotron. I have no clue the dimensions of the score board are, but keep the green frame with the clock on top and place a large digital screen in the middle.

    • Webb

      Blasphemy.

      • DarthHater

        Religious fanaticism. ;-)

    • EQ76

      just throw the old scoreboard on in the new triangle building as an outer or inner wall.. then it’s still a part of wrigley and the cubs update with the jumbotron.

  • dash

    I suggest extending the upper deck around the entire bleacher area, with 100% of the profits from the ticket sales form those seats going to the Chicago Cubs.

    • Rich H

      Wasn’t there a artists rendering a couple years ago of extended bleachers and walkways all the way across the street?

  • jim

    Probably can’t happen but it doesn’t stop the thought from coming up: How about we start a collection so Brett can stop taking ads for the Rooftops. :)

    • Whiteflag

      That would be nice. At least Brett has had no trouble ripping them to shreds despite the advertising. I’m glad the other news outlets and bloggers are doing the same.Tunney needs to be pushed out the door during the next election. And the rooftop owners should see a huge drop in sales. Maybe then they will start thinking rationally. They should be kissing Ricketts behind for making them 24 million a year.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    I can’t stand Tom Tunney. He is a hypocritical pain in the cubs ass. I understand he has a job, but he is just a political puppet for Rooftops. I hope the cubs don’t get any deal done with the rooftops. Then when the rooftops deal is up, the cubs should completely block the rooftops view and put them all out of business and then the cubs could buy the rooftops at a reduced cost and then the cubs get a huge boost to in revenue from complete getting those ticket revenues and can put additional signage up for more revenue on the buildings. I’m sick of Tom Tunney and those rooftop leaches stealing the cubs product

    • TheDynastyStartsIn2016

      Not only are the rooftop owners stealing the Cub’s product, they are making said product worse.
      The Cubs will never win a World Series in Wrigley, so let’s move now!

      • Jono

        I completely agree with that mentality (and thanks to the fed reserve for making this early afternoon worthless for work. Now I can read all the bleachernation I want)

  • Mr. Mac

    Mully and Hanley were blasting Tunney on the Score this morning. Mully called Tunney “an egomaniacal idiot.” And he said about Chicago “the city that works? More like the city that handcuffs people.” and Mully is a Sox fan.

    • Webb

      The City needs more bad PR like this to create public pressure. Politicians survive on public opinion and if Tuney alienates Cubs fans it reflects on Rham and I’d hope Rham is smart enough to then respectively distance himself from Tuney.

      • Mikelach13

        Mully had a great idea this morning. The Ricketts should hire a firm to do a rendering of the new ballpark and amenities in Rosemont. Then have the follow up business meeting with the firm and Rosemont’s Mayor at Ann Sather’s (Tunney’s restaurant) to review the plans for Rosemont.

        • Mr. Mac

          Yeah, Mully also suggested that the Cubs not just hire a firm but let it be known that they will be accepting plans and renderings for a potential new Wrigley Field. The last thing Tunney and Rahm should want out there are renderings of a new Wrigley Field/Wrigleyville being constructed outside the city limits. Once people see how nice and new everything could be, they should be very worried about the public fully supporting the Cubs move. And, I already think a lot of us support this as it is.

          • Lou

            And why not? Think about what the Cubs are marketing to–future generations of Cubs fans, who grew up in an era where football has replaced baseball as the nation’s pastime. Fans of this generation don’t care about the historical significance of anything. As others have posted, it’s all about the modern convenience of a solid fan experience at the ballpark and watching a highly competitive team with additional payroll being spent on said team. Know these statements have probably been said on here before, but just my two cents.

  • hansman1982

    “Make it as big as you want.”

    Ok Mr. Alderman, the Cubs will soon be unveiling the world’s largest jumbotron spanning from the LF foul line to the RF foul line.

    B O O M

    • Dale’s Ear

      Haha suck it Jerry Jones

  • Mrcub1958

    Indy 57 nailed it!

  • JB88

    Personally, I think the scoreboard is an eye sore, but it needs a face lift, not a demo. I’m still very much in favor of placing a Seattle-style jumbotron underneath the score board and raising the scoreboard another 30 feet in the air.

    Given the surrounding area, kittycorner from the scoreboard is a parking lot, so there is no risk that a rooftop will be blocked. Additionally, I think you could find some additional options for signage on the fences in a way that still does not block the view, but, at the end of the day, unlike Brett, I’m less in favor of kowtowing to the rooftops and just blocking their damn view.

  • BluBlud

    I actually agree with Looney Tunney on this one. Tear that piece of garbage score board down. Put up a new, state-of-the-art score board. It is despicable that the Cubs still use that piece of crap. I’m tired of people and the “history with Wrigley Field”. I’m not a Wrigley fan, I’m not a Wrigleyville fan, I’m not a Chicago fan, I’m not an Ivy fan or a Brick wall fan. I’m a Cubs fan. I could careless if they moved to Afghanistan. I wish they would just blow the whole freaking place up and start from scratch. This landmark crap is a disgrace that no other sports franchise has to deal with.

    • ETS

      Whether it’s college or highschool or pros, I always have liked the old school, hand changed numbers, inning-by-inning scoreboards. I really wouldn’t be heartbroken to see the one in wrigley go, however. The point isn’t that killing the scoreboard is an offensive suggestion; it is the way Tunney hypocritically chooses when to and when not to use the “Iconic” card that is offensive.

      • BluBlud

        I agree. Tunney is an Idiot. But so is Rahm. Rahm could kill all this crap. Rahm is a democrat, so there is no way he loses office in the city of Chicago. It almost impossible. So there is no way he can becerned with his re-election bid. All he has to do is stand up and put an end to all this crap. He doesn’t need Tunney’s or rooftops approval to do it. Tunney is only playing his hand because Rahm is allowing him to play it, so you almost can’t blame him. If Rahm had any thing of size in his sacks, this whole issue would have been settle a long time ago.

        • ETS

          I think you can say that Tunney is accurately representing his constituents and in that regard you can blame him. He is representing the concerns of one particular constituent but seems to be ignoring the majority public concerns.

          Also, I’m pretty anti-Rham (actually for a number of other reasons I’m not going to get into here).

          • ETS

            eidt ISNT accurately

            (obligatory complaint about edit buttons)

        • Noah

          From my understanding the problem is that if Tunney isn’t for it, the remainder of the City Council will stand with him and not approve a deal.

          With that being said, maybe all of us who live in the City need to write our own aldermen and alderwomen informing them that Tunney’s actions are not acceptable and that we will remember if they stand with him on preventing a deal for necessary rehabilitation to Wrigley that is not going to cost the City a dime.

  • Dustin S

    Ricketts wants what is best for the team and from a business perspective.

    Moving the team would….

    Solve the day/night game fatigue problem that so many former players have said was a big factor in the Cubs lack of success.
    Increase revenues with larger capacity.
    Avoid the 12% tax ball and chain that drags down ticket sales.
    Make the team more appealing to signing prospects and free agents with modern player facilities.
    Additional increased revenue with Cubs-owned parking, bars, and shops in and around the new park, etc.
    Far more signage and skybox/suite revenue.

    Plenty of teams have been through this. There is always a huge fan attachment to the old parks that make them feel irreplaceable, but it has been proven many times they can be replaced and the architects can keep the feel of the old park and improve on it (Detroit, Baltimore, etc.). The new ST facility is almost a dry run for it. Wrigley is iconic, but I guarantee a team could put together a very strong PowerPoint with financial numbers to back it up in a boardroom meeting as to why they should move. Whether it would be seriously considered by Ricketts or not, my main point is that the city and rooftop owners are overplaying their hand to think it’s not an option at all.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Again, I say: if it was so financially advantageous to move out of Wrigley Field, a Cubs owner would have done it decades ago. There are reasons they decide to stay and put up with the headaches, and those reasons are – when you really get to the bottom of it – entirely financial.

      • ETS

        The owners of decades ago probably didn’t have the flexibility the Ricketts family has right now.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          The flexibility to do what? Make more money? They would have found a way if there was a gold mine waiting for them in a suburban oasis.

          • ETS

            I’m assuming moving the stadium has some overhead costs involved that weren’t feasible in the past. Admittedly, I am only speculating on that.

          • BluBlud

            Times have evolved, and the nature of baseball have evolved. Teams have turn their stadiums into entirely seperate business from their actual teams. They have use their stadiums to create new streams of revenue. While other teams have move foward into this new wave, the Cubs have been stuck in History. A new stadium would create so much more revenue then Wrigley, and I strting to think Ricketts knows this. In fact, it may be Ricketts who is being the hard asss, the more I think about it. He can to the people I tried to save Wrigley, knowing the whole time, he wanted a new stadium. Don’t be suprised if the Cubs come out of this whole thing with one.

          • Boogens

            Brett, I usually always agree with you but I think that you’re giving the previous owners too much credit. There are several money-making initiatives outside of Wrigley’s rennovation that weren’t fully developed previously that are going to be / being pursued now. The TV deal and Cubs network, the new spring training facilities, ballpark signage, etc. are a few examples of situations where previous owners left money on the table.

            • Lou

              Yes, and now we see the ramifications of such things as the organization struggles to put a competitive team on the field.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              The TV deal was a sweetheart one with the same parent company, and their Spring Training facilities were relatively new back then.

              • Boogens

                It’s not just the deal itself, it’s the whole Cubs network and “library” of Cubs broadcasts. etc. There’s a 365 days a year goldmine in it.

                I guess what I’m trying to say about the situation is that the Trib (not so much Zell because he just wanted to sell the team off) could’ve pursued other revenue generating areas that they didn’t. Could’ve been a short-sighted viewpoint on McPhail’s behalf.

      • JB88

        I just don’t think that is true. The Tribune was making serious money at Wrigley for years. There was just no reason to upset the status quo. It wasn’t until the 2000s that they really started to look at expansion and renovation when the price of running the organization grew astronomically.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          There is no inherent reason that, if the suburban stadium would make so much more money than Wrigley today, it wouldn’t have also made so much more money in 1995. Why would they leave millions on the table just because they were doing OK? TribCo was ALL about making money with the Cubs. They explored every angle.

          • JB88

            “They explored every angle.” If you have some evidence of that, I will certainly consider it. I’ve live in Chicago my entire life and have followed each of the major sports teams my entire life. I am intimately familiar with the efforts by the Bears, Bulls, Hawks, and Sox to acquire/build new stadiums. I do not recall one story at any time in the 1980s or 1990s where the Cubs made noise about: (a) moving out of Wrigley; or (b) attempting a large scale renovation project of the stadium. Indeed, I’ve never once read a story with a source or lead suggesting the Cubs were exploring moving out of Wrigley.

            I’m happy to be wrong on this, but my buying your faith on this one will need to be based on something more than conjecture that the Tribune “was ALL about making money with the Cubs.”

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              “I do not recall one story at any time in the 1980s or 1990s where the Cubs made noise about: (a) moving out of Wrigley; or (b) attempting a large scale renovation project of the stadium. Indeed, I’ve never once read a story with a source or lead suggesting the Cubs were exploring moving out of Wrigley.”

              Dude. That’s my point. They’ve never made noise because there was never a point.

              Is your position really that the TribCo was so stupid that they never even did an internal analysis about the virtues moving? When there were HUNDREDS of millions of dollars at stake? They just never considered it?

              • BluBlud

                The Tribune company was stupid enough to sign a contract with several rooftop owners who were already stealing their product. In that contract, they allowed those rooftop owners to keep 83% of the revenue, despite the fact that they were responsible for 100% of the product cost. If the Tribune company was stupid enough to put paper to pen on something like that, then yes, maybe they were stupid enough to not pay attention to millions of dollars.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  I’ll tell you what … when you throw in the fact that the TribCo apparently never thought about buying the rooftop buildings back in the ’80s … I don’t really have a response to that. Ha.

                  • Dale’s Ear

                    And the fact that they’re doing so terrible financially might show that they haven’t had the smartest people doing their business research for them…

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      (Well, that was a largely a product of the industry – they all pretty much hit the shits.)

                  • Lou

                    And yet Brett, I don’t buy that. You can conveniently apply that statement to the media industry now. Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the boom of WGN at the time, the Tribune could have smarter business decisions. As we see now with the new ownership, they are responsible for footing the bill on everything.

                • BluBlud

                  pen to paper, not paper to pen.

          • Pat

            Brett,

            I have a feeling that you’re not as familiar with suburban Chicagoland as many you are arguing with. There are huge differences. In 1995 the suburbs extended west to essentially Schaumburg, now it’s not at all uncommon for people to commute all the way from St. Charles or further, and almost all the area in between is now developed. And the difference between 1985 and now is even more extreme.

      • BluBlud

        Dude, get over it. Wrigley is a dump. The Score board is a dump. The Ivy wall is a eye sore. It the City is not going to let them spend their money to spruce the place up, then they need to get ghost. If that means the Suburbs, so be it. If it means out of Illinois all together, so be it.

        Besides, why are you so attached to the scoreboard.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          To me, “the Cubs” are more than just pieces of fabric on random players’ backs.

          • BluBlud

            So Brett, are saying that if the Cubs moved to Idaho or somewhere stupid like that, that you would no longer cheer for them.

            And since you are so tied to Wrigley, that if the Cardinals somehow decided to move to Chicago and into Wrigley, and kept the place as is, that you would all of a sudden become a cardinals fans. Because that what it sounds like your saying. that stadium don’t mean jack squat to me, and probably to most Cubs fans. The uniform is what it is all about, and the player who wear the uniform is what it is all about. Thats why i get mad when a Campana is traded, or people talk of replacing Barney or any player who came up from the start as a Cub. I care more about the players and the uniform that they wear. I could really careless about where they actually play at.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              “So Brett, are saying that if the Cubs moved to Idaho or somewhere stupid like that, that you would no longer cheer for them.

              And since you are so tied to Wrigley, that if the Cardinals somehow decided to move to Chicago and into Wrigley, and kept the place as is, that you would all of a sudden become a cardinals fans.”

              Clearly that’s exactly what I’m saying. I am not much of a Cubs fan, which I think is pretty obvious at this point.

              • Webb

                The original post was troll-scented to begin with…

            • Internet Random

              I love baseball; always have, always will. Even so, every time I go to Wrigley Field, I love baseball a little more.

              I love the Cubs; always have, always will. Even so, every time I go to Wrigley Field, I love the Cubs a little more.

              It’s not just another venue. If you think it is, I question whether you’ve really been there.

              • TWC

                Yeah. Exactly.

                I returned to Wrigley last summer for the first time in over a decade, and wow, man, just wow.

      • Spriggs

        Just because The Tribune Co. or the Wrigley family didn’t move, doesn’t mean they made the right decision in staying put. After all, those ownerships made a lot of other mistakes.

        • Noah

          I think the answer for why moving may not be the economic windfall many here think it will be can be found in the MLB attendance numbers from 2012. The Cubs were the second worst team in baseball in 2012, and had one of the highest average ticket prices in baseball. They had the tenth highest home attendance, at 35,590 per game. The White Sox led the AL Central for most of the season and had less expensive tickets. They have significant parking availability and are easily accessible via the Red Line. They had the seventh LOWEST attendance in baseball at 24,271 attendees per game. The Pittsburgh Pirates, who arguably have the BEST ballpark in all of baseball had the eighth lowest attendance.

          If the Cubs move to say, Rosemont, you’d not only have the issue that fans wouldn’t show up when the team isn’t good. But you’d also have the issue that fans might not show up even when you are good. On top of that, a part of the value of the potential advertising at Wrigley is that it would be advertising at Wrigley. When the Cubs are bad, 35,000 people a game will come through the door and see the advertising. When the Cubs are good, 40,000 a game will. I also wouldn’t be surprised if it even would negatively effect TV ratings.

          It’s easy to say that the Cubs could get everything they want if they moved to the suburbs: the night games, the advertising, the parking. But what they’ll lose is the near guarantee that they’ll be within 15% of a sell out almost every single game.

          • Matt

            I’m not exactly sure how old you are, but if you’re past your 30′s like I am, you’ll remember all too well that for many years prior to WGN becoming a “superstation,” that broadcasted the Cubs nationally, Wrigley Field was very often quite empty.

            Having said that, the location of the park has little to do with attendance figures so much as the national appeal of the team because they became a recognizable brand thanks to WGN.

            I’d wager at this point that the national base of fans would follow the Cubs regardless of their locale. I don’t think you can compare them to the White Sox at all (they must compete with the Lovable Losers) for a fan base, or for a team like the Pirates, who have been historically awful in the last twenty years and don’t have the luxury of being “lovable,” in their losing-ness.

            • Lou

              Yeah, Matt, I totally agree here. I don’t think many Cubs fans in their thirties or younger realize some of the bad deals the Tribune company made with the Cubs, including the rooftop owners in the 1980s or the fact that, until that time, Wrigley wasn’t a great venue at all to watch a ballgame. The crowds before Harry Carrey or the teams of the 1980s just weren’t there.

  • JT

    I’ve stated this on more than occasion on here. The mayor needs to remove Tunney from the equation and move forward with a decision. Tunney is a political puss and bending over for the roof top owners. The rest of Wrigleyville needs to put the screws to Tunney to get this going because the sooner they get it rolling the sooner they reap the rewards of the construction boom in the area as well. If it all goes to plan your talking an extra 1000-1500 contractors there next fall for the next few years spending money on the daily basis and some renting apartments in the area to be close to the job site.

  • Mike

    I think “tear down the old scoreboard” is Tunney’s equivalent to “move to Rosemont.” It’s just as absurd, just as unlikely and he knows that.

  • Jim

    The problem always happens when you have to deal with Politicians. And it is even worse when you have to deal with Illinois politicians who usually end their careers in prison. The city has been totally unfair and have treated the Cubs like a red headed step child. If I were the Cubs I would take seriously any offers to move the Cubs. It is ridiculous that they have to go through red tape at every turn even when they are offering to front all the money! I am a fan that will watch and follow the Cubs whether they play in Wrigley Field or the Little League park down the road. I would expect there are many fans out there just like me.

  • JT

    MOVE TO ROSEMONT! Wrigley Field is a dump!!!! Worst stadium in all of major sports!

  • miggy80

    Money is power. Hit the rooftops in the pocket book.

    I vow to never attend a Chicago Cubs game from any of the Rooftop Venues. Anybody else on board?

    • Connie

      I have vowed for the past 3 years not to attend a Cub game in Wrigley until they put a team on the field worth watching let alone the rooftops. If they have to move then move. Time to stop being a puppet for the city of Chicago. And time to stop worrying about supporting the rooftop owners as well.

      It is much more than a party to me. And I am sure to most of you as well.

  • ETS

    Ricketts – and maybe I’m viewing this through a biased lens – has set him self up in such a way that, if the Cubs move, it’ll look like Tunney and Rham killed Wrigley despite Ricketts trying desperately to dump 100′s of millions of his own cash into saving the historic park.

    • Ron

      I completely agree, this is he only way he could move the team and not be lambasted for it. He needs a bigger villian and is getting one!

      • ETS

        Maybe Tunney and Rahm unwittingly played right into his hand???

        Conspiracy theories are fun. ;)

  • aCubsFan

    Mayor Stephens was on WGN radio this morning. He said bring the scoreboard, ivy and bricks to Rosemont.

  • BD

    One part of this that I either missed, or people are referencing incorrectly- did Ricketts have anything to do with the current contract with the rooftop owners? I thought the Tribune Co. set that up.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      TribCo – but the Ricketts Family are bound by it as current owners of the Cubs.

      • BD

        Right- I’ve heard several people (not here) blame Ricketts for agreeing to it in the first place, and I didn’t think that was true. He was stuck with this from the beginning of his tenure.

        • B Clifton

          It’s important to note that the rooftop issue extends beyond Tunney’s favoritism. The Cubs freely entered into a long term contract assuring the rooftop owners that their enterprises could continue and expand. Violating this deal could put the Cubs on the hook for the major expenses that the rooftop owners incurred in reliance of this deal as well as lost revenues.

          They assumed the crappy Comcast and WGN TV deals as well. Where are the outraged citizens demanding the unilateral breach of those deals? That would certainly bring in more money than some signs. The Ricketts bought the franchise with full knowledge of these deals. As folks are fond to say of grumpy Lakeview residents, “they knew what they were getting into.” If the Ricketts don’t have the dough to run a successful franchise with the existing deals in place, they shouldn’t have placed a bid in the first place.

          The fact is if the Ricketts could wrap this up really easily by simply buying out the rooftop owners. The problem with this approach is that it would cost them a ton of money. Much better to simply yak about “running a business like a business” and sweep it all under the rug, while the rooftop owners get dragged through litigation to receive pennies on the dollar.

          • BluBlud

            Clifton, you are wrong my friend. I’m almost sure that if the Cubs chose to buy out the rooftops, all they would have to replace would be profits, not the entire revenue. There is a difference. The rooftop owners would have to show what would go into there pockets after all their expenses, and that is what they would be owed.

            For example. If the rooftops had a contract for another 5 years and they could show 5 million in revenue over those 5 years, the cubs are not on the hook for 5 million dollars. 5 million in revenue is not what the rooftops owners would lose. When they subtract salary cost for employees, insurances they have pay to run that business, and any other expense that they would no longer have to pay if the Cubs bought them out, that money would come out of that 5 million. any other expenses that they have financed could be added back in, at least due to be paid during the years of the active contract. In the end, the Cubs would be on the hook for a lot less then what the revenue would be. I know these are not the actual figure and I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure I’m close to accurate.

            • B Clifton

              Very well. Substitute “revenue” with “profit” in my last post.

  • True(ly) Blue

    I love the Wrigley Field view from the seats but every time I have to go to the bathrooms I think “What a pit”. I can imagine how the players must love their locker rooms and training rooms. (That’s sarcasm folks.) Time to either rebuild or better yet move. If rebuilding nothing should be sacrosanct including the outdated green scoreboard and the views from the rooftops. Buy out the rooftops owners, etc. Best deal of all would be to move out of Chicago.

  • King Jeff

    What power does Tunney actually have here? Couldn’t they theoretically just go over his head and do this deal anyways? If the majority of the city, the majority of Wrigleyville, and the Cubs all want to do this deal, how can such a small minority, represented by one Alderman, block a deal that benefits almost everyone?

  • Eric

    There is a Wrigley Field Community meeting on Tuesday, March 26th for any fans who can make it to give this d-bag some feedback. I live in the neighborhood but unfortunately can’t make it that night. It is being held at the police station at 850 W. Addison from 6:30 – 8 PM.

    Here is the contact form URL for Tunney’s ward if you feel inclined although I doubt he cares or reads any submissions:

    http://www.44thward.org/contact/

    Maybe the Cubs should build this a-hole another Ann Sather’s so he’ll stop meddling.

    • Webb

      Or arrange an Ann Sathers boycott. The guy is obviously motivated by money, and there are plenty of better brunch places anyways.

      • Webb

        In fact, if Brett were so inclined he would have the best means of doing so, via his social media outlets. If a deal needs to be completed by April 1st, simply suggest Cubs fans in favor of a wrigley renovation as soon as possible not attend his restaurant until such a deal is in place.

      • Northside Matt

        The cinnamon rolls are pretty awesome though.

        • Webb

          2 Sparrows has a bacon maple donut. Read that again.

          • Northside Matt

            That’s pretty sweet. How good is it?

            • Webb

              On par with Darwin Barney’s defense.

      • Eric

        I would just like someone to call him out in public for being so deep in the rooftop owners pockets. Mesa can contribute $84 million for the Cubs new spring training facility yet the Cubs propose a completely reasonable plan for a renovation using their owns funds and have to deal with this. It boggles my mind.

        And I am one who is 100% against any talk of a move to the suburbs although I’m finally on board with the threat of doing so to move this along.

  • Patrick G

    Thats like tearing down the green monster, no thank you

    • Dale’s Ear

      My thoughts exactly, if the scoreboard has to go in order to make money you might as well move. I know my opinions on that are probably more out of spite than anything but ugh, politicians ruin everything that’s good in the world.

  • ReiCow

    I’m just stunned by the gall of this jackass. Hope this resolves soon, and he can go back to whatever hole he crawled out of.

    Moo. :(

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Why is it that one alderman has so much sway anyway? In the cities I know, an alderman is just one vote among many. They don’t personally control zoning, signage, renovation decisions. These are voted on by the entire council of alderman, and approved by a city administrator or the mayors office. Has Chicago really gotten that screwed up that one person runs the business of entire neighborhood?
    Brett, in response to if it was so profitable, why have the Cubs not already moved. The biggest problem was always the public relations disaster it would have been. And the team was making a profit. But the can was kicked down the road on upkeep of the park. Times have changed, and that profitability with maintaining a 100 year old structure is a completely different dynamic than say 20 years ago.

    • aCubsFan

      In Chicago it is different. All the power for zoning, and everything else in their ward is in the alderman’s hands. That’s why every Tom, Dick and Harry has to kiss the Alderman’s ring like he was the Pope.

  • Teddy Ballgame

    Tunney is a piece of hot garbage. This a-hole keeps saying stuff about neighborhood residents not liking this-or-that, but anyone who lives in Wrigleyville understands parking is gonna suck, its gonna be congested during the summer. Yeah Tunney, let’s tear down the iconic CF scoreboard so one or two rooftops can still have their view. Tunney is a joke and he needs a heavy dose of street justice to get his mind right. I say the Cubs buyout the rooftop contract and block all their views. Cubs owe the rooftops NOTHING! Keep it in ya Tunney!!

  • myporsche

    I could barely read anything on the scoreboard anyway. I say replace the manual numbers with digital screens

  • DONNIE621

    Smoke, Distraction, Obscure… all terms that apply. Never forget its the amount of “Grease” that layers the alderman’s palms that is important here. If the responses on this site are any indication… the city is losing the PR battle.

    Next steps… First and foremost it is time to stop talking to the City of Chicago until they have something constructive to say. Second, the Cubs (Tom Ricketts) should announce that after April 1st they will no longer be negotiating with the city or the Greedy neighbors… that they will revisit things after October hopefully at that time something can be worked out. Third… really stop talking to the Thugs… In the mean time they should be considering their options… calling the mayor of Rosemont and finding out where that 25 acre parcel is and get some details on Rosemont’s proposal.

    My feeling is that Ricketts has begun to cross the rubicon… he should move forward and get a stadium worthy of this storied franchise. Can you imagine being able to tail gate in the new facilities parking lot! Talk about a party! There is nothing sacred about “OLD Wrigley field” preserving this antique isas romantic as It was in Boston but Chicago is not Boston… Besides I have a hard time thinking that Boston made it this hard for the Red Sox.

    Tom Ricketts has cast off the old organization, their old ways, their old thinking all the things that weighed them down and stopped them from going forward into the future. He installed young aggressive thinkers who are bringing the unthinkable to the franchise in terms of player selection, training etc… Tom, Rham and saidly Wrigley are things that weigh the Cubs down… time to say GOOD-BYE!

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+