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respect wrigleyToday at a presentation at the Chicago City Club, Chicago Cubs Chairman and Owner Tom Ricketts revealed the latest renovation plans, which will be submitted to the Chicago Planned Development process today. Included in those plans are the Cubs’ requirements for outfield signage, which was discussed this morning.

In his comments, Ricketts dropped a bit of a bomb, as tweeted by those in attendance: if the renovation plans, including the signage, are not approved, the Cubs will have to consider moving from Wrigley Field.

This is a very, very significant moment, because it’s the first time Ricketts has ever even acknowledged the possibility, however slight, of having to leave Wrigley Field. Indeed, Ricketts had previously, at every turn, gone out of his way to take that possibility completely off of the table.

To be clear, it is still extraordinarily unlikely, and I don’t think it’s any kind of sign that there is a fear that the approval process will be a problem. (Remember, the Cubs went through months of battling with the Mayor and the Alderman to craft this very plan, so there’s no real reason to believe it won’t eventually be approved.)

But the gauntlet has finally been thrown down to the constituencies that benefit from and surround Wrigley Field: if the Cubs don’t get what they need, they may finally have to move.

In other words, don’t hold this process up. Give the Cubs what they want.

UPDATE: In the breakout session with the media, Ricketts walked it back a little bit:

  • Sandberg

    Finally

  • Kyle

    That’s cute, Ricketts. You can’t afford to refurbish this stadium without generating new ad revenue to pay for it as you go. Where are you going to get the money for a whole new stadium?

    Empty threat, and a little embarrassing for him to be making it.

    • Cedlandrum

      So you don’t think that a city elsewhere would offer a ton of money to have the cubs? You are kidding yourself. When teams move they don’t build the stadiums, the cities do.

      • Kyle

        No city worth moving to is going to offer it. You might get some backwater nowheresville suburb to make some noise (and probably not really go through with it), but it’d be in a place where the cons of moving far outweigh the gains.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Indianapolis would pay for one.

          • Justin

            I live in Indy and would LOVE the Cubs to come here. But, they wouldn’t fill a stadium to watch the Cubs unless they were contendors for sure.

            • Cubbie Blues

              I don’t know about that. They already do a pretty good job filling up Victory field and its the 33rd largest stadium in the country at 15,500. If I remember correctly it was built with the thoughts of expanding for a MLB team.

              • Justin

                I guess you could be right. I just look at the Pacers attendance (which is terrible with a good team), and the Colts when they don’t have Manning or Luck at QB attendance ,and assume they would struggle. It’s obviously not going to happen though..

                • Cubbie Blues

                  How long ago was it that the Colts didn’t have Manning or Luck? Oh, and the NBA sucks.

                  • Justin

                    Well they played a full season without either 2 yrs ago, and their season ticket holders dropped a ton after the season. Attendance #’s were ok that year from tickets purchased before Manning went down for the year. By all accounts a mediocre NFL team wihtout a future HOF QB in Indy would have low attendance #’s.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      As long as we can agree the NBA sucks.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “By all accounts a mediocre NFL team wihtout a future HOF QB in Indy would have low attendance #’s”

                      Not true. WE, here in Indianapolis dropped our season tickets in 2012 because Irsay signed Peyton to a 5yr deal (with lots of talk of him retiring a Colt) then cut him less than six months later to save money.

                      Ricketts is walking that line of dishonesty & mistrust himself

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Not for nothing, but … wasn’t that the right move with respect to Manning and Luck?

                    • Justin

                      I live in Indy too CubFan Paul… Although, I am actually a Bears fan. I really respect the Colts franchise in general. With that said just a gut feeling, but I don’t think they would have strong attendance after several down yrs in a row. Just a hunch..

                    • Justin

                      Brett, yes it was completey the right move to suck for Luck.. That just shows how different the NFL is than MLB. Wouldn’t it be great if the Cubs could be terrible one year and get a franchise player in the draft that will make you a playoff team the next yr? The timeline is soooo much faster in the NFL..

                  • Justin

                    Ha.. I happen to like the NBA, but most people I know hate the NBA. It’s still dissapointing to see shit attendance figures with a good team.

                • CubFan Paul

                  The Pacers attendance suck because of all the trades to un-athletisize the team (trade all the ‘thugs’) a few years back.

                  The whitest team in the blackest league will never get attendance. Fans havn’t forgotten that.

                  • King Jeff

                    I can’t imagine why a team with both Hansbrough brothers on it wouldn’t sell out every game they play, no matter where it’s at.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      Hilarious Jeff. My first laugh of the day.

                  • aaronb

                    I’m an Indy native. I thought the tipping point to the Pacers falling off attendance wise was the Brawl.

                    David Stern suspended/ruined a team that was a title favorite.

                    NBA is rigged anyway.

                  • Dave

                    I had no idea the Minnesota Timberwolves moved to Indy……

            • http://bleachernation.com Tim Bog

              The Cubs r Wrigley Field and win or lose u r not going to attract a more loving caring and fun crowd as a CUB FAN I love it

          • Kyle

            Good for them.

            First, in a million years MLB would never allow the move.

            Second, Ricketts’ Indy Cubs would draw 1.5 million a year if they were lucky.

            • Richp

              Are you a Cub fan,or a Wrigley fan?

              • Kyle

                I’m a Cubs fan.

                I think it would be *awesome* if they left Wrigley. I’m a hipster Wrigley hater. I’ve been wishing we could blow it up for a gaudy, sterile Cubs Stadium long before it became the trendy thing to do because of frustration with the negotiations here.

                I’m not talking about what i want to have happen. I’m talking about what’s plausible. The current state of the local economy and the Cubs’ financial and ownership structure make a move out of Wrigley Field completely and utterly implausible.

                • Richp

                  I agree for the most part,but I like to dream of the possibilities of a new,state of the art stadium.

            • Cubbie Blues

              They drew .5 million for a AAA team last year. I wouldn’t sell it short like that.

              • Kyle

                Aww, that’s cute. Almost 9,000 per game! This is the big leagues, literally, and that’s not good enough to warrant a small-market team wanting to move there, let alone a team that already has a massive brand presence in a major market.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  If you think you can’t get a good attendance in Indy your mistaken the Colts drew 68,000 per game last year. Do I think the Cubs would move to Indy? No. But, that isn’t what was originally posed. You stated that no city would fund a stadium and to that you are wrong. As far as the attendance to a AAA team? That is a major turn-out for the Minors.

                  Side bar. Do you wake up in the morning and make a goal to show everyone you come in contact with just how much of an ass you are?

                  • Kyle

                    81 MLB games and 8 NFL games are not comparable. Lots of third- and fourth-rate cities can sell out eight NFL games a year.

                    I didn’t say “no city” (although I’d believe Indianapolis would pony up for a brand new stadium when I actually saw it happening), I said “no city worth moving to.” And Indy doesn’t make that cut.

                    And that’s been my goal for much longer than just this morning.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      (although I’d believe Indianapolis would pony up for a brand new stadium when I actually saw it happening)

                      IT’S CALLED LUCAS OIL Debbie Downer

                    • whiteflag

                      Indianapolis is a bigger sports town than people realize. If the the cubs moving to another city was a realistic possibility, I bet they would make a strong offer. Don’t forget Indianapolis hosts a lot of major sporting events.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      For what it’s worth Paul, Indy would renovate Victory Field. It was designed with thought of turning it into a MLB stadium.

            • Dustin S

              I think it’s overestimating Wrigley to think that MLB would never allow the Cubs to build a new stadium. Although there’s a ton of sentimental fan pressure to stay in an old park, it’s the same conversations that have been held for old Comiskey, old Tiger stadium, old Yankee stadium, and just about every other stadium that ended up being replaced. In the end MLB is a business like any other and if someone can put together a presentation showing a long-term profit in a new stadium somewhere in the suburbs vs. continuing to maintain Wrigley, you can be sure it will be considered. Moving the Cubs out of the Chicago area completely to Indianapolis or anywhere else is about as close to impossible as could be though.

              That said, obviously this renovation is kind of a one-way street. It’s going to be a lot harder for Ricketts to make a threat to move hold much water in a couple years after dropping $300-500M+ on the renovations, hotel, etc. Once it happens they will be pretty locked-in to Wrigley for a long time.

              Also, while the Cubs are trying to minimize the impact of the jumbotron and RF sign on the rooftops, they are definitely the pushing the definition of blocking their view to the limits. I’m completely pro-Ricketts on the rooftop issue, but being open minded and trying to picture the before and after views from the rooftops based on yesterday’s drawings, they seem like they will all have at least a little to much more obscured views of the field compared to today. I’m waiting for the backlash from the rooftops to come now that the actual proposed drawings are out.

              • Cubbie Blues

                “I think it’s overestimating Wrigley to think that MLB would never allow the Cubs to build a new stadium.”
                That wasn’t the argument. The statement was that MLB wouldn’t allow the Cubs to move to another city not another stadium.

                • Dustin S

                  I don’t think Ricketts & company have even hinted at moving out of the Chicago market as an option. I mentioned that also. The only places I’ve seen other the other markets mentioned was here in this thread, and that’s so remote a likelihood it’s not really worth much discussion tbh. My point was that moving to the Chicago suburbs is definitely an option if they legally get shut down in the renovation plans. I doubt MLB would stop them if they really wanted to relocate to another Chicago-area site.

              • Kyle

                That’s not what was said.

                MLB wouldn’t have a problem with the Cubs leaving Wrigley.

                They’d have a problem with them leaving the Chicago market.

        • Jack

          Rosemont has already made an offer. Close enough to Chicago with infrastructure galore. I’d love to see all those whiny yuppies crying when the Cubs moved!!

          • Kyle

            Rosemont offered land. That’s not nearly good enough. Someone has to offer to actually pay for the stadium.

            • fearbobafett

              Cubs are spending 300-500 million to update Wrigley and the surrounding area, why do you think they can’t just take that same alloted money and build a new stadium on the FREE land Rosemont is offering?

              Sure they will see a dip in attendance, but i doubt it will be the first few years that park is open. If it is built while they still play in Wrigley, don’t you think attendance spikes in Wrigley as all the fools who have not been there flock to say they were just in case it is torn down?

              Although i get your point, it is not impossible, just not as easy as poof we have a new stadium.

              • Kyle

                Because there is no $300m-$500m right now.

                The Cubs’ plan to pay for it is to add signage, concerts and night games to raise the money to pay for the renovations.

                • fearbobafett

                  Today there is not signage, concerts or extra night games, so there is no money, but yet the renovations will still be occuring. The money has to come from somewhere to start the project if it is not coming from the new money streams, so i say, yes there is money to build a new stadium.

                  Would love for them to move, but honestly they are not.

                  Only really card they have left in thier deck is to play outside of Wrigley. They are not going to Milwaukee, except for a few games that might conflict with the White Sox, becuase that would tick off the Mayor. THe only option is to goto the south side and play, and you only need to do that if the rooftops keep being jags fighting everything.

        • aaronb

          Exactly, No way in heck the Cubs move out of Wrigley. If they did, a new team would be calling Wrigley home in less than 5 years.

          Cutting off nose to spite face.

          • fearbobafett

            You are saying a new MLB team would be calling Wrigley home? Not a chance.

            First the White sox would be screaming about the market radius rules in place for MLB.

            Second, Rickett’s would still own the stadium, do you think they are dumb enough to let a new MLB club go into thier stadium they just left while taking away from thier product?

        • MightyBear

          Las Vegas would do it in a heartbeat and they have the dough and the fan base. They’ve wanted a professional sports team for a long time.

          • Kyle

            Not a city “worth moving to” from Chicago.

            • MightyBear

              I disagree. Rickett’s could make more money in Las Vegas than Chicago. Especially on the ancillary stuff like advertising, hotels, casinos, etc. I do agree that MLB would never go for it but Vegas is the one place where Ricketts could make more money than Chicago.

              • YourResidentJag

                Agreed.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Oh, come on. That’s only because other cities actually want to have a professional ball club to call their City home.

        • Camiata2

          Nice shot at the White Sox. Well played, sir.

    • BT

      Really? It’s so far beyond the pale that it’s “embarrassing” for Ricketts to even bring it up? Kyle why do I get the feeling that you’d have a problem with the order in which Ricketts ties his shoes?

      • Kyle

        It’s just such an empty threat, and the people he’s negotiating with have already proven that they don’t respect his empty threats. Remember that superhard April 1 deadline that they scoffed at?

        • BT

          They were still negotiating, and making progress. It happens all the time. To summarily pull the plug because an arbitrary deadline wasn’t met would be childish (and counterproductive). To boot, they got everything they wanted a week later. I don’t see how that hurts his negotiating credibility.

          • Kyle

            That’s why setting arbitrary deadlines like that is childish. Because you know you can’t follow through with them.

            Same with this threat.

            • BT

              This is why I can’t take you seriously Kyle. In the first instance, they set a hard deadline, which of course you find fault in. In the second instance, they don’t set anything like a hard deadline, but instead offer a vague notion that it’s possible that sometime in the future, another option may be available to them if necessary. This is the exact opposite of the first option, and of course, you find fault in it. In short, regardless of the fork in the road they take, you have a problem with it. It’s the equivalent of me reviewing a Grateful Dead album. The outcome is preordained. Spoiler alert, I’ll hate it.

              • aaronb

                Why are there so many people on message boards who do mental gymnastics trying to make excuses for Ricketts?

                It’s like they want to defend him against all evidence that he’s a complete boob.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Surely you know this could go the other way, right?

                  “Why are there so many people on message boards who do mental gymnastics trying to rip Ricketts for things they have no factual basis?

                  It’s like they want to rip him against all evidence that he’s doing the best he can with information we don’t have.”

                  • aaronb

                    I’d counter that the evidence against him is quite clear.

                    1. He bought the team with almost zero actual personal wealth (Dad has money, hates baseball)

                    2. He’s slashed 40 million dollars off the payroll

                    3. He’s tried to hold the city hostage for public handouts

                    4. He’s been beyond inept at trying to quasi self fund the renovation of Wrigley

                    5. He held the G’vt of Arizona hostage for a new spring training site

                    6. He still has made no commitments to improving the MLB club.

                    To me that spells out the worst kind of owner you can ask for. It’s almost a carbon copy of the way Frank McCourt ruled over the Dodgers.

                    The next move we need to be looking for, is Ricketts to start getting bank loans against future TV revenues.

                    • DarthHater

                      [img]http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/37433805.jpg[/img]

                    • DarthHater

                      Bah!
                      [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8396/8699586876_38905df366.jpg[/img]

                • DarthHater

                  Why are there so many people on message boards who think that every message with which they disagree is automatically supported by “so many people”?

              • Kyle

                I didn’t say I hated it. I said it was a little embarrassing. It’s just going through the motions so pointlessly, but I don’t really “hate” it.

                His real leverage lies in the size of the renovations. There’s a big difference between a $100m building project and a $300m building project inside the city.

            • Boogens

              Hey Kyle,

              I understand and appreciate your perspective. Although the deadline could have been construed as an empty threat it did coincide with the city & local alderman actually becoming more serious and getting something done finally. Maybe the the mayor and alderman weren’t the intended audience for the deadline. It may have been orchestrated to provide pressure on the local interest groups so that Tunney could be freed to negotiate without undue local influence. Who knows?

              To some of the other posters… bottom line is that something did get done, it got done with favorable results to the Cubs, and it’s something that the Trib was never able to accomplish. How is Rickett’s such a boob?

              • DarthHater

                Sorry, but the “Hey Kyle” just made this irresistible:
                [img]http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/24523619.jpg[/img]
                :-P

                • Kyle

                  That almost makes me want to use an avatar. Almost.

                  • DarthHater

                    heh

                    • Kyle

                      If that’s what you think of me, you may feel free to find it amusingly ironic. That’s what makes it great.

                    • Internet Random

                      That’s a good point.

                    • DarthHater

                      ?

                    • Internet Random

                      Scroll down. His post showed up in the wrong thread.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    I hate that you don’t have one.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      I just like the fact that you can put a smiley far on the back of anything and nobody cares what preceded it. Everyone just laughs.

                    • Kyle

                      That only works from Darth.

                    • hansman1982

                      “I just like the fact that you can put a smiley far on the back of anything and nobody cares what preceded it. Everyone just laughs.”

                      Tim is a dummy.

                      :D

                    • TWC

                      Emoticons are for 14-year-olds.

                    • Kyle

                      OK, wait, how do I sign up for one again? I want to bring over my Crushing Fist of Logic.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      gravatar.com. Use the same email address there and here. Boom.

                    • Cubbie Blues

                      Kyle – gravatar.com use the same e-mail to sign up there as you use here and in about 15 minutes or less it will start showing up here.

                      TWC & Hansman – (_I_)

                    • Kyle

                      This avatar, which will show up soon I hope, was made for me by a fellow denizen of a poker forum many years ago in admiration for the many, many, many hours I spent explaining to people that there was no doomswitch, there was no bad luck, they just sucked at poker.

                    • hansman1982

                      “Kyle – gravatar.com use the same e-mail to sign up there as you use here and in about 15 minutes or less it will start showing up here.

                      TWC & Hansman – (_I_)”

                      Hey, lay off my Moobs.

                    • DarthHater

                      “Emoticons are for 14-year-olds.”

                      TWC is physically repulsive, intellectually retarded, vulgar, insensitive, selfish, stupid, has no
                      no taste, a lousy sense of humor, and he smells. :-D

                    • Internet Random

                      “Emoticons are for 14-year-olds.”

                      I’m with TWC.

                    • Internet Random

                      “Wrong” and “false” also have five letters and would be far more appropriate than “logic” for your avatar.

              • Kyle

                It wasn’t a favorable result for the Cubs.

                Three or four years ago, they began this negotation asking for $300m from the city.

                The end result: The Cubs are actually buying stuff from the city.

                That’s not favorable. That’s getting completely and utterly pantsed.

                • Kyle

                  Sorry, that should read “buying stuff *for* the city”

                • Boogens

                  I’ll concede that you’re correct in that Rickett’s got his butt kicked when he first got into this mees. My point was related more to the current climate given the inital results. There wasn’t any momentum for the project after the Joe Ricketts fiasco last year. Tom Ricketts got the momentum back on track and the Cubs are now getting considerations that they would have never gotten had Ricketts not changed his approach. I think that he learned from his initial mistakes and figured out how to navigate the quagmire pretty effectively.

                • BT

                  That’s completely moving the goalposts Kyle, and I’m fairly certain you know it. The current negotiations had ZERO to do with the Cubs asking for $300 million from the city. That goal was abandoned well over a year ago. To call these specific negotiations a failure because they failed to reach a goal they were not trying to obtain is complete nonsense.

                  In your world, a diet in which I go from 38 inch waist jeans to 34 inches is a failure because in high school I was trying to get into 30 inch jeans. Or a trade in which we get David Price is a failure because we didn’t get Brian Roberts as well.

                  • Kyle

                    It seems to me that the idea of “current negotiations” is a rather arbitrary distinction in this case.

                    There were no “these specific negotiations” except as a ploy to try to split off Ricketts’ failure. There was a Wrigley renovation process that he began several years ago and failed utterly at nearly every step, only to finally be forced to settle for an absurdly unfriendly deal.

                    • Boogens

                      I don’t agree with you that it’s an unfriendly deal.

                    • Kyle

                      We’re paying the city for the right to build the expansions that will allow us to pay for our own renovations.

                      That’s pretty bad.

                    • Boogens

                      “We’re paying the city for the right to build the expansions that will allow us to pay for our own renovations. That’s pretty bad.”

                      Well, that touches on the crux of your other argument then. What were Ricketts’s alternatives? Moving? You shot that down. So, by that logic he maximized the best he could get with leaving the team in Wrigley. He wasn’t going to get public funding in this economic climate. He got the next best thing.

                    • Kyle

                      His best option was to threaten not to do the renovations at all, or at least to significantly scale them down. The city wants a $300m project much more than it wants no project at all or a $50m project.

                      That might have been a credible threat, had he not tanked it before it even started by talking about how completely necessary the renovations were (and by getting pantsed by the Tribune when buying it to begin with, so that the team needs these renovations to pay off the debt and continue operating normally).

                      Have we ever actually seen Ricketts wearing pants? He may not have any left.

                    • Boogens

                      “His best option was to threaten not to do the renovations at all, or at least to significantly scale them down. The city wants a $300m project much more than it wants no project at all or a $50m project.”

                      You’re not directly adressing my earlier point that once we acknowledge that Ricketts mishandled his initial rennovation attempts he came out in good shape, You think that he got pantsed. I think that he got about as good a deal as he could get if the Cubs were to stay in Wrigley. Given that the city wasn’t going to provide financial assistance in the rennovation effort and that the Cubs really weren’t going to move, what concessions did he miss out on that support your perspective?

                    • BT

                      Boogens, you don’t understand Kyle-think. If this deal was good for the Cubs, then you simply have to backtrack along the process until you find something that was done wrong, then harp on THAT, to make it sound like everything else is inconsequential.

                      Let me just add that the idea that the city would come crawling to the Cubs because they were threatening to NOT drop 300 million (or 50 million) of their own money into Wrigley to update their own stadium makes no sense. The city could wait that out a hell of a lot longer than the Cubs could.

                    • Kyle

                      “Given that the city wasn’t going to provide financial assistance in the rennovation effort and that the Cubs really weren’t going to move, what concessions did he miss out on that support your perspective?”

                      I think with proper handling of the negotiations, the Cubs could have gotten some tax relief from the negotiations. At the very least, they could have gotten approval without having to buy a shopping list of stuff for the city.

                      BT- your view that the renovation process shouldn’t be taken as a whole is completely and utterly bizzare.

                    • Boogens

                      “…the Cubs could have gotten some tax relief…”

                      I believe that Brett has reported the Cubs have applied for a “special status” that would provide them with some type of tax relief (I;m not an expert so this may not be exactly what you were thinking).

                      “BT- your view that the renovation process shouldn’t be taken as a whole is completely and utterly bizzare.”

                      I can see why you feel that way if you evaluating how he handled the situation from cradle to grave. I wasn’t evaluating it from a overall perspective but more of an adaptive one. I was glad to see that Ricketts was able to effectively change tactics once he realized that his initial attempts had failed. So yes, he really mishandled it in the beginning (tipping his hand, not using his leverage, miscalculating the city’s desire to provide financial assistance, etc.) but at least he learned from his mistakes, toughened up, and ended up with probably the best deal he could have gotten given his initial screw-ups. So while he may not have maximized the deal he could have gotten if he had handled it better from the beginning he still came out well ahead of where I thought he was headed (if you consider how dismal the situation had gotten after the fiasco with his father’s political contributions last year).

                  • MichiganGoat

                    It might just be the optimist homer in me, but I think that Ricketts might have gotten a better deal by abandoning the city/tax funded path. If the city was funding the renovation there would be more politics to what and how the renovation was going to get done. The jumbotron might never have been approved because of the backlash we’ve seen so far, but by doing it without public assistance he has more leverage regardless of how it looks right now. He wanted more night games, a jumbotron, increased concerts and got that without as much public turmoil that would have happened from going through the headaches of a publicly funded project- we think this has been frustrating it would have been worse if public money was involved.

                    • Boogens

                      Completely agree, Goat.

    • Kevin

      “Empty threat, and a little embarrassing for him to be making it.”

      Kyle, Maybe a little embarrassing for you! The whole city is a big embassarment. Nothing personal but really?

      • mudge

        a big embassarment on the missippissi

  • Carie

    Leaving Wrigley field would be a mistake, simply because a Cubs game would never be the same game again. It is not because the stadium is anything spectacular, but because it holds a history of the franchise and is a home away from home for ever Cubs fan. Even if they recreated a stadium elsewhere, it would never truly be the same.

  • Mr. Gonzo

    The ante has been raised. We’d happily take them down here in Austin – a city not afraid to build new, enormous stadiums *cough* F1 *cough* and pleeeenty of room for it. But it would be a damn shame if they moved out of Wrigley, even to a CHI suburb. I’m confident it will all work out, but it would be nice if we the fans didn’t have to squirm as much…

    • LoneStarCub

      The Cubs in Austin would be amazing!

      But I hope they never leave Wrigley.

  • http://ODU Greenroom

    Yes, backwards cities like Miami would never help fund stadiums, let alone in the Chicagoland area. Here is something I just made up, but it must be a fact, b/c it is written. I once saw a unicorn puke after partying all night.

    • Kyle

      And look at what the Miami Marlins are drawing.

      Ricketts can’t afford to move somewhere where he’s not going to draw flies. In order for a move to be plausible, Ricketts would need to find a Chicago suburb that:

      1) Isn’t in a horrible location for drawing fans
      2) Has a location to build a ballpark
      3) Is willing to pay as much as $1 billion dollars for the new stadium, because Ricketts can’t afford to pay for it himself. Not just offer the land, but actually pay to build the stadium.

      • http://ODU Greenroom

        Ok, lets play dumb. You know very well Loria sold off the team after getting the funding. So stating how much they are drawing right now, makes absolutely no sense. Cities, right or wrong, find a way to fund stadiums. So you are making the case that people are “Wrigley” fans, not Cubs fans?

        http://deadspin.com/5964116/animated-infographic-watch-as-americas-stadiums-pile-up-on-the-backs-of-taxpayers

        • Kyle

          I’m not making any case except that Ricketts doesn’t have a credible alternative to Wrigley Field.

          It doesn’t matter what other cities did. It matters whether Ricketts has a city on hand willing to do it for him. He doesn’t.

          • http://ODU Greenroom

            So basically you are looking at statistical evidence of the growth of public funding for stadiums, then still stating the Cubs cannot find an alternative option. *smh* I hope we can agree the Cubs are a much more valued franchise than the Marlins. That should be enough to suggest the Cubs will find another offer.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              The question I’d have is how much of the Cubs’ brand value is tied to Chicago, itself. It’s possible that in, say, New Orleans, the “Cubs” aren’t nearly as valuable as in Chicago.

              • Voice of Reason

                When you’re talking about the Cubs “brand” you’re talking about the ability to draw fans to the ballpark, not like a brand of toothpaste or motor oil.

                That said, of course Chicago is very valuable to the Cubs. Just like the Pirates, Twins and Mariners would rather be in a more populated area then where they are located.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  That’s not exactly what was being discussed.

              • Jonathan

                Exactly Brett, and I would also argue that the Cubs in a suburban ballpark would not be worth nearly as much. I would think it would be Wrigley, downtown, or bust. And I don’t think he could get the financing for an optimal location downtown from the city at this point.

                Also Ricketts owns Wrigley while a new ballpark would likely be municipally owned.

            • Kyle

              The statistical evidence of an 100-year trend in public stadiums is not useful to this instance, no. Your evidence is much too broad to be useful to this specific case.

              And again, I didn’t say “no city.” I said “no city worth moving too.” The value of the Cubs’ brand in Chicago is so enormous that moving out of the city (even if MLB would allow it) is pointless. They need to find a suburb that lets them keep the Chicago brand.

              • http://ODU Greenroom

                Yes, I was making the case that the Cubs could find public funding and a location. Not to assert that they would actually leave to any other city. But I could see easily another city in the Chicagoland area giving them an offer. And no, the evidence was not too broad, it suggests that the increase in public funding, hence not out of the ordinary to receive the same assistance. Is it specific to Chicago, no. but it does not seem like much of a stretch.

        • Kyle

          Also, let’s be accurate with our timelines.

          Loria didn’t sell off his team after he got funding for the stadium. They played in that stadium for a full season before the selloff. With a crazy expensive and shiny new roster, they sold out Opening Day and that’s it. And that’s with a capacity even smaller than Wrigley.

          • http://ODU Greenroom

            Yes, if there was an edit button, I would of re-wrote that ending. The point I was making in response to your comment “look at the attendance they are pulling in” as if you conveniently forget the fact they sold off the team. The Marlins got the funding. that is the point.

            • Kyle

              Ricketts may very well have to sell off his team, not that there’s much to sell off right now, in this scenario. He’s already slashing payroll to meet his obligations.

              The Marlins got the funding from their city. The Cubs have already been denied funding from their city. So the parallel breaks down before it even gets started.

              • http://ODU Greenroom

                We were discussing whether the Cubs could find funding from another city. exhausting. peace~

                • Kyle

                  I don’t know what *you* were discussing. If you go back to the original post you replied to, I didn’t just specify any other city. I specified one worth moving to, which for the Cubs means staying in Chicagoland.

          • King Jeff

            They played in that stadium for 2 months before starting the sell-off. On a side point, apparently the state of Florida didn’t learn from the Loria scam-job, they are getting ready to approve state funding to improve the Dolphins stadium and the Panthers arena.

            • whiteflag

              And to think all this time, I have felt horrible for the residents of Miami.

              • King Jeff

                This one is coming from the state, probably legislators in Tallahassee.

                • whiteflag

                  Still. I am personally against publically funded stadiums, so this just drives me nuts.

      • Fresh

        There are plenty of suburban locations that would be willing to meet all of those standards, Kyle. Are you kidding? I know Rosemont made that silly offer, but it isn’t so silly. There is a lot of money out there along with infrastructure. It is entirely possible that the Cubs could relocate within the city as well. There is available land in the River North area and the near Northwest Side. Remember this: moving to the suburbs isn’t far. I don’t know if you are an out-of-towner or what, but I’m not seeing a “backwater nowheresville” within 25 miles of the city. To quote a great baseball movie, if they build it, they will come. The vast majority of people at Cubs games do not, unlike me, live in Lakeview.

        Now, to be clear, I live four blocks from Wrigley and do I want them to move? Hell no. I completely agree with you on the plausibility factor. It is just not going to happen. I like the threat, but it won’t happen.

      • Rcleven

        “Ricketts can’t afford to pay for it himself. Not just offer the land, but actually pay to build the stadium.”

        Bonding issues are very cheap right now.
        Under the right structure this could happen.
        If there are Packer fans willing to buy stock (totally worthless) to keep the Packers running the Cubs could raise enough money to build a new stadium.
        Just have to be creative.

      • Barry Clifton

        Aside from the obvious financial constraints, all of these suburban “solutions” rest on the assumption that the voters/zoning boards of those towns will be more compliant than the people of Lakeview.

        It’s delusional to think that the entire Cubs carnival could roll into Arlington Heights, DuPage County, etc. without a peep.

        • Rcleven

          Hoffman Est. has the land and hwy. access.
          public transportation also exists. Can be built in any industrial park where the land is open. I have also suggested the old Sears property. I believe that property is still in a TIFF.
          Business has been leaving the city of Chicago for the last 15 years. Just too difficult to do business in.

  • http://deleted bubbleshargrave

    people who have such a love affair with losersville wrigley absolutely slay me. the place is cursed. let’s go!

    • MatthewJ

      agree 100%. if they cannot get the deal they want, i hope they pack up and move. turn wrigley into a heroin rehab clinic or homeless shelter and see how the neighborhood likes it.

      only in this corrupt, backwards city would a business owner have to bend over backwards to spend $500MM to improve their own property.

      • MichiganGoat

        I disagree with the curse but I’m closer than I ever thought I would about allowing the Cubs to move out of Wrigley. The BS of all this getting to the point that I might hope they move if this continues much longer.

        • Justin

          Yep, I feel the same way. I have tons of memories at Wrigley, but at this point move them to Rosemont or whatever. I would love it soooo much if Ricketts grew some nuts and gave the ultimate FU to the rooftop owners and Wrigleyville community and moved them out. It would be so badass.

        • Cheryl

          MG, I wish they would move. I’m tired of all this back and forth with the city and with the roof toppers. People outside Chicago would not like to be called backwater and there are probably many “backwater” locations that would jump at the chance to have the cubs. Yes, they are identified with Chicago, as were the Dodgers and Giants identified with New York, but they moved and although it seems remote the cubs could move too.

  • Richp

    I will never stop pounding the point. The Cubs fan base loves the Cubs with or without Wrigley field.I have never made a secret of my desire for the Cubs to move out of Wrigleyville. With this latest announcement I say…..YAYYYYY! That said,I don’t think the Cubs are going anywhere. Ricketts is just making a point.

  • MichiganGoat

    I like it, its about as nice a way he could tell the city and neighborhood – “I’m SICK of dealing with all this BS, approve everything or face a world without the Cubs in Wrigleyville.” It might be a empty threat but I do believe another city would jump all over a move and give the Ricketts everything he wants and every penny he earns.

    • Smitty

      I believe that if he were to get a legitimate offer from a reasonable city, that Chicago would have to pull the crap they did for the White Sox and start giving up a ton more than what they are “giving up” as it is. The mayor needs this to happen, I think it will.

  • Camiata2

    Hopefully this stops the rooftop owners from further trying to bite the hand that feeds them. If they want to further impede the progress of updating a facility that will allow the Cubs to put more money into baseball operations, thus, theoretically, allowing them to financially sustain a consistent competitor (that in turn will drive up revenues for them, the rooftop owners, by generating greater excitement in the ballclub and drawing in more casual fans to the area to take in a game), fine. Let them have all the uninterrupted sweeps of empty bleachers (and stadium) that they want. In my opinion, all that would be needed to replicate the Wrigley experience would be as following: the old scoreboard, the bricks and ivy, and the general admission seating in the bleachers. Bring that to a lakefront property and the Cubs would have sit on top of Uncle Scrooge’s vault. End rant.

  • Will

    As a resident of Indianapolis, and a Cub fan; I can attest to the city’s desire to have a major league baseball team. However, the only way that would be possible is for Indianapolis to get the Cubs, White Sox, Cardinals, Reds , Brewers, Detroit or Indians to relocate. MLB would not allow for a “new” franchise to be put into existence in Indianapolis because the city is only 200-300 miles from all of those teams mentioned.

    Don’t forget that it took a lot of wheeling and dealing to get the Orioles to go along with the Washington Nationals, and there is still a great deal of bad blood there. I could only imagine what would happen if you involved 7 teams in a deal like that, basically taking away or 1-1.5M fans.

    If the Cubs move, they will likely go to one of the burbs (Rosemont has already put together a package). If they didn’t stay in Illinois, Vegas is the next logical location. If MLB shoots that down then Charlotte, NC would be next. After Charlotte would be Portland. After Portland would be New Orleans. After New Orleans would be Memphis. After Memphis would be Nashville. The last possible destination would be Oklahoma City.

    Although Santo Domingo in the Domincan Republic would be an interesting landing spot.

    • butlerdawgs

      I really don’t see Indianapolis ever getting an MLB franchise. During a sports marketing class I took, our teacher was the former head PR/marketing person for the Indians, and we had one day of “class” when we went to the game and talked to all the higher ups there. Everyone said that the biggest thing they understand is their market, which is family and affordable entertainment. My teacher talked about how they had discussed making a play for an MLB franchise, but that doesn’t fit the market that they draw. Granted, if they would get an MLB franchise, that market would drastically change, but I feel the Indians like where they are and what they are.

      • whiteflag

        I don’t see it happening either, for all the reasons above. However, I do think the city would be willing to pay for a stadium and the attendance would be better than most think. I just don’t think the MLB will every let it happen.

        • http://www.obstructedview.net Myles

          The only thing that is really stopping Indianapolis from having a MLB team is it’s density. It’s the 12th largest city in America, but it’s not dense AT ALL. It’s hard to pull a bunch of people into the city 81 times a year. These location problems are small fries compared to $$$$.

          • Kyle

            Should we have another “how do you define a city” debate?

            By literal city, it’s 12th largest. Start including metro areas or TV market areas or whatever, and it drops considerably.

            • Cubbie Blues

              I agree. It falls quite a bit in TV market (#25).

            • http://www.obstructedview.net Myles

              I don’t think I’ve ever had even a single “how do you define a city” debate, but they don’t sound terribly interesting so I think I’ll pass. The 25th TV market still seems in the threshold to be appetizing to a baseballing team.

              Here’s a good way to define a city. Can they support a “big 4″ sports team?

              Wow, the city of Indianapolis supports 2 of the 4 “big 4″ sports teams!

              • Kyle

                I meant “we” as in this site. We’ve had a few.

                25th largest TV market is smaller than Pittsburgh. It’s on the very fringe of viability, if we’re being generous. Definitely not appetizing, but maybe like you’d eat it if your alternative were completely starving to death.

                I don’t know much about the NBA, but one of Indy’s two teams is in the league where local market means virtually nothing because all the TV deals are nationalized and ginormous.

                • http://www.obstructedview.net Myles

                  Gotcha.

                  I agree that Indianapolis is on the fringe of viability, but that still means it is viable. Pittsburgh is a good comparison, because they are a cheap-ass team that still makes a ton of money. Indianapolis can also do that.

                  Local market means (slightly more) than you’d think for the NFL. I mean, there are at least 3 (San Diego, Minnesota, Jacksonville) teams (and St. Louis isn’t far behind) that are at least in some degree of wanting to move because of media markets/low attendance/stadium posturing.

    • Blublud

      I live about 80 miles from Charlotte and my mother lives in Charlotte. If the Cubs moved to Charlotte, I would be the happiest Cubs fan ever. I doubt it ever happens. I think Greensboro would get a team first. They tried about 15 or so years ago to get the Twins, but the fans voted down the funding. Instead they built a brand new minor league stadium that consistenly sells 7000+ seats a night. Don’t think the Cubs should or will leave the Chicago area, but they should leave Wrigley.

  • Paul

    Jiminy Ricketts! Chill out with the rhetoric, already. You’re sounding like a politician with these (hopefully) empty threats.

  • The Dude Abides

    The Cubs will probably never leave Wrigley, IF they do they will stay in Chicago DMA.

    Indy stands no chance of a major league team. The Reds and Cards will never allow it to happen. They are already smaller markets and depend on you guys supporting one or the other. Sorry for your luck.

    • Cubbie Blues

      I don’t think anyone actually said they would move to Indy. It was only thrown out there as a possibility.

    • hansman1982

      Oh, I think the Reds and Cards would pay for the Cubs new stadium in Indy. It’d ensure that the Cubs would be the Rays of the NL Central.

      • King Jeff

        I’m sure Reinsdorf would probably kick in a few dollars to get the Chicago market to himself as well.

        • Kyle

          Now we might be on to something.

          How much money would the Cubs’ rivals pay the Cubs to screw over the team by doing something really stupid? Would it be enough to actually make the move smart?

          *gasp*

          Did they already get to Ricketts? That would explain a lot.

          • King Jeff

            We already know that the Ricketts family is Republican, they don’t get along with the Democratic leadership from Chicago, and they got their bid slid right to the front despite questionable financing… I think we’ve uncovered the biggest Cubs conspiracy since “the boombox incident.”

            • TWC

              Really? And here I thought the biggest Cubs conspiracy was currently the “Julio Borbon is the super-secret first step in a Matt Garza trade” one.

              • hansman1982

                That’s all part of the Tom Ricketts Is Secretly an Agent of the Cardinal/White Sox/Brewers/Reds Conglomerate Big NL Central Conspiracy.

            • hansman1982

              I bet the boombox incident was the first part of the setup.

              Makes sense now that Sosa is trying his publicity comeback…

            • Cubbie Blues

              I know you were making a funny, but from Forbes.

              “Laura Ricketts is one of President Obama’s bundlers, or super-fundraisers, tapping her network of wealthy, influential friends, colleagues and peers to raise an unlimited amount for his 2012 campaign.”

  • Boob

    Kyle, you’re being incredibly short sighted in your logic. The Cubs are putting up $500M of their own money for the renovation of Wrigley plus Hotel and are making it back via the ad revenue. What makes you think they won’t just take that money and build elsewhere?

    Rosemont has already offered 25 acres of land to the Cubs (to do with what they choose). The amount of money the Cubs save in amusement tax (12% of profits to the city Chicago vs 3% to Rosemont) would be worth the move.

    For the business of the Chicago Cubs, moving to Rosemont makes more sense than staying at Wrigley. They can build a brand new state of the art facility, in a central area to their target demographic. Hate to tell you, but there are a TON of Cubs fans in the burbs with families (who they are trying to bring into the ballpark) who would definitely go to games when the venue is closer and easier to get to.

    Face it, Wrigley needs a renovation, and a damn good one for the Cubs to stay. The neighborhood needs the Cubs to stay at Wrigley more than the Cubs need to stay. If anyone thinks Ricketts is bluffing, think again.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “The neighborhood needs the Cubs to stay at Wrigley more than the Cubs need to stay.”

      If that were true, the Cubs would have moved decades ago.

      • David

        You think the Cubs would be worse off than the neighborhood would be if the Cubs moved?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          That’s the inverse of the point I was making – not that I’m going to do this whole argument again, which we’ve had for months from every conceivable angle.

          Being at Wrigley Field, where it presently sits, is extraordinarily valuable to the Cubs. Were it not, they would have moved a long time ago.

          • David

            I get that, but the reason I phrased it that way is because you implied that it’s untrue that the neighborhood needs the Cubs (at Wrigley) more than the Cubs need the neighborhood.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I didn’t mean to imply that, but I can see how it’s read that way. I’m making no point about what the neighborhood needs (obviously it’s better off with the Cubs than without them, though some in the area say otherwise). I’m making only the point mentioned below to Hans.

          • Richp

            I totally disagree. Who would be this entity that would have moved them? The Wrigley family? Phil jr.? Obviously not. They had no interest in spending any money on the Cubs. How about the Tribune?In what world would they have been interested in building another stadium? Ricketts is the 1st private owner since the Wrigley family,and are the 1st entity willing to make the long term investment. I think you are not looking at historical facts. There has never been a Cubs owner who felt investing in a new stadium would suit their short term financial returns. Also,there has been talk of the Cubs moving out of that dump called “Wrigley field” for decades.

            • aaronb

              Did the Tribune never do anything to the park? Didn’t they put lights up in 1988? Didn’t they rebuild the Outfield bleachers in 2005?

              They also brought concerts, made deals with the rooftops and petitioned several times for more night games.

              • bbmoney

                ooohhhh lights. so bright and shiny.

                meanwhile concrete is falling on people. So no, they probably didn’t maintain or update the park as well as they could have. If player facilities ever come up in free agency discussion…..you know you’ve got a problem.

                • aaronb

                  No argument that they needed to be better on the upkeep. Just pointing out the factual inaccuracy that “Nobody except the Ricketts has ever wanted to fix the park”.

            • YourResidentJag

              Yep, that’s my problem as well. While Brett says that he looked at this argument from all angle, when it was first discussed here, he didn’t even know about the agreement (boneheaded as it was) that Tribune company made with the rooftop owners in the 1980s. You know, the one that gave them this leverage. The Tribune Company could have done A LOT more upkeep. They didn’t and that’s why for better or worse the Ricketts family finds itself in this messy back and forth situation.

              • DarthHater

                Ahhh, now I understand. It’s all Brett’s fault! Did Brett also feed you lead paint chips when you were a child?

                • YourResidentJag

                  Way to WAY OVERHYPE what was said. And yet by his own admission, when this discussion first started he stated himself that he knew nothing of the early 80s agreement with the rooftop owners.

                  • DarthHater

                    So, the answer, then, is yes. Thanks.

              • MichiganGoat

                What agreement are you referring to? The 18% revenue share until 2020-something? Because that has been discussed regularly on here including by Brett.

                • YourResidentJag

                  Yep, it been discussed here just not initially. Yes, as more information came to us about Brett put in on his website.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    What agreement are you talking about? Be specific please and sources if you have them.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I assume he’s referring to the revenue-sharing agreement, which, as you noted, we’ve discussed here about a billion times. Next bombshell: the Cubs play at Wrigley Field.

                    • TWC

                      I think you mean “Cubs Park”, right?

                    • MichiganGoat

                      But but but YOU didn’t know about it! it’s top secret and you didn’t learn about it till later- oh well a smh and a facepalm to finish this foolish conversation

                      BOMBSHELL PART DEUX: Cubs want to renovate Wrigley

      • Voice of Reason

        Brett, please explain further your statement:

        “If that were true, the Cubs would have moved decades ago.”

      • JJ

        Wrigleyville needs the Cubs more than the Cubs need Wrigleyville. Whether the Cubs would be better served financially in Wrigleyville or in Rosemont, Schaumburg, unincorporated DuPage County, or some other convenient suburb with open land is a different question. Without Ricketts opening his books and consultant reports (do we know if Ricketts had people conduct surveys on this topic, for example), we can’t know whether a move to the suburbs would be beneficial to the cubs or not. My guess is that suburban families are far more likely to attend games if there is a stadium in the suburbs that does not entail either a drive into the north side or a Metra/CTA combo ride. That may offset some loss to business crowd / drunken city folk (to the extent the latter actually goes into the park and not just the bar).

      • hansman1982

        The Cubs needing Wrigley and Wrigleyville is not mutually exclusive with “The neighborhood needs the Cubs to stay at Wrigley more than the Cubs need to stay.”

        The reason the Cubs never moved is because of a long string of inept or penny-pinching or corporate owners who wanted the path of least resistence in terms of turning a profit.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          “The reason the Cubs never moved is because of a long string of inept or penny-pinching or corporate owners who wanted the path of least resistence in terms of turning a profit.”

          Sure. And in service of their overpowering desire for profit, they never considered that moving to a suburb – with all the parking and ads and no rooftops – was so much more valuable than staying. Oops. How careless of them when there is so much money obviously available elsewhere. Good thing the Ricketts Family finally realized it after four years, themselves.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            And to be clear: my point is NOT about whether the neighborhood needs the Cubs. I’m not making any comment on that. I’m saying that staying at Wrigley is hugely valuable to the Cubs for reasons I’ve pored over for months and am not really keen on fighting again.

            • hansman1982

              “How careless of them when there is so much money obviously available elsewhere.”

              I don’t think careless is the right word. Lazy, maybe.

              It was, “Here is a cash-cow, don’t fark it up”. So they didn’t fark it up. Now, that’s not to say that had they risked $XYZ dollars they couldn’t have made more.

              My guess, is the studies show the money is roughly equal. More upside in the burbs, less risk at Wrigley.

              • Kyle

                http://chicagoist.com/2011/07/25/cubs_numbers_confirm_37_percent_of.php

                37% of attendance at the NL’s highest ticket prices? That’s going to be hard for a suburban park to make up with ad signage.

                • bbmoney

                  What was the estimate ~$100 a fan (tickets concessions). so 37% * 38000 ~ 14,000 * 100 = 1.4M per game * 81 games = 113.4M a year. Maybe that’s a little high. But how many of those fans are coming to the burbs from their hotel rooms downtown to catch a game at a non-Wrigley field cubs game?

                  Even if half do we’re talking $50M a year. So I agree.

                • hansman1982

                  I’d say a large portion of that 37% comes regardless of where the stadium is.

                  Assuming the $50M lost each year, how much would unlimited night games, concerts, etc… bring in?

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    My rough estimate would say gobs. But, that is a back of the envelope calculation. Actually, I can’t see that they would make more at another stadium unless they don’t allow any of the signage/night games and such to be done.

                  • Kyle

                    I think it’d be much more than 50 million.

                    Cubs are probably closer to $120/fan, and they aren’t getting 50% of the tourists in a new ballpark.

                    They’ll also have to lower ticket prices quite a bit to keep demand up. You aren’t nearing a $50 average ticket price without Wrigley.

                    • hansman1982

                      It depends on what the definition of “tourist” was in that study. If it’s anyone from outside of Chicago, then the Cubs would get way more than 50%.

                      If it is literally the folks who just come to watch baseball at an old stadium because it’s neat-o, then you could probably cut them down to 10% with a move to the burbs.

                      BTW, I sincerely doubt the $120 a fan model (unless you are factoring ticket price (even then it seems awfully high). That’d put their revenue around $450-500M if that included tickets, $600M+ if it didn’t.

                    • Kyle

                      I can counting ticket price. Average ticket price of $45/fan, average non-ticket sales of about $75.

                    • Kyle

                      Which, now that you mention it, *really* doesn’t add up.

                  • caryatid62

                    I’d disagree with that. A large percentage of those people aren’t coming in from out of town to go to a game in the suburbs. The game is only a piece of a vacation, and convenience plays a huge factor.

        • Voice of Reason

          Hansman, these “inept” owners, as you call them, were making money hand over fist by staying at Wrigley Field. So, you are wrong… they were very good businessmen and far from “inept”.

          The reason they were making money was because they stayed at Wrigley Field. They would NEVER thing about leaving, nor did they ever think about it.

          Why would anyone leave anything that was making them millions and millions of dollars. To leave would be a sign of being an “inept” owner.

          • hansman1982

            Any owner that is ok with the college of coaches, is inept. I was more talking about their ability to put together a decent enough FO and give them the payroll needed to implement their vision.

            It is really difficult to be an inept businessman AND build enough wealth to buy a baseball team.

            • Richp

              There you go my friends. History. Anyone who remembers the college of coaches realizes the true value of the Cubs lies in it’s fans,not Wrigley field.

              • caryatid62

                That looks cute on a bumper sticker, but it’s not reality.

            • Kyle

              Really? I just thought it required being born into the right family.

    • bbmoney

      I still think people undervalue Wrigley field in terms of attracting fans who aren’t actually fans of the Cubs. I know attendance has been dropping, but I can’t help but think it would drop even further, even faster if you don’t have the draw of Wrigley field. It’s a tourist attraction as well as a baseball field. Not many tourists visiting Chicago are making it out to Rosemont to catch a game, unless they’re big cubs fans. Wrigley does clearly need a renovation and it will help if they can get more advertising (as that’s a huge part of revenue streams in today’s MLB), but getting those things done at Wrigley is just HUGE. Because whether we want to admit it or not Wrigley is a big part of the Cubs.

      I mean I know I’ve been to games at Fenway and Old Yankee Stadium just because of the parks (frankly I can’t stand either team). Can’t say I made sure to stop by Citi field while in New York or Shea when it was around.

      • baseballet

        I agree bbmoney. And the more Wrigley is transformed into a generic looking stadium, the less appeal it will have to tourists and to casual baseball fans who come to experience a game at Wrigley.

        • bbmoney

          Everyone’s going to have their opinion. I doubt too many tourists will care about a jumbotron or an extra sign or two as long as the ivy is still there and the outside of the field looks, for all practical purposes, the same.

          I mean look at those stupid seats on the green monster…..way worse than a jumbotron, in my opinion, that actually changed how the most iconic part of fenway looked.

      • Jason

        That is true but I don’t think that is a large % every game that come for those purposes. They can always play a handful of games a Wrigley every year for nostalgia purposes and charge a premium. It would be sure to sell out then. A new stadium would still draw people to come to see the Cubs at the “New Stadium” and probably bring in more families and ticket sales. I haven’t seen a new state of the art stadium built for a team that is not making money or losing in attendance. Even the Marlins are getting more people to the games in their new stadium than they did in the old one. The Cubs draw from every city they go to and would do the same in another stadium besides Wrigley. I live in Dallas the Ballpark in Arlington where the Rangers play sells out all the games and it sounds like a home game for the Cubs.

    • aaronb

      Wrigley is going to continue to house a MLB team. If the Cubs moved out of Wrigley, there would be at least 5 team petitioning to move into Wrigley tomorrow.

      • King Jeff

        Then they would be petitioning the Cubs and specifically, the Ricketts family, since that’s who owns Wrigley Field. Not MLB, not Chicago, not Wrigleyville.

        • aaronb

          It’s a historic landmark. If the Ricketts moved a team out of there. The city could seize it for public domain.

          • Ben

            What? It’s private property, the city cannot “seize it for public domain” under any circumstances. That’s absurd.

            The only thing the “historic landmark” designation requires is that, per Wikipedia, “any alterations beyond routine maintenance, up to and including demolition, must have their permit reviewed by the Landmarks Commission.”

            Even if the Ricketts build a new stadium and move the team elsewhere, the only thing the city can do is require Wrigley to continue sitting there being routinely maintained. I’m sure the rooftop owners will love selling tickets to watch the empty “historic” field.

            • Cubbie Blues

              This entire post is incorrect.

            • roz77

              Ok Mr. Lawyer.

    • Kyle

      “Kyle, you’re being incredibly short sighted in your logic. The Cubs are putting up $500M of their own money for the renovation of Wrigley plus Hotel and are making it back via the ad revenue. What makes you think they won’t just take that money and build elsewhere?”

      Sort of.

      First, they are asking the city to allow them to use Wrigley Field in new ways to generate the revenue for the renovations. That’s what this is all about. They don’t have $500m to actually pay for it out of pocket. A new stadium wont’ be able to take advantage of those revenues, so they won’t be able to use that money to pay for it.

      Second, you’re still about $250m-500m short of what a modern stadium actually costs to build.

      Rosemont is a terrible location for a Cubs stadium for a variety of reasons, but they are moot because the city is only offering the land, not the money to actually build the stadium.

  • itzscott

    Ricketts loses even more credibility now in even trying to play that card.

    Everyone knows he would never leave Chicago and one of the most profitable markets in the country to go to a non-major market city and watch while some other major league franchise that isn’t doing nearly as well as the Cubs grabs the chance to move into Wrigley and call Chicago “home”.

    • David

      I don’t think this “threat” to move was about moving to an entirely different metropolitan area…it would still be in the Chicago market.

      Not that there’s any point in even talking about this. It wasn’t a threat. It was an answer to a question that presented a hypothetical situation in which they were kept from putting up their signs.

    • Voice of Reason

      Ricketts has played this entire process perfectly.

      His credibility is not the least bit in question.

    • Jim L.

      Wrigley belongs to the Ricketts Family, no other team could just move in there without the Ricketts permission and I highly doubt the Cubs or MLB would allow that to happen. After all, the Yankees have blocked attempts at a third MLB franchise in the NYC area.

  • aaronb

    When did Dave Kaplan become the official spin doctor of the Ricketts family?

  • wax_eagle

    Wonder if OKC want’s a baseball team…Or vegas. Vegas Cubs with a state of the art look a like of Wrigley? That’d be interesting. Attendance would suck, but slot machines on the concourse and slot machine seating would bring in gobs of revenue :P

  • caryatid62

    I would be seriously angry with the Cubs if they moved, and my reason has absolutely nothing to do with any emotional tie to Wrigley Field.

    If the Cubs move, it would likely be because some city or state used public money to finance a stadium. Public money has no business being used to prop up private companies, and the idea that taxpayers should pay to fund billionaires’ playtoys, especially when every single study has shown that stadiums do NOT bring revenue to a metro area (despite what the oligarchs tell you).

    The BEST part of the Cubs deal (aside from the revenue that will hopefully be used on the team) is the fact that they are not using public money to fund the renovations.

    Of course, everybody should know by now that the Cubs aren’t moving, but if they did (and used public money to finance a new stadium), that would be tragic.

  • Jason

    It’s time to bid adios to Wrigley. They haven’t won in Wrigley in 100 yrs…time to move on. I love the Cubs, I love Wrigley but its time. They can’t stay there forever and its going to be a money pit with all the repairs b/c of age. The mayor of Rosemont offered the acreage for free to the Cubs to build a replica of Wrigley with all the updated amentities. So there is a place in the Chicago area for them to go and wouldn’t cost them as much if the land is free. That is a much more viable plan to build a state of the art stadium where a lot more revenue could be generated and put a better product on the field. They could attract better and more free agents with a new stadium, more money for the farm system, more money on payroll…they would be the NY Yankees of the NL.

    I am sure there are some areas in Chicago that could be bulldozed to build a stadium. They did it in Dallas for Jerry’s World (Cowboys…they took an area bought out the residents and built the Death Star). You can’t tell me they couldn’t do the same for the Cubs in Chicago city limits?

    For nostalgia purposes play a handful of games at Wrigley and sell them at a premium. This way the Cubs can keep up with all the other teams with new stadium revenue and Cubs would have more payroll to work with and still play at Wrigley occasionally and not spend the money on renovations. Has anyone ever considered that maybe playing all the day games is maybe a disadvantage to the Cubs?

    Time for Cub fans to get over the addiction to Wrigley. I would rather have a World Series ring and a team that could compete year in and year out vs. an outdated stadium that puts the team at a disadvantage to all the other teams in the MLB.

  • Joker

    Since everyone else is playing the “let’s throw a city out and debate it” game, let me mention there is a big push here in Nashville to build a new stadium as part of the downtown renovation. Part of the local hesitation has been that they do not want to simply build for the AAA team (the Sounds), but instead wish to try to lure a MLB team here. NFL and NHL franchises are already in place and attendance is high. The city itself is booming. Tennessee is a state known for low or no taxes. Along with Vegas and OKC, I think it would be wise to keep Nashville on the short list of possible destinations for future moves or expansions in MLB.

    • YourResidentJag

      Maybe the Rays owner will get MLB to allow him out of his ownership in St Pete and the Rays can move to Nashville.

  • Indy57

    Glad Tom has made this public. It is time to get the City and the community to realize what is at stake. As far as moving the team, my guess is that he means to a suburb of Chicago. What the Cubs presented in terms of the renditions look fantastic. It will augment Wrigley, enhance the community and make the area an even more attractive place for tourists and residents.

    It would be great to have the Cubs here in Indy, but a full house for 81 games is too much to expect even for a perennial winner. Honestly don’t think we have quite enough corporate contributors to make it work. There are a ton of Cub fans here, but there are also Reds fans as well. The Colts draw from all over the state and I just don’t think Indy could do it for baseball (unfortunately).

    The beauty of the Indy facility is the close proximity to downtown, Lucas Oil Stadium, Bankers Life (Conseco), the convention center, plus plenty of hotels and restaurants. The city and state would roll out the red carpet for a baseball franchise. Victory Field is a great venue, but certainly would require substantial upgrades.

    And by the way, Beth Murphy needs to shut her mouth. Every video with Chet Coppick and every quote from her display her lack of sophistication and reveal her to be at odds with the Cubs.

    (From the Tribune: Beth Murphy, one of the rooftop club owners who attended the breakfast, said, “I don’t know where he is going to move. They come to Wrigley Field because it’s an old ballpark, and it’s in a neighborhood. Look at this team.”)

    They can move somewhere else in the Chicago area and the money that they can generate elsewhere will be substantial. The plans in baseball operations and business operations have to mesh. They will IF they can get the park to generate revenue as well. If Beth thinks her business will be just fine without the Cubs, then she must be a better businesswoman than I think she is. Her quote concerns me that the RTO’s will be come intransigent and the deal will fall through. Hope not, but I’m glad Ricketts finally dropped his trump card.

  • stan

    Want to see a game, buy a ticket. During the 70′s the rooftop was for people living in the apts wanting to enjoy a game, now it an organization drinking beer and eating.

    Tell you what get rid of the rooftop bleachers and make it for the people and then open discussion of viewing from the rooftop..

  • Jennifer

    I want to win in Wrigley, or Cubs park as the rest of us call it. But I don’t want to win in a park that is Wrigley in name alone. We are not Cubs fans because we win, we are Cubs fans because we go to games at a 99 year old park, that shows its age, that is surrounded by the very neighborhood that it was built inside of. If you remove huge areas of the neighborhood to accommodate those you hope to attend games, or build a big corner entrance that in all practicality covers the old traditional corner and sign, then your going too far. Do they realize that by blocking the rooftop owners and their business, they will be losing even more fans than they would hope to gain.
    Jennifer, diehard Cubs fan for life, former northside resident.

    • Big_O

      “we are Cubs fans because we go to games at a 99 year old park, that shows its age, that is surrounded by the very neighborhood that it was built inside of”

      Im not one of those fans, i rather have the Cubs win and win big in a new ballpark more than losing and playing in the friendly confines of Wrigley Flied, tired of this loveable losers mindset than some fans have

    • TWC

      “Do they realize that by blocking the rooftop owners and their business, they will be losing even more fans than they would hope to gain.”

      Ha. Riiiiiiight. Legions of Cubs fans everywhere are right now chewing on frozen washcloths dealing with the pain of deciding whether to support the six or seven rooftop owners’ quest to continue ripping off the Cubs’ product or whether to continue to support the team. I’m sure.

      “If you remove huge areas of the neighborhood to accommodate those you hope to attend games…”

      Are you privy to some super-secret plans, Jennifer? Or are you just imagining the “huge areas of the neighborhood” that are to be removed. Does losing the McDonalds really bum you out that much?

      • butlerdawgs

        “Does losing the McDonalds really bum you out that much?” Not particularly, but if they ever got rid of that Taco Bell…..

    • David

      Wow, that post is just chock full of awfulness. There’s not one sentence that doesn’t make me cringe and make me feel a little bit embarrassed.

    • David

      Also, who the hell calls it Cubs Park? I’ve encountered like two of these people in my life and I thought it was weird as hell.

      • http://none millhah

        “it’s great to be here at Wrigley Stadium…”

  • muley

    set a new facility like Target Field in the River North area and they will fill the place what a great ball park..Miller Park is nice too.. Im driving 6 hrs to watch Cubs play Brewers but Im done driving 6hrs to Wrigley until they do something other about the mess that is the Wrigley Experience..
    I love the Cubs..I have for the last 44yrs..been to Wrigley countless times..People want to resist change as most always do but something needs to be done..How anyone can blame Ricketts for wanting to run his enterprise his way, is beyond me..

  • Ned Ryerson

    If the Cubs do have to move; I bet it will be to the west side, near the Stadium. Close to trains (CTA and metra), expressways, and parking a plenty. Rosement will never happen; but the west side offers real opportunity with the Randolph restaurant corridor. Perhaps then, Murphy’s will lowever the cost of a can of domestic beer from $8 to $4; like other city bars.

  • Crazyhorse

    Once again Tom Ricketts shows why he is the buffoon of imbeciles. I honestly feel if he would just take a backseat in public relations his family trust ownership of the Cubs would have better success .

    The Cubs will always have the Majority of public support within the city of Chicago to improve Wrigley Field yet he continues to show confetti respect to the community surrounding Wrigley Field. From all accounts he has the support and backing of all the political players that matter in renovating Wrigley Field but Mr Stupid need to realize that he needs the people in the Community to back the plan as well.

    honestly, if He should move out of Wrigley Field its a tiresome excuse in the failures of the Cubs.

    • Cubbie Blues

      When you say “Community” do you mean rooftops or the actual community? Everything I have heard is that the actual community and not the rooftops is for the planned renovations.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Some community groups have various beefs with the signage outside the park and the night games.

  • Beer Baron

    Brett….If your ears are ringing, Matt Spiegel on the Score was just talking about you and Bleacher Nation in reference to some of your coverage of the Rickets’ comments this morning. It was very complimentary and a nice plug for the site.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sweet. Thanks for that, BB. Spiegel has always been very cool to me on Twitter.

  • mjhurdle

    I do not think the Cubs will leaving Wrigley, but i also do not share the idea that this is an ‘empty threat’ or somehow embarrassing to the Cubs.
    The Cubs could move. It would work. You could argue that it might not make the most business sense, or that they wouldn’t generate as much income; but it is still possible for them to move. Sometimes owners make stupid decisions. Maybe leaving Wrigley would be stupid, but by no means does that guarantee that they won’t move.
    So by threatening to move, the Cubs are running the risk of going from a very profitable organization, to a less-profitable organization. But they will still exist, they will still make a profit of some sort.
    But the neighborhood’s risks are much greater. A lot of their value is tied up in the Cubs playing at Wrigley. Are they (and their representatives) willing to risk their future on the Cubs not making a bad decision just so they can tough their way into better negotiations? Sometimes business gets personal, and people do things they might not have done.
    Who is to say that Ricketts just doesn’t get so frustrated that he does something slightly rash? Is it likely? no. But possible.
    In the end, the threat is exactly what it should be. It is a warning that, no matter how secure you are that it makes no sense for the Cubs to leave, are you willing to base the future of your neighborhood/precinct/city on the gamble that the Cubs only do what makes sense?

  • The Brian Roberts Trade

    Rahm came out today and dismissed the Cubs moving because the framework gives them what they need/wanted. Tom said ‘IF” and that “IF” is not going to come into play.

    Tom was just giving a friendly reminder to the roofies on who makes them money……

  • DONNIE621

    Is it true that the Mayor of Rosemont had a front row seat at the Rickets presser?

    I heard it on the SCORE this morning… what’s up with that?

    Oh and Kyle, I think you’ll agree that ” Darth Hater” is one class act! Love those original illustrations he comes up with.

    • King Jeff

      That would be pretty funny, but not sure it would be the most appropriate thing to do at this point if the Cubs had anything to do with him being there.

  • arealpoy

    Wrigleyville Pros: Red Line access, tradition/familiarity/history and a tourist magnet.
    Wrigleyville Cons: Can’t change a lightbulb without asking permission, limited parking, limited revenue, outdated facilities and too far for some suburb families to travel to.

    Suburb Pros: Increased freedom, increased stadium revenue, lower taxes, improved parking, state of the art facilities.
    Suburb Cons: Not Wrigley, less connectivity to public transportation and too far for some urban families to travel to.

    I’d try to ram the renovation down the city’s throats and if they don’t want to supply their stamp of approval, build a replica Wrigley in a burb and wait for the new TV deal. I love the Cubs and I love Wrigley…but at some point we have to make this about more than a building. More important teams than the Cubs have played this game before.

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