Quantcast

respect wrigleyI really didn’t think it would be possible for the calls to leave Wrigley Field to return after the Cubs spent a year getting the political approvals necessary to implement the renovation – and, importantly, surrounding development – of Wrigley. The Cubs are going to spend the 2014 season celebrating the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, for crying out loud.

… but we are. With the current Cubs/rooftops impasse blocking the renovation, and one lawsuit already filed, folks are once again raising the question: why not just move? The loudest voice among that group, at least raising the question, is Dave Kaplan, who yesterday wrote about the problems the Cubs face on the business side. From the sound of a couple of his comments on Twitter preceding the article, it seems like Kaplan got a look at the rooftop contract, determined it to be solidly in favor of the rooftops, and grew concerned about the viability of getting the renovation done the way the Cubs want it.* Couched in a piece about the various financial headwinds facing the Cubs (and not other major market teams), Kaplan concludes by rattling the “move” saber. At least start talking to the suburbs or the Mayor about an alternative Chicago location, Kaplan implies.

*(I don’t even want to think about what Kaplan lays out in his final paragraph: imagine that, a year from now, things stand exactly where they stand today. If that sounds crazy, remember that the renovation – after years of failed attempts at public financing – was announced over a year ago at the Convention in 2013. I shudder.)

The problem with the threat to move, of course, is unless the Cubs are actually going to consider moving, there is no threat. The stakeholders the Ricketts would be trying to sway (the rooftops, the neighborhood, the City) know how unlikely a move is, and may be more willing to risk that 0.01% chance that the Cubs would move (and the stakeholders lose catastrophically) than risk giving up leverage in the current talks.

The Ricketts Family has invested heavily – both figuratively and literally – in staying at Wrigley Field, and the Cubs have been working on corporate sponsors for the post-renovated Wrigley for a long time now.

Consider further that a renovated Wrigley Field costs $300 million for, what, a then-worth $800 million to $1 billion asset? The Ricketts are going to leave Wrigley – rendering it virtually worthless, save for the land upon which it sits (to use it for anything else going forward, there would still have to be significant investment) – and then spend $700 million to $1 billion building a new ballpark out in the suburbs or somewhere else in Chicago? Do you see the extreme financial disconnect there? The value of the latter park, on an annual basis, would have to substantially outstrip the value of Wrigley, as it sits now, for that to make any sense. For everyone who screams “but I’d totally go to the ballpark elsewhere!” there are 10 casual “fans” and corporate groups who would not.

At the Convention, Tom Ricketts said the Cubs never seriously considered playing games away from Wrigley to speed up the renovation because (paraphrase) it didn’t feel right to play Cubs games not at Wrigley. Does that sound like a permanent move is ever really going to be considered?

It isn’t, and it probably shouldn’t.

I’ve said before and I’ll say again: a huge, huge chunk of the Cubs’ gate receipts come from casual/party fans and corporate groups. Swinging up to a game from downtown (after work, for example, or while playing afternoon hooky) is easy, and the Cubs’ ticket market is centralized. Move the Cubs to the suburbs? Sure, it becomes very convenient for the smaller percentage of folks who live out that particular way (whichever way it is), but for the folks who live in the City, or, God forbid, the suburban or exurban areas on the other side of the City from the new location? That’s a serious freaking trek, bottlenecking constantly. The hardcore fans would come. They always will. But there are far more casual fans than you might think, and they will not come (unless the Cubs are very, very good … which … that’d be the chicken/egg problem of revenues and winning).

The Cubs need steady gate revenues now more than ever, especially if the mega TV deal can’t be locked in until after 2019. Actually moving, to me, presents as much or more risk of financial disruption than staying and fighting the good fight for the renovation. Make no mistake: I’m as frustrated as anyone that the renovation isn’t already long underway, and I think all sides involved deserve a hearty dose of blame (some more than others) for what amounts to crapping on Cubs fans for the past year-plus. And I’d love nothing more than if the Cubs could credibly threaten to move, get what they need, and then get started renovating Wrigley. I simply don’t think that’s realistic, and I think actually moving would be cutting off the Cubs’ nose to spite their face.

  • Sandberg

    I live and die Cubs, but Wrigley field and the city of Chicago cause more problems than they are worth. Between the “amusement” tax and the forced extra day games wearing down the team and costing advertising revenue, it’s amazing that anyone still supports staying.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Wrigley has the worst access of any park in baseball- those gazillions steps are horrendous! Also sight lines with vendor blockage are ridiculous. Vendors should be banned

  • Medicos

    I worked as an usher at the Friendly Confines from 1999 to 2010. Was able to observe various areas of Wrigley Field that the average fan never gets to see and believe me, no matter how wonderful the actual playing field looks, the stadium is a dump and needs massive renovation. Tear down the center field scoreboard and that’s where the multi-million $$$ scoreboard should be situated.

    • CubSTH60625

      Agree…Wrigley in its current state is a dump. However, read Landmark Status of the Scoreboard. It can’t be touched. At least not now.

    • Diehardthefirst

      I worked as an Andy Frain Usher in summer of 1964 and Wrigley was a dump then too

  • Cubsin

    I still believe the Ricketts family would have been better off relocating, or at least seriously considering relocation, as soon as they acquired the Cubs. But they’re now too heavily invested, both financially and emotionally, in Wrigley Field and the surrounding neighborhood.

    Had they seriously tried to relocate, they might have had enough public money offered to make the initial cost acceptable. The future revenue streams from a state-of-the-art ballpark and a much friendlier political environment would have made it all worthwhile.

    • Voice of Reason

      Please stop saying they should have left Wrigley or they should leave.
      The ricketts are successful business people. When they bought the cubs they had professional studies done that said wrigley is just as important as owning the franchise. That’s why they insisted the ballpark be part of the deal. They are not leaving.

      • BenRoethig

        What kind of smart business person gets into a business where you have no control over said business? Yeah, Wrigley is important. Its the preferred place to play. But they have to operate in a toxic business environment with Wrigley. So here’s the issue they have:
        1) Wrigley is 100 years old and need a structural rehabilitation
        2) they have facilities for both fans and players that are far below the norm for a major league stadium
        3) The City of Chicago will give no tax breaks. There goes
        4) The neighborhood/ rooftop owners doesn’t let them put up signage to pay for any of this.

        There are 3 options if the rooftop owners don’t move out of the way: Move, Pay for it out of pocket, or keep the status quo. Since Paying for it out of pocket without additional revenue would require a payroll shirk that would make Bill Beane look like the Yankees, its one of the first two. Quite frankly, if they just keep the status quo, sooner or later Wrigley itself will require a move.

        In short, nobody WANTS to move. But we’re just about to the point where they HAVE to move to be able to field a competitive ball club. No sane national human would have thought they would have to go thought this much red tape to run the team.

  • Tommy

    This topic is infuriating, but there is plenty of blame to go around:

    1) The City: If Ricketts is really willing to use his own money to do all the renovations to Wrigley, most likely increasing the value and traffic surrounding Wrigley, the least the city could do is lighten up or remove the ridiculous amusement tax on tickets. Would this help the Cub’s or the fans? Most likely both. Some other tax break incentives would be nice, as well. What other ball club has used all their own money for this type of renovation?

    2) The rooftops: Honestly, this is my least favorite of all the players involved at the moment, because personally, I think they have done nothing but take and given nothing in return. Personal dislike aside, let’s say they do have the right to block all of the things that have kept expansion from happening. I say fine. The contract runs through 2020, right? Do nothing to improve Wrigley field, and field a team commensurate to the profits being made. Come 2018, close down Wrigley to make the renovations over the next 2 years, and play your home games in the Cell for those 2 years, which is 2 years the rooftops get zero profits.

    The rooftops are only hurting themselves by not allowing the Cub’s to earn profits that would allow them to spend more freely, and in theory, field a better team, which again, in theory, would only benefit the rooftops.

    3) The Cubs: Seriously, I’m sure there are ways to work around the rooftop issues and still find ways to increase advertising revenues. Do I know what they are? No. But I’m sure there are some creative minds out there that could come up with a solution.

    Aside from the idea to delay the renovations until later because of the rooftops that I gave above, I honestly think they should probably just give in to the rooftops if they truly have no legal leg to stand on. If that is the case, placate them for now, as everyone knows it’s just a short-term issue. Once the contract is up, they can kiss their views goodbye.

    If only the rooftops would be more willing to discuss alternatives, they could have set themselves up to continue their relationship with the Cubs after 2020, but I see little chance of that now. All that being said, come on Cubs, this sitting on your laurels without moving because of a billboard and a jumbotron is unacceptable. Do something, and adjust after the contract runs out in 2020. You can give me all the legal mumbo jumbo you want as to why this is holding everything up, but in the end, I don’t buy it.

    Unacceptable behavior on all 3 fronts in my opinion.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      “I honestly think they should probably just give in to the rooftops if they truly have no legal leg to stand on. If that is the case, placate them for now, as everyone knows it’s just a short-term issue. Once the contract is up, they can kiss their views goodbye.”

      Can they?

      The Cubs are stating, as of the Convention, that the contract does not prevent the Cubs from blocking sight lines and that the only argument the rooftops had was over zoning restrictions.

      If that is true, then wouldn’t that same zoning threat remain after the contract?

      It sort of sounds like, if the Cubs delayed renovations, that we could hit 2021 and the rooftops would just say “You have to extend our deal until the year 3714 and pay us eleventy bajillion dollars or we’ll sue over the zoning issues and block all renovations via injunctions.” or something similar. It’s possible that the rooftops leverage isn’t tied to the duration of the contract as we had previously thought.

      • kj1

        I was thinking along the same lines. The current contract with the rooftops expires after the 2023 season. I would be surprised if the rooftop owners aren’t already working an angle to prevent the Cubs from doing what they want after the contract expires. Ricketts wants assurance from the city to be able to do what they want with the outfield advertising after the 2023 season. Has the city given Ricketts those assurances?

      • Kyle

        The Cubs originally signed the rooftop agreement in part because they wanted to avoid a lawsuit where they risked losing and confirming the rooftops’ legal right to profit from the Cubs’ product. It’s a murky area that the Cubs didn’t want solidified in an unfavorable way.

      • Tommy

        Luke – if that were true, that it were a zoning issue, then how is it that the city has already approved the billboard and the jumbotron?

        • Spencer

          My understanding is that those things needed to be approved by the city’s landmark commission; a separate issue from zoning restrictions.

        • Tommy

          http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130724/BLOGS04/130729911/wrigley-field-renovation-plan-passes-city-council#

          Here is an article about it, and the only thing is mentions is the contract with the rooftops. No mention of landmark or zoning restrictions.

          http://redlineproject.org/addisonwrigleydeal4.php

          And here is an article talking about approval for the signs and video board from both the zoning committee and the landmark commission.

          I honestly don’t think zoning or landmark issues are at play here, but who knows, I could be wrong. Either way, it’s still infuriating.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            It came out for the first time at the Convention: http://www.bleachernation.com/2014/01/20/convention-info-dump-wrigley-field-renovation-and-the-ongoing-rooftop-saga/

            I told people to read the info dumps! :)

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              That is what I’m talking about.

              Either the Cubs were making things up and no one has called them on it, or the contract has nothing to do with sight lines and threat of a lawsuit is over zoning.

              And if it is over zoning as the Cubs said at the convention, then I think it is worth questioning whether or not waiting until the rooftop contract expires really changes anything.

              • Tommy

                I did read the article (very well written and informative, so thanks!), but I guess the part I am struggling with is WHY are the Cub’s worried about zoning issues when the zoning council has already approved the things that the rooftops have issues with?

                Mike Lufrano does work for the Cubs, so his motives will be lead by the Cubs motives. From re-reading your article, I wonder if it has more to do with ensuring the rooftops and surrounding neighborhood don’t infringe or impede additional advertising outside of the ballpark when all is said and done. I do think it’s been made subtly clear that they are trying to create the same type of environment that is present at Fenway and surrounding area (which I would be all for, btw).

                Again – just don’t understand how you can say zoning may be an issue when the zoning committee has already approved it. Isn’t this a pretty strong legal fact in favor of the Cubs or am I missing something here?

    • jp3

      Tommy, your number 2 point was fantastic, I don’t know if it’s legal or whatever but it sure would be a bit of karma. I’d love to see them play elsewhere for 2 years while the stadium is being renovated and the rooftop owners could suck an egg for their views those last 2 years from 2018-2020.

    • brainiac

      a good post. as a lifelong north (city) sider i never saw much of the allure to sit in the rooftops instead of at the game. tickets were expensive and the views weren’t great. however, the rooftops are part of the view, part of the culture, and part of the experience. it’s worked great for a long time and i’d hate to see the tradition go. ricketts aren’t big on tradition or the usual baseball protocols and it’s kind of ruining the mystique of it all. maybe the magic has been gone for a long time for some of you, but i don’t see how gadgets and lawsuits are really much about baseball.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    This has my head spinning. What a cluster f**k. I sure hope they can get a TV deal done soon. With that extra money and a better product on the field ownership should have some money to sign a few FA’s. I had suggested before binding arbitration would be a good idea, but I doubt either side would do that at this time.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    To me it boils down to this. Much like owning a older, high mileage car. At what point do you realize you are throwing good money after bad? The Cubs were milked dry by the Tribune who had no commitment to winning.

    Ricketts has pumped a ton of money into what he currently can control, the minor league system. While folks can piss and moan about the team on the field, the team is easily $100+ million short in revenue because of the rooftop owners, meaning lost advertising revenue, and a terrible TV contract that also benefits the Tribune who owns WGN. Ricketts and family seem to have fixed what they could control immediately, and are willing to spend their own money to fix the rest….as long as they feel a reasonable return. Hell, he even offered to buy them out at one time from what I understand.

    As far as the Cubs getting 17%, big deal. That is a pittance compared to what they could garner if they had control over their own destine. The city never should have interfered to begin with; but that is Chicago politics. Pay off alderman and things happen; particularly when the mayor at the time was a sox fan.

    One of the problems with the rooftop owners is this. There is an old line, “a camel is a horse designed by a committee.” How do you get a consensus of rooftop owners to agree? If I owned one of the buildings, if my view was OK, I would be hell bent on getting the renovations done and improving the product. If mine was going to be obstructed, i would be digging in my heels the other way.

    If they were to ask my opinion, I would begin the process of looking around. We don’t know the economics at this point. Maybe a suburban city or county would pitch in some money, remove the luxury tax, and give them some tax relief. Take all offers off the table, set a deadline and move on, enough is enough!

    Reinsdorf has been quoted as saying he can draw 300,000 less than the Cubs and make more money because he gets parking revenue also.

    As far as location goes, I don’t see that as an issue. Put a consistent winner on the field and they will come. With TV revenue and advertising revenue, they could afford to lose some attendance and still be better off.

    Regards,
    5412

    • Scotti

      “Maybe a suburban city or county would pitch in some money…”

      In what I would consider a weak offer (i.e. there would be much better offers) Rosemont has already offered free land for the Cubs to build upon–roughly 25 acres. Cities would bend over backwards to bring in the revenue that having the Cubs play in their city would bring.

      “…remove the luxury tax…”

      Rahm has recently had the temerity to discuss RAISING the amusement tax–screwing over CUB FANS. Rosemont collects a 3% amusement tax (all of that is county tax, not Rosemont). Rosemont is against taxing it’s venues (All-State Arena and Rosemont Theater) and spent years in court fighting the Cook County AT. Chicago collects a 12% AT (3% for the county and 9% for Chicago). The difference in 2011 would have been $12.75 million dollars (per year). As the Cubs raise ticket prices and and Chicago raises it’s portion of the AT that cost will only rise (a 20% rise in ticket prices ($54 per ticket)) would mean Chicago would bring in $20.4 million in AT from the Cubs (on 2011 non-sellout figures). A 2% rise in AT would jack that up to $23.8 million. Rosemont would just cost $5.1 million (assuming same ticket price increase and same attendance). That’s $18.7 million per year to Chicago/Cook county for absolutely nothing (the Cubs pay for their own policing, traffic, clean up and “neighborhood improvements”).

      That’s $12.75-18.7 million of what I call “Impossible money” (It would be impossible to get Chicago to lower the AT so the Cubs will never generate that revenue at Wrigley–it’s impossible money).

      $12.75-18.7 million of impossible money.

      “Reinsdorf has been quoted as saying he can draw 300,000 less than the Cubs and make more money because he gets parking revenue also.”

      While Reinsdorf is fudging his numbers (the Cubs would make $22.5 million on 300k in gate/concessions at current rates and Reinsdorf doesn’t come close to that in parking revenue), the Cubs clearly COULD make $20 million on 1+ million cars parked per year (less than 1/3 of attendees). Some parking would be closer to the stadium and premium, covered $25 parking and some would be less. Some optional parking for season’s ticket holders could be reserved with name plates (cost factored into the tickets).

      That’s $20 million more impossible money at Wrigley (impossible to replicate in Chicago).

      “As far as location goes, I don’t see that as an issue. Put a consistent winner on the field and they will come.”

      And come they will. Especially if the new facility has zero restrictions on night games (more impossible money in terms of both gate revenue AND ad/TV contract revenue)…

      Unknown impossible money but tens of millions.

      Zero restrictions on concerts (more impossible money)…

      And a retractable ROOF would allow for zero rain outs (more impossible money), zero lost revenue because it’s too damn cold in Chicago to play ball in April (more impossible money) AND concerts, conventions, etc. during the WINTER (more impossible money). A new facility would allow be configurable for football games which would allow Northwestern and other teams to play a game or two there (more impossible money–they tried and the football field didn’t fit).

      Another “impossible money” situation would be naming rights. Whatever the new park would be named would be open to naming rights of around $20-30 million per year. Eventually the Ricketts could sell naming rights on Wrigley–if they win a World Series or two (TR could walk down Michigan Avenue naked with bells on if he won a World Series). The value of renaming Wrigley wouldn’t be anywhere near what they could get for a new park (the Sears tower folks literally (and I mean literally) GAVE those rights to the Willis folks–Sears, Wrigley, etc. are already too branded to have much value to re-brand). While the Cubs are branding areas in and around Wrigley, they would do this at a new facility as well. That sub-branding at Wrigley itself caries–for now–more cache so say…

      Net $15-25 million per year impossible money.

      Yet another impossible money comes from expanding the current seating capacity. Wrigley is the second smallest venue in baseball, yet when they are competitive, they nearly sell out (they WOULD sell out with more night games and a roof). ADDING another 4 k seats would still keep the Cubs venue cozy but allow for 324,000 more fans (assuming just 75% fill rate = $19 million more impossible dollars (at 20% increase in ticket price), gate and concessions profits, per year). There is simply no way to cram more seats in Wrigley.

      $19 million more in impossible money.

      Re. where Cub fans come from anyway… From a study the Cubs did, 1/3 come from out of town (i.e. nowhere near Chicago and are spending the night somewhere). 1/3 come from the burbs–mostly the NW burbs. The remaining 1/3 come from Chicago–mostly the north side.

      Given that, we see that 67% of Cub fans in attendance at the game make one hell of an effort to get there (Wrigley is a bitch to get into–even from most of Chicago–unless you take public transportation and folks just don’t have the patience for that). It is stunning how many people put forth such an effort to get to the ballpark. Day games during the week don’t make that any easier for people coming from work (unlike most teams and their night games/easy parking, you have to take off at least half a day to get to Wrigley and attend a typical day game).

      Very few Cub fans who attend games could, rightly, be called casual fans. Certainly Brett’s save one–lose ten equation is hyperbole.

      As to another myth, Cub fans do not come primarily to see Wrigley. If that were true, you wouldn’t see Cub fans in droves at other parks–often seemingly outnumbering the home team’s fans (certainly in tenacity and devotion). The Cubs are typically 3rd or so in away attendance with even a marginally competitive team and 1st or 2nd with a (“divisionally”) competitive team. Cub fans are CUB fans. Wrigley is a perk. When it isn’t an albatross (i.e. impossible money and ties to the Machine).

      So we are left with the advantages of Wrigley:

      It is located in Chicago so folks already visiting, or living in, Chicago can easily visit the ballpark provided they don’t mind public transportation.

      It is nostalgic for Cub fans who may wish to revisit the park/neighborhood.

      There IS an element of fans who come to party. Mostly in the cheaper seats but it does exist to some degree (though less and less as ticket prices rise).

      Then there is the fact that Wrigley is owned–a used car that needs fixing as someone alluded to. Wrigley reconstruction “only” costs $300 million (plus $200 million in surrounding construction that is necessary afford the the Wrigley reconstruction so it must be included in costs). So “only” $500 million (these are all sunk costs) whereas new park would cost a billion (plus).

      However, a huge chunk of those costs would gladly be borne by any of the Villages of Rosemont, Arlington Heights or Schaumburg (I see no other legitimate contenders), for bringing an economic cash cow like the Cubs their way (not to mention the national advertising for the village’s brand).

      Let’s assume the new facility (plus land, etc.) cost $1.4 billion (let’s do this right (the facility the Super Bowl will be played in cost 1.6 but stuff is costlier out east). That’s $900 million in loans/bonds/what-have-yous more than Wrigley. Assuming the Cubs can get something for Wrigley, the McDonald’s property, what little parking they own and a few other buildings (let’s say $50 million for the lot of them ((the business value of said properties plummet when the Cubs move)) that brings that total down to $850 million extra.

      How much of that burden would be borne by the Cubs and how much by a burb? Well, Mesa, Arizona just coughed up $99 million for a mere 16 (SIXTEEN!!!) home Spring Training games–just 20% of the 81 home games the Cubs play for real (actual, honest MLB games that COUNT) with no possibility for addition revenue from playoff games. You likely would never have heard of Mesa had the Cubs not played in “Beautiful Mesa, Arizona” 16 times per year. That free advertising has propelled their growth far passed the rest of the area (which is also expanding but at a slower rate).

      Whichever of the villages that would win the Cubs would pay WAY more than $99 million. Say they pay half of the difference (in bonds, property, etc.) so $425 million (well UNDER the prorated $ amount that Mesa is paying per game–DC paid over $600 million to build the Nationals facility). That means the Cub share of the additional amount would be $425 million. The Cub’s “impossible money” above clearly pays for an extra $425 million loan (the impossible money above is way over $70 million per season and the majority of it is virtually pure profit (parking, less AT, more seats, night games/roof increasing attendance, ad buys, TV revenue, etc.).

      Simply put, this isn’t the 0.01% odds that Brett gives to it. Again, hyperbole. TR prefers Wrigley. Good on him. But, if the Wrigley situation doesn’t improve, he isn’t going to bend over and just take it. And neither should Cub fans. We finally have an owner who wants to do big things with the team. We’ve sat around doing nothing while the Tribune had NO debt (team or ballpark), no rent and shuffled the books to prop up the Trib (TV and radio contracts anyone) all to make the Tribune executives meet quarterly projections (for failing industries). We were told that the Cubs were a tiny part of the Trib assets. And we–as Cub fans who make all of this possible–were provided with the 15th to–at best–7th highest payroll 2000-2008.

      Demand more. As Cub fans demand more than what we accepted from the Tribune. Demand more than what we accepted from the city of Chicago. Wrigley is 100. It was nice. My grandma was nice, too. We buried her. If Chicago doesn’t step up, if the rooftops don’t take a step back, then enjoy Wrigley’s 100th year and make plans to move out of Chicago to a city (village) that knows how to partner with business.

  • frank

    I think people underestimate the number of “casual” fans in the suburbs as well. The suburban population of the metro area is well over 6 million, compared to 2.8 million (and declining) in the city. No–not everyone in the far-flung reaches of the suburbs will go to a suburban stadium, but not everyone in the city will go to Wrigley either.

    In addition, many teams have moved out of historic ballparks before. And they survived. Heck–the sox tore down the oldest ballpark in baseball. The Cubs tore down the West Side Grounds after having recently won two World Series to move to Wrigley. Yes, there might be a hit for a time–but I think in the long run, you more than make up for it, with better amenities, a better game day experience, more revenues, and ultimately (we hope) a winning team.

    There is the problem of what to do with the existing ballpark, as Brett pointed out. First–I don’t think that any of this comes about if the threat to move is viable. But there are other possibilities–a baseball museum maybe? I’m sure real estate developers would have other ideas.

    • hawkcub

      Yes the total amount in the suburbs are greater then the city. As Brett said it would be great if you are close to the suburb a new ballpark was built in. But there are many suburbs that would not be close.

      You mention other some historic ballparks being torn down. The new ones didn’t get built in the suburbs. New stadiums get built in the city. More of a central location for everyone.

      • frank

        Hawkcub, you make some good points–though I think that Wrigley may be a bit different for a couple of reasons.

        First, there’s really no good way to get there, and parking is horrible. Of course, they have done pretty well so far despite these issues. But access off the toll roads and expressways is much better in say, Rosemont (just as an example), than it is in Wrigleyville. I did mention that not everyone would come to a suburban ballpark just because it’s in the suburbs–but that’s the same across the city as well.

        And second, in this case, because of the lake, Wrigleyville really isn’t a central location. Someplace on the west side of the city would be more centrally located for everyone. Often (but not always), new parks get built in the city because they’re built on basically the same location as the old park. That’s what they did with the UC and the Cell here, for example–built them on land that was once parking. That can’t be done with Wrigley.

        That said, I love Wrigley and would love for the Cubs to stay there–but if it comes down to keeping the ballpark or garnering the revenue necessary to field a competitive team on a yearly basis (not necessarily exclusive propositions), I’ll vote for whatever makes the most sense to help field a competitive team every time. Just a couple thoughts–for what they’re worth.

        • Scotti

          Exactly, a central location is Schaumburg and Arlington Heights. Both are on route 53 and on/near 90. Even if you are driving from Chicago, it is just as easy to get to Woodfield Mall or Arlington Heights Racetrack as it is to get into Wrigley.

          • Diehardthefirst

            The closer to public transportation the better – am sure Cubs will provide bus connections to several areas too- why couldn’t Wrigley be torn down for a casino hotel complex?

  • notcubbiewubbie

    this is my opinion only for what it is worth: The cubs led by the biggest schnook of all time crane kenney(don’t even care if i spelled it right)(guess why ticket prices are so high hello crane) have agreed to this ridiculous contract with the roof top owners.where else in the greater united states of america can people steal a person’s product and then hold them liable for partially blocking their view.And don’t say it’s not stealing because for many years they wern’t compensating the tribune company before the rickett’s family bought the team.. Part 2 where else do you have to cowtow to crooked politicians (and they r crooked because they pass the laws that they r ripping the public off with.) a crooked mayor (who will go nameless u figure it out) that made wrigley field a landmark so you can’t change the structure, put up advertising etc. oh by the way that crooked mayor who is a sox fan helped the chairman get a stadium built where they pay pennies to the taxpayer for the use of their ballpark.hey the ballpark is free nice deal. i could go on and on but those two points are enough alone for the rickett’s family to shut down wrigley field and move.where they move that’s not for me to say i personally like the idea of closing waveland golf course and building it there as other progressive cities have done i.e. building a stadium in the city proper so we can remain The Chicago National League Ballclub. why the rickett’s don’t seriously play the move card only they know.i as a lifetime cub fan truly i believe wrigley is a shrine just like the alamo maybe we can resurrect santa anna and have them blow up this outdated shrine . Hey Tom please seriously move and give the politicians and the rooftop owners exactly what they deserve.Bend Over.

  • BD

    I didn’t take the time to read all of the comments, but I live in the FAR south suburbs (right at the end of 394, if you’re looking at a map). I can get to the west, northwest, or north suburbs much quicker than I can to Wrigley. I understand that’s only one example, but getting anywhere suburban > suburban without going through the city is not nearly as bad as getting to Wrigley. This difference would be even greater if you took into consideration parking now, versus any type of parking at a hypothetical new stadium.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That likely wouldn’t be the case anymore if everyone was on their way (mostly driving) to the new suburban park.

      • salesguy

        @ Brett, true, but even given the short term pain, that’s why you build there, I’m willing to bet that with a “partner” instead of an adversary, infrastructure can be built, to better manage the traffic flow, city planners in whatever city the cubs choose will try to make things easier for them, offer to build what they can, and put their representatives to work on the rest. It would be a bit of a process, but eventually better for the long term health of the organization, to have a partner like that, along with every dollar coming into the new Wrigleyville going into your pocket (Ricketts), instead of politicians, or thieves, that is why you move.

        • Brocktoon

          Yeah, Rosemont will just add 10 lanes to the expressway to ease the traffic issues.

          • Scotti

            No, the State will gladly add a lane (all it would take) to a portion of 53, however.

      • frank

        I agree with salesguy–it may not be as “easy” as it is now, but getting around in the city can be a nightmare and a half no matter what you’re doing. And there aren’t a lot of ways to fix that. For example, there is no good north/south route through the city–that’s why there’s talk of reviving the old cross-town expressway plan.

  • cavemancubbie

    I grew up in the shadows of Wrigley Field. I cut class at Lane to watch the Cubs play ball at Wrigley when there may have been 3000 fans in the stadium. I left Wrigley and Chicago years ago and have no wish to return, to what I believe is a version of an outhouse. Yet I remain a Cub fan, not because of Chicago and Wrigley, but because of Cavaretta, Pafko, Banks, Santo and Sandberg. I am a Cub fan because of people, not a damned piece of concrete and steel. I have no wish to freeze my butt off in April, like I did one year at Fenway, in a park on the lake front, with the wind blowing in from the lake, while watching my Cubs lose a WS in late October.

    • 5412

      Hi,

      AMEN to your post. I totally agree. I live in FL and had a summer home in IL with season tickets. It did not take long to realize just what a dump Wrigley Field is as compared to places like Miller Park.

      We have sold our IL home and will still follow our team in other cities as we travel north in the summer.

      It is the product, meaning the team that keeps us going, not the brick and mortar. When we left Wrigley we would go down the alley under the el tracks and my wife and I were constantly scanning, we did not feel safe.

      Thanks for the post, it really hit home!
      regards,
      5412

  • CubFanBob

    Like I tweeted Kaplan last night , nothing wrong in being both a fan of the Cubs and Wrigley Field. I’ve been to many other mlb stadiums. None radiate that flow of energy and atmosphere that a packed house meaningful game at Wrigley produces. A new stadium wouldn’t either. They just don’t build them like they use to.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Wrigley Field and $800 million to a billion dollar asset? Not even close.
    The Ricketts family trust bought the Cubs for $845 million. Most estimates broke that down as $700 mil. for the franchise, $50 mil. for a 25% stake in Comcast sports, and $95 million for Wrigley Field. The Tribune if you remember originally attempted to sell Wrigley in 2007 as a separate entity to investors, and had hoped to get $90 million for the stadium. When people saw the amount of annual upkeep for the crumbling stadium, they couldn’t get offers for more than $50 million, thus they rolled the stadium into the entire deal.
    The $300 million to renovate would be much better served from a financial point into a new stadium with substantially more revenue sources.
    For gosh sakes people, the franchise is the asset. What is Wrigley? Restrictions on when games can be played. Crumbling infrastructure that takes 10 million a year plus just in maintenance. No parking revenue. 2nd smallest stadium in baseball. Last in baseball in luxury suites and boxes. And the inability to run the stadium as they want without outside influences.(probably for ever, think this crap just goes away when the contract is up?)
    Wrigley is the liability.
    Tom said in April that they would have to consider moving if they could not make the changes they need. His two brothers have been chafing to see what is out there for them. I believe them, it is the right way to go at this point. Wrigley Romantics have to start looking at reality.

    • Kyle

      Wrigley is also 2.5m tickets sold when your recent performance would be lucky to draw half that.

      • Geech

        So, are you seriously asserting that Wrigley alone added 1.25 million attendance last season? That claim does not seem credible.

        • Kyle

          It wasn’t meant to be taken literally. It was hyperbolic for effect.

          • Geech

            Hyperbolic for the effect of contributing nothing but irritating noise, right? Seems to be your game.

            I’m genuinely open to the idea that Wrigley contributes to the Cubs attendance vs other venues, but it seems that many of the Wrigley fans take an awful lot on faith.

            • Kyle

              Hyperbolic for the effect of reminding that Wrigley Field does provide added value to the Cubs.

              And of course the personal attacks are meaningless and pointless.

              • Geech

                Wrigley provides value, but it also comes with a staggering number of limitations. It’s worth discussing just how much value it actually provides in light of those limitations.

                • Kyle

                  Absolutely worth discussing.

                • farmerjon

                  ^^^^this…not, “for every fan that says to move the team, there’s 10 more that say to stay”

              • brainiac

                when you know kyle wins a debate: every time someone tries to pull the “trolling” card on him at the end of an argument.

      • cubfanincardinalland

        The Cubs last year drew 15,000 fans on Friday and Saturday nights. That was when they were playing in Cincinnati and Milwaukee.
        They would sell 30,000 season tickets alone in a new state of the art ballpark. Gate receipts last season were around $125 mil. They could match that just in skyboxes, luxury suites and season tickets easily in a new park.

        • Brocktoon

          “They would sell 30,000 season tickets alone in a new state of the art ballpark.”

          Laughable.

        • brainiac

          “dude if the cubs moved to joliet they would sell like forty hundred thousand and a million tickets to total champs. they should leave chicago right away. it’s horrible there did i mention that i live in joliet?”

      • notcubbiewubbie

        kyle you don’t really believe wrigley the shrine of baseball sold 2.5 million tickets????PASS THE CRACK PIPE PLEASE!

    • Voice of Reason

      Please stop. The ricketts are wise business people. They did studies that showed Wrigley is just as important as.owning the cubs. That’s why they insisted it be parr of the sale.

      You, sitting behind your computer speculating that the ballpark doesn’t matter, means you have no clue. We all can have opinions on ball players etc but don’t give opinions on Wrigley not being important. They aren’t moving.

      • notcubbiewubbie

        unfortunately that probably is the sad truth. oh boy another hundred years can’t wait.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Wrigley Field and $800 million to a billion dollar asset? Not even close.”

      Post-renovation? Together with the related investments (which, post-renovation, will be difficult to separate from the overall park)?

      Yes. Very close.

  • Funn Dave

    Oh god.

  • David STC

    If the Cubs really want to get the rooftops to move then they need to make a bold move. Many feel that moving is out of the question. While there are a number of reasons why moving just does not work, it is still possible.

    An alternative would be for the Cubs to temporarily move for renovation purposes. To have the renovations completed in a more timely fashion they would need to move. The renovation could be completed in 2 or 3 years instead of 5 years. During the 2 or 3 seasons that the Cubs are playing somewhere else the rooftops will lose major money. Also, if the Cubs want to really push this issue they can move temporarily to Miller Park so the City of Chicago would lose money. Do you think that might get the rooftops and the City to get the deal done.

  • Fastball

    I’m over this whole topic. Either move or do what you can do and stop the bullshit. It’s all a bunch of drama that Ricketts is creating. I don’t agree with any of the reasons for not moving. In the end I don’t give a shit anymore. Just stop making excuses for why you made a bad deal for yourself buying this organization. My point of view is aricketts is a dumbass for getting into so many predicaments without finding the issues in some sort of prepurchase due diligence. He didn’t read any of these contracts he inherited? Obviously not. He needs to worry about his shit hot FO walking on him because he can’t deliver shit on the business side of things. Theo won’t stick around for this crap much longer IMO. He overpaid for something that has more restrictions than a condo in south beach. Every direction he runs in he hits a wall. Just put a damned baseball team on the field that’s worth a shit. Lots of people will come back if you win. And most importantly don’t wear us fans out with your personal business problems. I don’t care about any of this any longer. All I want to do is watch baseball. If want to see the Cubs live I walk a couple blocks to see them play in Cincinnati for 1/2 the price and there are just as many Cubs fans.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    What about moving, but moving just a little. After a scan of the area on Google Earth, this complete non expert on all things Chicago and real estate spotted a few options.

    Again, I’m not from Chicago. Natives, feel free to tell me why these won’t work.

    Option 1: Cricket Hill. It looks like there is plenty of room in that current park for a stadium the size of Wrigley or larger, it’s on the waterfront, it has a large parking lot to the north that could be converted to a parking garage, and it’s right on Lakeshore Drive. Yes, it would cost the city a park, but there are quite a few other parks on the lake shore in that area, so that might be tolerable. From the air and to an outsider, it looks like such a perfect spot for ballpark I kind of can’t believe no one has built one there yet.

    Option 2: Waveland Park Softball fields, the lake side of Lakeshore at Waveland. Not as much parking obviously available here, and that bird sanctuary to the south could be a problem. But it is on Lakeshore, so traffic is no worse of a problem than it is now for Cub games. As for where to replace the lost softball fields? How about Clark and Addison?

    Option 3: It looks like there is a giant empty lot south of the cemeteries where West Grace meets Clark. Not sure what is there or who uses it today, and the lot to either the east or the west would have be acquired to squeeze in a stadium, but it could be doable. Turn Clark and Addison into a giant parking garage and funnel the foot traffic to the stadium right up Clark or Seminary.

    Option 4: There is another collection of parks and diamonds south of Webster between N Larabee and N Halsted. It looks like there would be plenty of room there, but I’m not sure how well eating up a mid-city park would go over with the residents. Traffic could be a problem, depending on how good of a thoroughfare Lincoln is.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Option 5: North Baltimore County, Maryland.

      Hey, it was worth a try…

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Hey Grand Rapids had their ballpark burn to the ground so now would be the time to build the new stadium of the “The Near Chicago Cubs of Western Michigan Sponsored by Founders Brewing” can you say $1 All Day IPA Day ?

        • http://bleachernation.com woody

          I agrre that they should bring the Founders to Wrigley, but man you had better slow down if you think they would come to Grand Rapids. LOL

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            Wait whaaaat that won’t happen? That’s it I’m against moving if it’s not to my backyard.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      I’m not sure anybody is ready or want to go through the hoops of moving the Cubs inside the city. If it gets there it will be the burbs.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        The city itself might.

        Look it this way. The city is going to get X% of the Cubs revenue from taxes no matter where in Chicago the Cubs play. If the Cubs stand to draw $Y in taxable revenue at Wrigley and can demonstrate to the city that they will draw $1.4Y at a new stadium at, say, Option 1 above, then it becomes very definitely in the interest of the City to help the Cubs move and pocket the sizeable pile of additional taxes generated.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          If there was empty space I agree but look at what a few signs too just to get approved. The hurdles, meetings, changes, arguing, posturing will be infinite and when a burb says here this is your for free do with it as you like… the simple answer is to flee to the burbs. The Cubs will be able to do anything they want without restrictions.

          I have wondered if the rooftop contract has a clause that punishes the Cubs if they move.

    • Diehardthefirst

      Thillens Stadium?

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Hey I’m a Hoosier, but the days of Mayor Daley strong arming Alderman are over. Not too sure that mayor Rahm is too sympathetic to the Ricketts situation after Daddy pissed him off with the political stuff back before the election. I’m also not sure that he has the clout to do much about the situation. Seems like they are fleecing Mr. Ricketts.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Don’t forget that one of the Ricketts actually on the board of directors for the Cubs is an active and significant fund raiser and promoter for the Democrat party and various causes they support.

      I’m skeptical a Democrat mayor would go out of his way to spite the Cubs due to something done by the old man when one of the actual board members is one the stronger Democrat backers in the city. That’d be amazingly poor judgement for a successful politician.

      See this article, for an example of the significant support offered to the Democrats by Laura Ricketts.

      http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-12-05/news/chi-obama-laura-ricketts-to-kennedy-center-board-20131205_1_michelle-obama-kennedy-center-president-barack-obama

      • http://bleachernation.com woody

        Thanks for that info Luke. I learn something new here everyday.

  • Diehardthefirst
    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I do indeed remember that article.

      I’m not sure of where you are going with it, though.

      • Diehardthefirst

        Cubs still have that to worry about but nobody’s talking about it

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          What are the Cubs worried about?

          The IRS will investigate, and if they find enough they’ll threaten action against the Tribune (not the Cubs or the Ricketts). The IRS and the Tribune will likely reach a settlement, and that’s that.

          The only real question for the Cubs that I can see is whether or not the Tribune would keep their stake in the team and their seat on the board, and if such action by the IRS would lift the loan restrictions the Cubs currently operate under.

          But in the first case I doubt they care since the Trib is a very minority owner who has no say in anything (effectively), and in the second case it can almost certainly be nothing but good news for the Cubs.

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            You seem to forget that Dick Tidrow is lead investigator and that means Ricketts head will roll because he picked Theo over him. I knew that would cost us.

          • Diehardthefirst

            We’ve beaten this dead horse before last year but if the IRS feels the Cubs are culpable in any way then they will also go after the Cubs

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              So far there hasn’t been a whisper of such.

              If worrying about such things keeps you warm at night, though, by all means worry away.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                The Cubs entity has nothing to worry about (directly) from the IRS, and it’s virtually impossible to see how the Ricketts Family could have a problem, either. But, more on that as soon as next week.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                  ALERT THE PRESS!!!

                  Does this mean the long-awaited epic financials piece is nearing completion?

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    I really, really, really hope to complete it (for publishing) next week. It isn’t entirely within my control, though, since there’s actual investigating going on.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      *clears schedule*
                      *orders new F5 key*

            • Internet Random

              “if the IRS feels the Cubs are culpable in any way then they will also go after the Cubs”

              This is true to the same extent that it’s true that the IRS will also go after you if they feel you are culpable in this deal… which is just slightly less likely than them pursuing the buyer in a case where the seller didn’t pay taxes on his gain from the sale.

              From the facts publicly available, the Cubs have z e r o to fear from this.

              • Scotti

                Correct. Since the IRS’s claim to the $220MM in tax money is that there was, in fact, a sale rather than the partnership Zell pretended, then the Cubs are NOT partners with the Trib and have nothing to do with the Trib’s tax bill.

  • shooter

    This may be pure fantasy thinking on my part, but maybe Ricketts could get the blessing of Mayor Emanuel, the landmark and zoning boards, and play two seasons somewhere else while they renovate Wrigley. Then solve everything by putting home plate where center field is, move the scoreboard to where the press boxes are, just rebuild the stadium facing the opposite direction and take the rooftops out of the equation. You could put up all the signage you want and everyone in the bleachers could wave to the empty rooftop seats!

  • Brocktoon

    -The renovation plans are to start with the advertising because Ricketts can’t afford to renovate the stadium with his own money, but somehow he’ll be able to manage an 800M expenditure in Lisle.

    -Talk of financial support from a suburb is a joke. The city is broke, the state is broke, no mayor is going to have the finances or the political capital to put up money to build a stadium nobody is going to go to.

    -Everyone talks about all these amazing revenue streams from a new stadium. Ricketts never even scrounged up enough nickels to build around the Mesa stadium that was supposed to feature the same things. On top of that nobody wants to leave a Cubs game at 10 and go to a John Barleycorn in freaking Rosemont, IL. Corporations don’t want to entertain their clients in their luxurious Skybox at Allstate Field in Carol Stream. There is zero benefit to moving to the suburbs. None.

    -This incessant talk of how Wrigley and the rooftops are holding back Poor Tom Ricketts is getting really annoying. By their own admission, the Cubs were 5th in revenue last season, and that’s with running out a terrible team for the last 4 years. They also happened to be the most profitable team in baseball in 2012.

    If Tom Ricketts can’t afford to renovate the clubhouse and take care of the essentials for the stadium all while suppressing the payroll to a joke of a level, then he needs to sell the team yesterday.

  • TommyK

    Yeah, it’s completely insane that a major league baseball team would move to a new location. No team in its right mind would ever do such a thing. Except literally every major league ball team save one has moved to a new stadium since the last time the Cubs did it. And that other team was going to move to a new stadium before they were allowed to do the renovations they need to do. It should not be a threat. Announce that you are moving and start a game of chicken. Game theory says that the side with the most to lose will blink first in a game of chicken. That’s the rooftops. And you don’t have to move to the suburbs. The city isn’t the problem at this point. You can move a block away and screw over the rooftops.

    Talk of moving is going to seem a lot less crazy when you start seeing crowds of 5000 at games regularly this season.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Wrigley complicates everything, it’s different than what any other franchise in sport faces. The NYY were able to build a new Stadium next door to the cold historic field and Fenway did a modernization of a historical place. If you are Ricketts do you want your legacy to be the owner that moved the Cubs out of Wrigley?

      • Edwin

        As well, deciding to move and build a new stadium elsewhere is not a snap decision. They need to scout locations, they need to determine how many fans they’ll gain/lose, they’ll need to develop a budget, get financing in order, actually get plans drawn up for a new stadium, and then get construction underway, which can take 1.5-3 years. They’ll also need to figure out what to do with Wrigley, which they’ll probably end up taking a loss on, as well as any other investments they’ve made around the area.

        And while the Cubs are going through all of that, the rooftop owner’s will have plenty of time to come up with a plan as to what to do after the Cubs leave. So a threat to move might not bring the rooftops to the table that quickly anyway, if at all.

      • Diehardthefirst

        If moving to the suburbs avoids moving to Las Vegas then he will be seen as a savior

    • Edwin

      Unless the side with the most to lose is the Cubs. Which, looking at the financial implications, might be the Cubs.

  • Diehardthefirst

    The Cubs won’t move further south because the fans are north of the loop. A census of Cub season tkt holders would reveal that most are Caucasian. Just look at the bleachers on a sunny day. Cold hard fact is that Cubs want to be accessible to their base. It’s not racist but its true.

  • Diehardthefirst

    It doesn’t matter that Tribune/Zell agreed to hold Ricketts harmless — all that means is if IRS goes after Ricketts that he may have to pay IRS and then chase Zell

  • YourResidentJag

    David Kaplan’s reading of the actual contract signed in 2004: http://wgnradio.com/2014/01/24/should-the-cubs-leave-wrigleyville/

    BTW, Kaplan’s father was an attorney and he was accepted to law school but didn’t go…so I guess he has more smarts than I thought.

    Here’s his article on the topic: http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs/kaplan-will-cubs-business-plan-ever-work

    • roz

      I’m a smart guy and my father is a doctor, but that sure as shit doesn’t mean I know the first thing about practicing medicine.

      • YourResidentJag

        So you got into medical school and turned it down, then, right???

        • hansman

          Getting into med school means you know a lot more about medicine than someone knowing law getting accepted into law school.

          • blublud

            Hans, I don’t know enough about either to agree or disagree. I know I don’t like either, because chances are if I’m talking to one or the other, something is not going right. I’m just curious have you come to this conclusion.

            • hansman

              My wife is pre – med right now and I was once pre – law. Then again…my wife may just be an exception to the rule as it seems most residents she works with still don’t know a Damn thing about medicine.

              • frank

                The biggest difference, as I understand it, is that you can come to law from any major or any field. Med school requires a certain knowledge of anatomy, physiology and those sorts of subjects prior to being accepted. Many formal “pre-law” curricula include things such as political science, etc. but those aren’t required to get into law school. I got into law school with majors in English and Philosophy, and a Masters in Literature.

          • YourResidentJag

            That may be your point but I don’t know if was @roz. It also wasn’t really my point. I think Kaplan maybe a homer as much as anyone. I don’t think he lacks the intelligence as much as people would think, regardless of what endeavor he wishes to pursue.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I haven’t listened to Kaplan’s comments on his reading of the contract, but that article contains absolutely no new info. All he’s doing is asking rhetorical questions and rehashing what we already know.

      I’m not exactly impressed.

      • YourResidentJag

        That’s fine. I’m probably late to the party in posting this.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Bottom line is Ricketts didn’t foresee problems with contract B4 he bought club- it’s that lapse in judgment that has been so discouraging to fans leading fans to believe that this guy doesn’t know WTF he’s doing

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Or he did foresee the problems, decided he wanted to own the team anyway, and that’s why he isn’t rushing into knee-jerk decisions to keep a minority happy. He knew it would be a long, complicated, process before he bought and he’s willing to work through that process.

      That explanation also fits all available data.

      And there are probably a few more explanations that fit the data as well.

  • Diehardthefirst

    If that’s true then he’s reckless to gamble a billion dollar enterprise which is scarier

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Or he studied it ahead of time and saw a path that could, given time, turn the Cubs into a high value, self-sustaining, profitable asset.

      Just because you don’t agree with what he is doing doesn’t mean he is a bad business man or that he is recklessly throwing around money. It’s entirely possible that he did his homework, developed a plan, and is in the process of executing that plan.

      I don’t agree with everything Ricketts has done myself – far from it – but I don’t assume that means he’s a bad at business, is reckless, is stupid, is trying to screw over the fans, or any of the other list of accusations that get leveled against him on a daily basis.

      I just assume he and I disagree.

      • Diehardthefirst

        Then he ought to quit whining in public about what that contract is costing him and instead take it like a man

  • Diehardthefirst

    Will Marijuana be allowed at Rockies and Mariners games? The beer lobby may have a thing or two to say to MLB about this

    • tobias

      Pot will probably still be treated like cigarettes when it comes to sporting events.

      • Diehardthefirst

        May need a 6th inning wake up b4 7th inning stretch– Munchie sales to skyrocket- may have to catch a game next time in Seattle

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          So die hard would you rather fans smoke a joint or drink a beer?

    • mjhurdle

      I’m starting to think that DieHard constructs his posts much the same way South Park theorized that Family Guy got all their jokes: manatees picking noun and verb balls at random.
      I picked other words at random, and it still kinda sounds like Diehard…

      “Will pickled okra be allowed at Braves and rays games? the National Bowling Hall of Fame might a thing or two to say to the MLB about this”

      • Diehardthefirst

        Appears you have started your Superbowl week early

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        You know no matter how hard you try you can never equal a true Die Hardian thought, it’s a mystery.

        • Diehardthefirst

          Depends on weather for me- if 80 or above and I am sitting in the sun give me a Budweiser — if 60 or below a joint with hot chocolate and a cookie would be my preference but likely zonk me out before the 5th inning which is no big deal with a team losing 90 games- depends on wind blowing in or out if 60-80 degrees for me– do you or anyone else on BN have choice ? Maybe a poll is in order ?

  • Wrigley1

    I have to wonder, if it comes to the point where the Cubs can’t renovate, that somehow city hall will figure out a way to still keep the Cubs in Chicago. There has to be somewhere in the city that is relatively desirable but for whatever reason is un/underdeveloped. It would be a major embarrassment for a city like Chicago to lose a sports franchise, especially one that has been in the same city since 1870. No other sports team in this country can claim that long in one place. So imagine losing that. Maybe Wrigley is done, but there has to be a solution somewhere in the 606–

    • Diehardthefirst

      If the Cubs left then all

      • blublud

        The longer this goes without a deal, the more I believe the Cubs will move. It may be necessary. If they move, they need to get out of Chicago so Rahm, Tunney and the rest of Chicago political fruit cakes, and the rooftops, can really feel the brunt of no Cubs in the city. Show them what political career suicide feels like.

  • Diehardthefirst

    of the White Sox fans could come out of hiding

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+