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respect wrigleyThis weekend, we discussed the (le sigh) reemergence of calls to move the Chicago Cubs from Wrigley Field. This time around, having already received the approvals needed from the City, the Cubs would be moving because the owners of the rooftop buildings that outline the outfield at Wrigley are arguably standing in the way of a major, and necessary, renovation of the ballpark. Forgetting for a moment that the rooftop contract ends in nine years (at which time the Cubs can presumably block the rooftops to their heart’s content, making the rooftops businesses something of a depreciating asset with a finite life (i.e., they’ll want to sell at some point)), and forgetting the inherent value of Wrigley/Wrigleyville as it relates to getting casual fans to come out to games.

I’d like to point out one very simple issue with moving the Cubs to the suburbs, which is probably among the primary reasons teams simply do not move away from downtown areas anymore*.

*(The lone exception in recent memory is the upcoming Atlanta Braves move, which has a great deal to do with the unique character of Atlanta, as a city, and the location of Turner Field, specifically.)

That issue? When your product requires the physical presence of customers, it’s nice to be as close to the largest customer pool as possible. That is particularly true when you’re trying to attract marginal customers (in the Cubs’ instance, we’d call them the casual fans or corporate groups).

Using this census tool, I’d like to offer some population numbers for you to consider:

  • Population near Rosemont, within a 3-mile radius: 100,756
  • 5-mile radius: 366,340
  • 10-mile radius: 1,900,062

Because of an earlier offer of land (next to O’Hare International Airport), Rosemont is among the most frequently mentioned suburban options for a Cubs move. As you can see, you don’t capture much of the population until you move into the 10-mile radius, which means, realistically, driving or taking the Blue Line will be the primary methods of reaching the ballpark for a large portion of the fans. Traffic in the area is already horrible from, say, 4pm to 7pm, as folks head home from work downtown. Care to guess how that traffic would look if you tossed on another 30 to 40,000 people going in the same direction at the same time?

  • Population near Arlington Heights, within a 3-mile radius: 123,877
  • 5-mile radius: 321,969
  • 10-mile radius: 912,772

In Arlington Heights, a northern suburb also mentioned from time to time, you capture more of the suburban population, to be sure. But without having a large chunk of your potential market within 10 miles, you’re asking the majority of your patrons to come from significant distances (fighting traffic) on a daily basis.

  • Population near Wrigley Field, within a 1-mile radius: 87,965
  • 3-mile radius: 417,818
  • 5-mile radius: 993,657
  • 10-mile radius: 2,290,310

There are nearly as many possible customers within a one-mile radius of Wrigley Field as there would be within three miles in the other locations. At three miles, the current Wrigley location nearly quadruples the other locations. At these distances, and arguably at five miles, as well, the realistic options for getting folks to the ballpark are numerous. Even at 10 miles, because of Wrigley’s proximity to downtown, there are more – both in variety and volume – transit options than in a suburban location, meaning that the possibility of actually engaging a meaningful portion of that population base is greater. (And we haven’t even mentioned the suburban commuters who come to work in the City.)

Is the density of Cubs fans in the suburbs greater than the urban areas? Maybe. Hell, I’ll even give you probably. But for the math on a move to work, we’d have to be talking about the average suburbanite being 5 to 10 times more likely to be a Cubs customer than, for example, someone who lives in Lakeview (the area surrounding Wrigleyville). Is that realistic? I have no data to answer one way or the other, but it seems like a stretch.

This isn’t earth-shattering stuff, and it isn’t designed to be the be-all-end-all of the “move” conversation. But this is another layer for folks to consider, which doesn’t even rely on the “special” experience of Wrigley and Wrigleyville. It’s just a plain old distance and customers thing.

  • gocatsgo2003

    Not to mention the significant number of non-residents who work downtown and/or in the vicinity of Wrigley at the various bars, shops, etc. Going to guess there are more of such commuting workers in Chicago/Wrigleyville than Rosemont/Arlington Heights, even if one does include workers at O’Hare.

  • Webb

    Honestly, I still think my favorite solution is the threat of a “temporary” move. If the Cubs move onto Northwestern’s field or US Cellular Field for a summer it threatens the rooftop’s income while expediting construction. It’s also a very realistic solution.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Northwestern’s field??? Really??? It seats like 500 people haha

      • Webb

        haha yeah, maybe Miller park would have been a better example.

      • gocatsgo2003

        Well, they are currently re-doing it, but… yeah. That seems like a terrible idea.

    • Edwin

      You might run into even worse attendance, though. You wouldn’t be able to sell the “Wrigley” experiance, and you wouldn’t be able to sell the “new stadium” experiance either.

      I mean, would Cub fans really be that motivated to go to US Cell for a game, or to Miller Park? It just seems like it would be a costly move just to try and starve out the rooftop owners.

      • Jon

        For the “Wrigley Experience” could they bottle up some type of “piss like” odorizer and spray it around the park?

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          If Yankee can make a Lake Shore Drive candle, I’m sure they could make a Wrigley scent. Smells like ivy, beer, and tears. (The piss scent would be reserved for the “Red Line” candle)

          • DarthHater

            “Smells like ivy, beer, tears, and wet coyote.”

            FTFY

      • Webb

        I have no doubts such a move would hurt the Cubs financially, but what better time to do it than in a year where the Cubs payroll and attendance project to be at a 10-year low mark anyways? They might even receive BETTER attendance in Milwaukee, since a Cubs market exists there that may appreciate the novelty of having the team near them for a year. These are all hypothetical, but the solution on paper still seems a whole lot more viable than moving to Rosemont, where the team could be permanently damaged financially by moving.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      I keep hearing US Cellular field and Miller Park mentioned as options. First I am reasonably sure that the Commisioners office would have to approve that, and then the problems of facilitating that in the scheduling would be dificult I would think. This isn’t like a game of sand lot baseball where you take your ball and go home. There are also contracts with advertisers and vendors to take into consideration. It seems that the big holdout among the rooftops is an owner that doesn’t even have seating set up there. I have red that there is a Miller beer sign on top of that building and that the new see through sign sponsored by Budweiser would over lap the miller sign. Correct me if I’m wrong. So the two beer companies are at a stalemate.

      • Webb

        I can’t argue against the logistical concerns my proposition presents. I can only ask which you’d rather have: logistical hell or litigation hell? I would opt for the former over the later in a heartbeat.

  • Sandberg

    How about moving to a spot where they can have a full slate of night games so the team doesn’t wear down in September? Doesn’t matter how much money or how many fans Wrigley brings in if the neighborhood puts them at a competitive disadvantage.

  • NorthSideIrish

    I think one aspect that gets overlooked here is how inaccessible Wrigley from the west. We live at Addison and Milwaukee, which is about 4.5 miles west of the park and it takes us between 45-60 minutes to get to a night game. Addison and Irving Park are both insanely busy on a regular night and adding the extra Cubs traffic makes it even harder to get to from the west.

    Our friends who we share our season tickets with live just west of Arlington Heights and it takes them on average 1.5 hours to get to a night game (45 minutes to get to the exit + 45 minutes once they get off). They can actually get to Miller Park in Milwaukee faster than they can get to Wrigley.

    Even people coming in on the Blue Line have to get off at the Addison and sit on the bus for about 45 minutes. The remote parking lots are no different since you have to drive half of the distance between the expressway and Wrigley to park, and then sit on the bus.

    The proposed site in Rosemont had access from the Blue Line, the Metra (train) and two different expressways, which would be far more accessible for residents in the north, west, and southwest suburbs, and realistically not any different commute time for most of the north side of Chicago. It would actually be a much shorter drive for me despite being twice as far.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Is there any place in Chicago itself, not the suburbs, where the Cubs could build that would lessen those commute times?

      • Beer Baron

        Not without significant infrastructure work to make the city streets better able to handle traffic. If you move it west it makes it easier for the suburbanites, but tougher for those in the city. The big issue is the city streets like Irving Park or Addison just aren’t designed to handle that many cars, and for night games where you’re fighting regular rush hour its even worse. Really no way to make it work for everyone short of building a 6-lane highway cutting through the heart of the city (and if its taking this long to build a scoreboard, imagine that battle).

    • hansman

      The propsed site in Rosemont, also, “next to O’Hare International Airport”.

      Try having anything enjoyable while 747′s take off and land over your head.

      • itzscott

        Citi Field is within eyesight of Laguardia.

        In all honesty, it’s not as bad as it may seem on TV…. there’s too much ancillary noise going on in the stadium to the degree that you don’t even hear/notice planes landing/taking off.

      • Darth Ivy

        Softball fields next to North Ave beach. Driving range east of Diversey, next to the lake.

        There’s TONS of green park space on the lake. The Chicago lake front provides for some of the greatest areas in the world, and there’s so much park space that they could move the Cubs to one of these locations and still have plenty of green park space on the lake.

        Even think about this for the north ave softball fields location: The stadium could fit completely in the space where the fields exist. Then for parking, they could drain the pond and or part of the lagoon. Draining small bodies of water is very common in real estate development. OR, they could turn some of the park space next to the fields into parking, leaving the developed area surrounded by water on two sides. That would be awesome. If they turned the water into parking, then there would be green park space between the parking lot(s) and the field. That would look good, too, breaking up the developed parts with green space.

        I know there will be people who would oppose this because of the idea of developing parks. But there’s so much green park space on the lake that it would be a drop in the bucket.

        • Darth Ivy

          oops, this is supposed to be to Luke. Sigh, this is why I haven’t posted anything in over a month….

        • Jon

          How are the Cubs going to acquire this “green space”, do you think the city is just going to hand it over to the Cubs?

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            They’re handing over the land and the tax payer dollars to build DePaul a basketball stadium…

          • Darth Ivy

            Either the Ricketts could buy it (land itself wouldn’t be the big cost. Building the stadium would hit their wallets), or the city (I assume the city owns that land) could keep ownership of it while the Ricketts pay for the stadium and development. Deals like that are fairly common in real estate development. There are a lot of different ways it could work.

    • CubFanBob

      The Addison bus gets me to and back from Wrigley at night under 35ish minutes with ease and I live at Pulaski and Addison. Public transportation is by far the best way to get to Wrigley.

      • NorthSideIrish

        Wow…that is seriously different experience than we’ve ever had. It can take 15+ minutes just to get on the bus.

        • CubFanBob

          Where are you catching it at ?

        • CubFanBob

          Things that help me…

          Going to the game I use the bus tracker app for CTA buses so I know when to leave the house. I get on the Hamlin / Addison stop, two blocks west of the blue line, so I avoid the blue line rush.

          After the game I time it to get right on the first bus after the game let’s out. First or second bus out moves down Addison pretty quickly.

          Not disagreeing with you with traffic from any direction driving to Wrigley is a challenge. But driving to other mlb parks or other professional sports games has always been a chore in my experience. Going to a Bear’s game takes 40+ minutes if you even take the subway let alone drive in to park.

          • CubFanBob

            Also after the game, using the bus app, i will walk east a few blocks to catch the bus if I see one coming within 5-10mins. Get on before the Wrigley crowd two blocks east is a boss move. I probably shouldnt be sharing all my get to and back from a cub game tips.

            • NorthSideIrish

              Ha! Thanks for tips Bob…we use the tracker to get on and we’re west of the Blue Line too, so we usually get a seat. Coming home is the bigger problem…huge lines to get on at the park, but when we’ve walked west, the bus doesn’t stop because it’s full. I may have to try walking east from the park to see if that’s any better.

              • CubFanBob

                ya east is where it is, two – three blocks east right before the police station.

            • Brocktoon

              And if taking the red line south you walk up to the Sheridan stop, north walk to Belmont (the transfer to brown line crowd clears enough space to get you on with ease) brown line heading south, you walk to southport

    • D-Rock

      Very good points. Although I love the Wrigleyville environment, I’m sure enough bars would make the move out to Rosemont and it could have a similar feel as Wrigleyville without the idiot rooftoppers…

      • Brocktoon

        You’re sure rosemont, illinois could spontaneously create an atmosphere the same after and before game atmosphere as Wrigley and it’s 20 bars. Nobody wants to party in rosemont illinois.

        Cubs games would become sox games in that you load up a car maybe tailgate a bit and get the f outta dodge 3 minutes after the last out(or at least start to get the f out while you wait 25 mins to exit a parking lot and another 20 to get on the expressway.

        I hate the personalities of the doofus frat boys at Wrigley as much as anyone but I sure love the money they pour into the franchise, that money is gone in rosemont.

        • Scotti

          The Cubs won’t be losing beer sales regardless of where they play their games and the Cubs make ZILCH off of Beth Murphy selling beer at her bar (or Alderman Tunney selling sweet buns at his).

          Whatever new or reconstructed facility the Cubs play in, THEY will own 4-5 bars/clubs in, or around, the park (big reason why Murphy and Tunney want to stall the improvements at Wrigley).

          • Brocktoon

            They’ll lose beer sales because they’d lose fans. I don’t think the 10 people that stick around to have a crazy time in Rosemont, IL are going to make up for the loss in attendance.

            • Scotti

              The Cubs won’t lose attendance. The Cubs are historically very high on the road attendance numbers when they are even mildly competitive. That ain’t Wrigley fans it’s Cub fans.

              • Brocktoon

                The abomination the Cubs put on the field last year wouldn’t have drawn 2M in its 3rd year in Arlington Heights.

                The Cubs draw well on the road because they have a huge national fanbase thanks to WGN. Living in Denver and going to see the Cubs when they visit Coors is a novelty. It’s seeing your home team in your own backyard. Living in Batavia and driving to see the Cubs because they’re in Arlington Heights is self-torture.

                • Scotti

                  “Living in Batavia and driving to see the Cubs because they’re in Arlington Heights is self-torture.”

                  Again, you have this idea that the Cub fans go see the Cubs because of where they are. Where they are right now is murder to get to, concrete is falling on people’s heads and drunks are pissing on your legs. That doesn’t draw people. It’s a myth that it ever has. Cub fans are drawn to the team of their youth.

                  “The Cubs draw well on the road because they have a huge national fanbase thanks to WGN.”

                  That certainly oversimplifies it (and misses the whole Chicago migration thing) but, whatever.

                  “Living in Denver and going to see the Cubs when they visit Coors is a novelty.”

                  Living in the burbs and going to see the Cubs is a novelty. Far too many Cub fans do it once per year, if that. ANY facility that was easier to get to and easier to get out of without having your car towed ($300) for staying to have a drink, would bring in tons of Cub fans. Tons. Oh, and with the proper facility, they’d have the proper resources. With the proper resources, they’d have a much better shot at funding a winning team.

                  “Living in Batavia and driving to see the Cubs because they’re in Arlington Heights is self-torture.”

                  Here, I’ll fix that for you: Living in Batavia…is torture.

    • Sect208Row8

      I live at Cumberland and Montrose and can drive to Wrigley on a night game in 40-45 minutes max. Foster to ashland , ashland to clark and clark to irving. Bam! Anyone who takes the kennedy to irving and irving east is looking for an hour and a half wait. I could drive to Rosemont in 10 minutes and miss Wrigley. And to Jon I have never smelled piss in the ballpark. I’ve been going to Wrigley since 1961 and I love everything about it. Real fans appreciate the crazy stairs to terrace seating. One big step or two little ones?

    • frank

      That’s the problem regardless of population density. There is no good way to get to Wrigley from various points in the city. The only east-west roads designed to handle that kind of traffic are the expressways, and there are no north-south roads that can handle it. Even if they do revive the plan to turn Cicero Avenue into an expressway, that’ll take years, plus it’s still pretty far west of the ballpark.

      In addition to the population numbers, consider how many of that 2+ million people within 10 miles of Wrigley have the financial resources to even attend a Cubs game with their families. I don’t have the numbers but I’ll bet you can just eliminate a significant portion of that population number pretty easily.

      Again, that said, I’d still love for the team to stay at Wrigley, if it makes sense in the long run.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Part of the reason for noting the 1 and 3-mile radiuses is that, somewhere in there, it’s walkable.

  • mr. mac

    I get this, truly, but I still believe that moving is a legitimate option. I feel like the Cubs are a unique enough draw to beat what the numbers above say. Recently Theo said that he did not realize how much the Cubs depended on ticket sales for revenue. If they move the revenue issue will seemingly be resolved, and drawing 2 million fans versus 3 million fans will not be as impactful. I understand the allure of staying in Wrigley and staying in the neighborhood, but I think at some point winning needs to be placed above winning specifically at Wrigley.

    • Edwin

      Fan attendance is just one issue though. There are plenty of financial reasons why moving might not be as good an option.

      • mr. mac

        I am not saying you are wrong, Edwin, but what are the reasons? Most everything I have read shows the financial benefits favor them moving (parking revenue, games scheduled whenever, advertising, naming, etc.). The obvious thing standing in the way are the casual fans, but I feel that we will never truly know that outcome unless it happens.

        • Edwin

          A new stadium is going to cost between what, $600-$900 million, possibly even much more? That’s an awful lot to try and fund privately. Even the $500 Million the ownership was willing to fund for renovations hinged on getting new signs in place to help generate revenue, something the Cubs would not be able to do while constructing a new stadium. They’d need to rely on finding some type of public funding, which can be tricky, and involves playing the political game, which defeats the purpose of trying to move to get away from these types of political shenanigans.

          Some of this might be offset by additional future revenues from more night games, more in-stadium advertising, and parking revenue, but it also depends on the new stadium being able to draw in fans at an equal or higher rate. They might, but it’s not a certainty.

          There would also be the problem with what to do with Wrigley after the Cubs move out. Most likely they’d end up taking a huge loss on that, as well as taking a loss on any of the investments they’ve made in the area.

          This isn’t to say moving and building a new stadium would be impossible, I’m just trying to point out that while the future revenues might be better at a new stadium in a new location, the costs to get there might be a big hurdle to climb at this moment.

          • mr. mac

            Solid explanation, thanks! The fact that we can see this through so many different angles must only magnify what the Cubs, themselves, see. I am assuming they have looked at things in way that you or I have not even imagined. This process is very maddening. Good thing we have this community to vent about it all and bounce opinions off of one another.

    • The Ghost of Brett Jackson

      A new TV/Radio deal will lesson the dependance on ticket revenue….

      • mr. mac

        Indeed. And, like, they could literally build an exact replica of Wrigley Field, if they wanted to. At least in terms of the field view.

    • Brocktoon

      #5 in revenue in all of baseball, how is Wrigley financially stopping them from competing?

      • Scotti

        #5 in revenue is simply unacceptable given the fan base. The team clearly should be #2 in revenue (and there is a huge difference between the level the Cubs should be–right on the Yankees heels–and the dollar figure that the #5 team represents).

        • Brocktoon

          #26 in payroll is simply unacceptable given that we’re #5 i revenue.

          And I have no Earthly idea why you’d think the Cubs should be right on the heels of the Yankees in revenue. I’d like to hear the logic as to why the Cubs should be ahead of the Dodgers in revenue for that matter. The Cubs are 5th in revenue despite not cashing in on their TV revenues yet.

          • Brocktoon

            And it’s even more embarrassing when you see the sizable difference in revenue within our own division, our division that we’re an AJ Burnett signing away from being 5th out of 5th in payroll in spite of a 100M* edge in revenue in all but the Cardinals (a mere 70M ahead of them)

            *Revenue #s pulled from Bloomberg’s report following the 2013 season

            • Brocktoon

              4th in ticket revenue for the 12th highest attendance in MLB for the 27th best team. This Wrigley Field monster must be stopped!!

          • Scotti

            “#26 in payroll is simply unacceptable given that we’re #5 i revenue.”

            And when did I argue otherwise?

            “And I have no Earthly idea why you’d think the Cubs should be right on the heels of the Yankees in revenue. I’d like to hear the logic as to why the Cubs should be ahead of the Dodgers in revenue for that matter. The Cubs are 5th in revenue despite not cashing in on their TV revenues yet.”

            First, you answered your own question. The Dodgers (3rd in revenue) are–per Bloomberg (and like Forbes probably using 2012 numbers)–a mere $5 million ahead of the Cubs ($325 to $320). You couldn’t see $5 million in additional revenue in an improved Wrigley?

            The difference of $5M would be washed away by virtually any improved amenity that you could think of. Parking? The difference is $7 million Sponsorships (not ad buys or media rights)? The difference is $21 million and the Cubs will blow that out of the water as well.

            A couple of days ago I posted something that covered the inability of Wrigley to make much in parking and other key areas in the message boards pretty in depth.

            The challenge for the Cubs (again, $320) wouldn’t be the Dodgers ($325), or even the Red Sox ($405). The Cubs have a tremendously loyal and national base that would love to see them competitive over and over again, in any park. So why not a park that is situated to capture the revenue that those fans are willing to come for miles and spend? The challenge IS Wrigley. The Yankees ($570) are the target but Wrigley will never get them there–even a rebuilt Wrigley with some additional amenities.

            • Brocktoon

              Regarding the payroll, your initial reply responded to my post talking about how Wrigley makes more than enough money for Rich Uncle Rickettsbags to allow the team to be competitive.

              Bloomberg’s #1 team in parking revenue is 10M Parking is not the huge money-making venture people want it to be. You can’t argue that these suburban parks will be so convenient and you can get there on a quick Metra, and still hope for the #1 parking revenues in baseball. The Dodgers gargantuan TV deal doesn’t take effect until 2014 season, so Bloomberg’s numbers didn’t even include that. The Cubs in all likelihood will never match that.

              Those fans are willing to come for miles and spend their money AT Wrigley. You’ve shown me nothing to convince me that people are still going to fly across country twice a year to watch the Cubs play in Rosemont. This “tremendously loyal” stuff is starting to reek of BFIBism.

              • Scotti

                “Regarding the payroll, your initial reply responded to my post talking about how Wrigley makes more than enough money for Rich Uncle Rickettsbags to allow the team to be competitive.”

                My reply had nothing to do with payroll. Your comment had nothing to do with payroll. The comment you were replying had nothing to do with payroll–we have all been discussing revenue–specifically the revenue at Wrigley.

                A huge sum of what I spend regarding seeing a Cubs game at Wrigley has zero chance of ever impacting a Cubs payroll. 13% AT ($23 for the average priced ticket for a family of four). That’s for the county and the city. Over $80 for me and my family to GET to Wrigley and it all goes to Metra and the CTA. Dinner and drinks at a local establishment ($100). That’s more than the typical cost for four tickets for the actual game!

                Imagining paying $6 in AT, $20 in parking and $100 bucks at a Cub-themed restaurant where a decent portion of that actually goes to help the team would have me, and any right-minded Cub fan, as happy as a monkey with a peanut machine. I save money and the Cubs get revenue that can improve the team on the field.

                “Bloomberg’s #1 team in parking revenue is 10M Parking is not the huge money-making venture people want it to be. You can’t argue that these suburban parks will be so convenient and you can get there on a quick Metra, and still hope for the #1 parking revenues in baseball.”

                As I illustrated on the message board, I’m not talking about parking folks in a field like the Dodgers–#1 in parking–do. Cub fans are already conditioned to pay large sums to get to the park. If you drive you pay $20-30 and MUST be out within half an hour after the game or you get towed. If you pay for Metra/parking/CTA you pay even more. In a new facility some would park in a parking lot (maybe 7-800 feet out) and, since Cub fans would pee their pants to pay $15 to park that freaking close to the facility, they will do so and be glad they did it. Closer in would pay higher. Closer in would have a parking garage first come, first serve, and pay still higher. Season’s ticket holders would have an option of paying for a reserved spot in said garage that would be folded into the price. Luxury Box folks get the same, with individualized plaque, and a private elevator to avoid the riffraff.

                12.5k vehicles (average 3 fans per car) X 81 games X an average of $20 = happy, happy, happy Cub fans and over $20 million dollars. Again, folks like me would save over $60 bucks and never get a $300 tow (plus taxi). Done deal, where do I sign?

                Re. Metra. Folks CAN use the Metra. Few in the burbs will. They’ll just take their cars like they do everywhere else.

                “Those fans are willing to come for miles and spend their money AT Wrigley.”

                That’s great news to hear. Now we know that Reinsdorf will pay HUGE coin for Wrigley! That means the new place will cost even less because of the sale of Wrigley to the Sox. He’ll rake in the dough there and the Cell can be sold to the county as a new, inescapable jail. One you don’t dare tie your bed sheets together to descend because it’s too damn steep.

                “You’ve shown me nothing to convince me that people are still going to fly across country twice a year to watch the Cubs play in Rosemont.”

                Brocktoon, you’ve shown me nothing to convince me that people are still going to fly across country twice a year to watch the Cubs play in Wrigley.

                Few do. Very few. 1/3 come from out of town and many of those come from the surrounding “out of town” (annual treks from Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana and western/southern Illinois). Folks that come in from farther make fewer than 2 trips per year and don’t even average one. I know many families that USED to make the trek to Wrigley annually, and now don’t, because it is too hard to get to. They have the money to spend, and would love to see the Cubs, but wind up spending their hundreds at WoodField Mall (Wow, IKEA!–it’s the simple things).

                Backing up a bit, the ideal location is Arlington Heights, not Rosemont.

                “This “tremendously loyal” stuff is starting to reek of BFIBism.”

                Googled it and got:

                http://books.google.com/books?id=R1jhbXNGVOoC&pg=PA389&lpg=PA389&dq=BFIBism&source=bl&ots=Vs3JwXxwNr&sig=jmSk5KIQrVpOOLveFJDlOHKD32U&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HXHnUrqhLvC1sATfi4GIBA&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=BFIBism&f=false

                Robert Grant Watson – 1866 – ‎Iran. A History of Persia from the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century.

                “Nothing was wanted but this apparent miraclo to establish Bfibism on a sure foundation. But it happened, most unfortunately for the prospects of tho croed of the…”

                I’m gonna be honest, man. Not my thing. Didn’t get passed the first few pages but to each his own. I’m sure with a little brandy, and maybe some Honey and Chocolate in my pipe, I’d get a full chapter in, at least.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  “I know many families that USED to make the trek to Wrigley annually, and now don’t, because it is too hard to get to.”

                  Now it’s too hard to get to, eh? Used to be easy. Now it’s too hard.

                  I was with you, in terms of you being a passionate supporter of moving the Cubs, but I’m starting to wonder if you have an actual interest in this. Please don’t take that as a criticism or a swipe at your integrity or anything of the sort. I’m genuinely curious if you’ve got a little skin in the game here. You don’t have to share if you do, but it would make the discussion a little more useful if folks understood exactly where you are coming from with this level of passion.

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

                    That’s actually an interesting question for most of the overly passionate fans on both sides of the move/not move arguement. I typically can get really passionate over the big issues but I’m not really passionate in this race. I fully support and want them to stay at Wrigley but if they move I’m not going to lament- it will because it will be the only option. It’s possible we have commenters that have a specific interest in the move or not move question. Possibly where they live makes, where they work,who they is a major influencer.

                    • Scotti

                      “That’s actually an interesting question for most of the overly passionate fans on both sides of the move/not move arguement.”

                      I obviously don’t consider this to be overly passionate but, as I’ve written, I don’t really consider this to be about move/not move. For me it is, after seeing the available evidence, about pro-Cubs/not pro-Cubs.

                      It can’t be said with a straight face that the city of Chicago is pro-Cubs (I’m not saying anyone here ever has said Chicago was-no one would, really). But I want my team to be in a city that is pro-them. The Yankees are in pro-Yankee NYC (eminent domain). The Dodgers are in Pro-Dodgers LA (again, eminent domain). The Red Sox are in Pro-Red Sox Boston (close the roads around Fenway? Sure). You get the picture? Those cities LIKE their teams.

                      Not only does Chicago take from the Cubs, it takes from Cub fans. I’m getting screwed in the process. You are getting screwed in the process. All Cub fans get screwed in the process even if they just “support” the team by watching them on TV (or listening on the radio).

                      The Cubs get less of what the Cubs FANS give to the team. WAY too many entities have their hands out stealing from what we give to the Cubs. Using the Machine to bleed them even more? That’s sick.

                      In terms of my benefiting… I expect my mother to move in with us this year and, for her health reasons, we will need to move–likely just north of Naperville. Naperville makes no sense for the Cubs now and it won’t magically make sense for the Cubs if I move 2-3 miles away.

                      Arlington Heights, Rosemont and Schaumburg make sense because, for various reasons gone into detail here many times, they simply make sense. They have all proven to be VERY pro-business (to keep business and not just get it). They would all be pro-Cub. A pro-Cub city means that my pro-Cub dollars make it to the Cubs and they don’t wind up paying for a jungle gym miles away. Will they be taxed? Hell yeah. Will that tax be punitive? No.

                      Here’s the deal, if every Cub fan started acting like they cared that the City of Chicago was lining its pockets with Cub fan money, if every Cub fan started acting like they cared that the Tribune lied to Cub fans, if every Cub fan started acting like they cared that the rooftops were in it for themselves and not supporting the team, then the heat would be on because neither the City nor the rooftops want to lose the Cubs.

                      If the fans signaled that they would be just fine with a move if things didn’t get straightened out (and in a hurry) then things would get straightened out (and in a hurry).

                      I’d be okay with that–things getting straitened out and staying at Wrigley. But not with MY team bending over and taking it up the ally. I just don’t see the city, alderman, etc. ever really getting over kicking the Cubs around and taking their lunch money. And I’m not okay with that.

                  • Scotti

                    Re. Skin. Just what’s on my back. Cub fan grand parents on both sides. Northsiders. Portage Park. Half the family moved to the NW burbs in the 60′s.

                    Easy to get to Wrigley? In the late 70′s (my reference period)? Damn straight. No one went and you parked where you saw a spot–which was everywhere. Driving–even from somewhere in the City–still made the most sense then. In the 80′s and into the 90′s, dudes would stand outside their homes and save a spot for you for 10-15 bucks. I married in 1991. All sorts of reletives coming in to see the Cubs on their once a year visit. After 2003, BOOM, Wrigley’s the place to be and, if your car doesn’t have a neighborhood sticker, you get booted and towed. So, easy-to-hard, big-time. Now the in-laws come in and go to IKEA.

                    “…it would make the discussion a little more useful if folks understood exactly where you are coming from with this level of passion.”

                    Passion. Passion that stems from being a lifelong Cub fan and being strung along by the Tribune who claimed the Cubs were just a wee tiny bit of the big, giant Tribune? Don’t we all share that? Passion that that stems from seeing the City grasp and grab every bit it can from Cub fans–every penny–then scream “Mine!” when the team talks about freezing the AT at monstrous levels (Boston pays 0% AT and the Cubs talked about freezing theirs at, what, $16 million per year)? I’ve got that passion, too. New York used eminent domain on parks around the Yankees to build their new stadium and the Cubs have to agree to BUILD a park just to SPEND their OWN money… That one builds passion, if you let it sink in.

                    For far too long Cub fans have just accepted what the City, Trib (or even Mr. Wrigley at the end) doled out and accepted that we aren’t special. NY is so much bigger and better. LA has palm trees. Boston is more special because, why, the Revolutionary War?

                    Now it turns out–because of Cub fans spending like a drunken sailor–the Cubs would be a 2 billion dollar valuation if there had been some honesty in the team’s media contracts and some investment–from both the Trib and the City/community that reaps incredible rewards from the team. But, no. Everyone has had their hands in Cub fans pockets so it didn’t get to the field.

                    And we just sit here and take it. Maybe that’s how we’re bred–to wait until next year. If so, that is WHY we are waiting until next year.

                    I didn’t grow up watching Chicago, or even Wrigley, with my father and grandfathers. I grew up watching the Cubs. Even at the ballpark it was never about Wrigley. It was about the Cubs. I care about Wrigley and I care about Chicago. But, to steal a quote, This town needs an enema.

                    • brainiac

                      i gotta disagree. wrigley was always a huge draw for me back when i’d cut high school and sit in the bleachers, which were mostly empty back then. it was fun. the park is FUN. you know what’s not fun? chipotle stands and giant jumbotrons. that’s called a mall.

                  • baldtaxguy

                    I wondered similar after seeing the extreme comments. I live in the NW burbs but I cannot get as passionate as I have read over advocating a move to Arlington. Now maybe if I owned the hot dog shop on the corner of Wilke and Route 14, maybe I’d be a bit more excited and screaming in the comments that a move to Arlington Park is a no brainer, 3.5m a year easy, blah blah blah. A move anywhere seems to be a more expensive proposition than any settlement with the rooftops and Wrigley renovation would cost, just guessing. It is now clear that either path will take much time and much money to finalize, which, as a fan, is a sad for me since that likely impacts the economics of the team.

                    • Scotti

                      “A move anywhere seems to be a more expensive proposition than any settlement with the rooftops and Wrigley renovation would cost, just guessing.”

                      I’ve gone into detail in the message board on how staying at Wrigley costs the Cubs each and every year regardless of what agreement they come to with the rooftops.

                      Will the Cubs ever get parking? (Simply not possible on any decent scale). A new parking plan could bring in $20M per year.

                      Will the Cubs ever get out from under the Amusement Tax? (The Mayor was talking about raising it to paper over city debt just this year after he thought he had a deal between the Cubs and rooftops–you know that 13% is going up and it is costing Cub fans $16M on a sold out Wrigley already and as the team raises its prices the cost goes up–a 20% increase brings the total tax to about $20 ($14M more than in the burbs)).

                      Unlimited concerts? Conventions? Night games? No, no, no. Many, many other factors where money is just not possible at Wrigley the way it would be at a new park like:

                      Selling naming rights–the Willis folks said they paid zilch for the naming rights to Sears Tower. Nothing. Why? It was too branded to Sears. Selling Wrigley has little value–no one will call it anything but Wrigley. Selling the name to a new park is worth $20-30M per year.

                      Anyway to add seats at Wrigley? None. A new facility could have 4k more (from 20th to 11th) and that is $20M more (at 75% capacity for those seats) in gate and concessions.

                      Over $75M per year and each of those dollars is simply impossible at Wrigley.

                      “A move anywhere seems to be a more expensive proposition than any settlement with the rooftops and Wrigley renovation would cost, just guessing.”

                      A new facility in the burbs would be much more expensive. But a good chunk of that would be paid for by the new city and a good chunk of that by increased revenues from the new facility (see above).

                      “It is now clear that either path will take much time and much money to finalize, which, as a fan, is a sad for me since that likely impacts the economics of the team”

                      The more fans who are behind the move to a new park get the city of Chicago and rooftops moving to the beat of getting this settled. The sooner the better but the better first. Don’t settle for half-assed. Half-assed is what got us here in the first place.

  • Jim

    Good analysis. Doesnt even take into account the “Wrigleyville” factor, or those less than casual fans who go for the experience.

  • Chad

    It would be interesting to see what percentage of tickets are sold to people within those radiuses of the park, and outside of that. Just because a lot of people live there doesn’t mean they go to the games necessarily.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’d love to see that data. As I discussed, this is merely about the pool of possible customers for a product that requires physical attendance.

      (And, as I said, I have a hard time seeing the average suburban person as 10x more likely to be a Cubs customer than the average north sider – which they’d have to be to make up for the difference in population density.)

      • md8232

        With something approaching the Dodgers TV contract and corporate boxes, are fans in the seats even necessary? Remember, this is about revenue streams for the team. Move to where the team gets the best deal and build a boutique ballpark alongside the boutique hotel.
        A winning Cubs team is good for baseball. Think back to the atmosphere around a good Cubs team both at home and on the road. If Cubs fans will travel to Atlanta or other venues, do you really doubt they’ll travel to Rosemont?

      • Scotti

        From the Cubs own study, 2/3 of the attendees at a typical Wrigley game do not come from the city. 1/3 are from out of town (many coming through the airport, many driving in from Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin or further west/south Illinois) and 1/3 are from the burbs. You’d be hard pressed to find Wrigley more accessable to any of those places–including Indiana–than the suburbs mentioned.

        Further, the DISTANCE that someone travels does not equate the TIME someone travels. I don’t care how far I go, I care how long it takes me to get there (time is money) and what kind of effort I need to put in to it (sweat equity). Google has an app for this sort of thing and it isn’t kind to Wrigley.

        The fact that it actually costs WAY more money to take a family to Wrigley using the Metra/CTA than it does to simply pay to park at the game is an issue, too (money is money–in this case an extra $50 bucks). Four two-way Metra tickets, parking at the Metra station, four all-day CTA passes.

        And not a penny of that goes to improving the Cubs. Not a penny of the amusement tax goes to improve the Cubs (in fact, it is all sucked FROM the Cubs and that hurts the product on the field).

        Lastly, in regard to 30-40k all coming one way into Rosemont, that would mean that all Cub fans are coming from the city. 1/3 come from the city now. After a move, somewhat fewer will then (1/4, 1/5?). That’s max 10k PEOPLE. Few driving alone and not all taking 90 even from the city. Many taking the Meta (Arlington Heights) or, since your example was Rosemont, they can take the blueline to Rosemont–it already has a stop.

        The BASE of the Cubs is the burbs (specifically the NW burbs). The fans out in the burbs have a much harder time getting to the park yet they represent the same proportion of fans as does the city. With easier access that representation would seriously explode.

        • Brocktoon

          Do you have a link to the Cubs study?

          Any sort of gain you’d get from suburban ticket holders(which I’d say is getting vastly overestimated) is going to be cancelled out that busloads of bluehairs aren’t going to be coming in from Iowa to check out scenic Allstate Park.

          Wrigley is a draw to out-of-towners. Wrigleyville is a draw to casuals, and no shorter commute for Arlington Heightsers is going to make up for that.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Are you sure that wasn’t 2/3 of the *drivers* don’t come from the city?

          • Scotti

            Yes, drivers make up a small minority of the attendees (there are only around 4k spots around the ballpark and remote parking adds less than 300 at the peak). 37% come from out-of-town (which has been reported as stark as “outside Illinois” but I believe some are from down state and western Illinois–the family has specifically called this figure “out-of-town”).

            That 37% comes from the “Conventions, Sports and Leisure International” study the family had done. To my knowledge it was never published but Rickets talked about it and it was reported on–at least what writers wanted to write about–at the time it was mostly rich fan boi wants tax money. It was spun b y the Cubs as 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 driving home the issue that he Cubs are the third largest draw in Illinois (Navy Pier, Millenium Park). That was the deal where they showed $600M + was generated by the Cubs annually with something on the order of $70M in taxes. Again, they were showing that this money is, by and large, coming into the city from outside the city.

            • brainiac

              yeah but no one in the city will be willing to casually drive to rosemont or joliet. most of us take the train or a short drive to another part of town. most of the reason that the park is always packed is because it’s something to do for employees, college kids, and tourists while in town. relocating a losing team with terrible owners to a suburban concrete jungle will significantly weaken the brand.

              • Scotti

                I’ve been told a hundred times that there is nothing to taking the CTA or Metra to go see the Cubs. Rosemont has the blueline and Arlington Heights has the Metra. There, apparently, is nothing to it.

                Employees–The Burbs Gottem! As I posted in the message board, of the 20 top companies in the area, the burbs have 14 of them. That is why the traffic is almost as bad going in or out during rush hour–there’s very little difference.

                Many of those tourists are actually there to see the Cubs. Not Wrigley. Not Chicago. Not a hunk of shiny, oddly-shaped metal. They’ve seen all that. They want to see the Cubs and do some shopping. The Burbs got malls, too.

                Flying into O’hare and taking the blueline to Rosemont is a snap (that;s why they have over a dozen hotels in Rosemont). O’hare to Arlington Heights or Schaumburg is easy as well. Driving in from Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana or southern or western Illinois is MUCH easier than trucking down to Wrigley.

                As the Wrigley Field Gameday Traffic and Parking Management Plan says, “Wrigley Field is also unique among major league stadiums and arenas with respect to transportation. Almost every other professional sports ballpark and venue in the United States is situated amid an abundance of parking and in close proximity to interstate highways; Wrigley Field is neither.”

                “relocating a losing team with terrible owners to a suburban concrete jungle will significantly weaken the brand.”

                The team has, IMHO, good/great owners–time will tell. As to concrete jungles… Yeah, we got trees. And parks. And fields. And, literally, forests. Cities are concrete jungles.

      • YourResidentJag

        Well, in terms of who drives to the ballpark, the Cubs traffic management study determined the following: The majority of people driving are coming from the north and northwest suburbs. The zip codeswith the highest number of season ticket holders are located in Chicago, close to Wrigley Field (60657, 60613, 60614, 60618, 60611, 60610). The highest number of season tickets holdersoutside of Chicago are located in 60062 (Northbrook), 60015 (Deerfield), 60093 (Winnetka),60201 (Evanston), and 60068 (Park Ridge). This is consistent with the 2002 Traffic and ParkingStudy conducted for Wrigley Field.

        http://www.scribd.com/doc/155346029/Wrigley-Gameday-Traffic-Management-Plan

        • Brocktoon

          “It is estimated therefore CTA rail now accounts for at least 40% of the fans who get to the game based on this data”

          And that’s just rail.

          • Scotti

            And CTA rail is city, burbs and out-of-town (O’hare).

            • Brocktoon

              So it’s not a hellacious nightmare to get to Wrigley?

          • YourResidentJag

            The zip codeswith the highest number of season ticket holders are located in Chicago, close to Wrigley Field (60657, 60613, 60614, 60618, 60611, 60610).

            This is consistent with the 2002 Traffic and Parking Study conducted for Wrigley Field.

        • Brocktoon

          I’d be interested to know what percentage of those suburban ticketholders work in the city.

  • Jon

    I said this last week, but it’s really ashame the Cubs couldn’t have taken advantage of the land near Cabrini Green a few years back. They could have escaped the rootops and still get the Cubs in the city.

  • Alan B

    I’ve been a Cubs fan since the early 50′s and really don’t want them to move. Lots of really great memories at Wrigley.

    However, let’s assume that everything falls into place in the next few months and they actually get the renovation project underway. My question is what do they have at the end? A practically new stadium, with better food, hopefully a much better team and let’s not forget the same political issues they have today, they still have to deal with the rooftops, same parking problems, same traffic issues, same restrictions on how many night games and other events they can hold and fewer seats in the park.

    Unfortunately, it looks to me that their best opportunity to solve these and other issues would be to relocate.

    • potvin48

      Hey, I think I know this guy…

      • Alan B

        Why aren’t you at work?

  • Spoda17

    I’m sure the Cubs have the data on where their customers live/commute from. I live in PA, and I go to Wrigley once a year. Buying tickets nowadays include the demographic information.

    I actually think a location by the lake or Navy Pier would be awesome. When I was there last summer, I seem to recall some open spaces…

    • hansman

      There is a great open space with this giant chrome bean shaped thing…

    • PolarBear

      I’ve always thought they should look for something by the pier. What about the old air strip? Is that being currently used for anything?

    • Darth Ivy

      Softball fields next to north ave beach, driving range east of Diversey. Both on the lake, plenty of space. I play on the north ave softball fields every summer, it’s amazing there. Next to water, skyscrappers, good bar scene, and parks. It’s perfect. Check it out on google maps. Look at the surrounding open space next to the fields and the small bodies of water to the north. So many good options

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

        Uh oh we have another Sith Lord either somebody is breaking the Rule of Two or Hater took on an apprentice?

        • Darth Ivy

          There must be two. No more, no less.

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

            So who is the master?

            • Darth Ivy

              Mrs. Goat

  • PolarBear

    I live about 40 miles south of Chicago and, to put it nicely, traffic pretty much sucks trying to get into the city. No matter what time the game is. I once left at 4:30 for a 7:05 start and made it inside the park in the 3rd inning. I understand staying central to a fan base, but don’t underestimate what real fans will endure to make it to a game.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Once again, this isn’t about “real fans,” as I expressly noted.

      • PolarBear

        I get where you are coming from, Brett. But maybe, and I know is a big maybe, it’s time they really start focusing on making it about the Cubs and not preserving everyone’s favorite drinking hole. There is a real possibility that with a new park you could draw people out of the city. And when they get that new state of the art experience, it will be enough to keep them coming back.

        • PolarBear

          And I know I’m banging the drum rather loudly, but I’m not saying that I really want them to move. The Cubs just need to know what’s available to them so they can regain some leverage in these talks. Do some studies or poll people and see what they think. Then, drop some knowledge on the city and the rooftops about what they risk to lose if they don’t get with the program.

        • Brocktoon

          Yeah, I mean why not cut off a substantial part of your ticket buying base, let’s take care of the 10% fringe that will watch awful baseball no matter where it is

  • salesguy

    Some more math

    Current population of Wrigleyville after cubs move would decrease by at least a factor of 50% (on the low end) in possibly just under 1 year stemming from a sharp decrease in property values, and loss of local businesses.

    Regarding the suburb the cubs move to, a doubling of the population in as little as 2 years would not be unreasonable, within 5 years you could be talking 500% population growth in the community that the Cubs move to.

    I tend to fall on the side of the argument that the figures you are throwing out regarding a low population for the suburbs are a bit disingenuous, and a false flag at best. While not ideal, as a business, you take the chance because it beats being held hostage, and in 5 years, with aggressive zoning, and development, (Cooperation which you would get from literally doubling a communities tax base) you could literally double your profit margin. Correspondingly, this would be a death blow to the Lakeview community, the North Side of Chicago, Rahm, and Tunney. This is why the Cubs have the leverage here.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      I tend to disagree with your assumption that the Cubs moving would destroy Lakeview. Maybe 25 years ago, but it is now a very established community. While the Cubs leaving would definitely hurt, I don’t think it would be crippling at all.

      • D-Rock

        Agreed. And it’s not like they would just be tearing down Wrigley Field. They could still use it for concerts all spring-fall and play exhibition games there, etc.

        • md8232

          But it’s a death trap! :-) Would the Cubs spend to renovate Wrigley for a few concerts and exhibition games?

          • D-Rock

            No, they wouldn’t renovate Wrigley if they decided to move to Rosemont. Ricketts could either sell old Wrigley or just keep it and make money off of the concerts, but they would do minimal upkeep and focus on their new Wrigley in Rosemont.

            • kj1

              How much money could the Cubs get for naming rights to the new stadium? Time for Mars Inc. (Owner of Wrigley Gum) to open the purse strings if they still want a ballpark named after their product.

      • Brocktoon

        Seriously, I’ve heard this argument before. Do people think Wrigley is all that’s keeping Lincoln Park, Southport Corridor and Roscoe Village afloat too? Lake view is actually rather cheap to live compared to the other popular places to live in the city.

    • ssckelley

      I have also wondered if the Cubs could sell real estate around the new ballpark to rebuild Wrigleyville, along with their own rooftops owned by the Cubs. I think a move to the suburbs could be a profitable business venture if you look outside the possibilities of just selling tickets.

    • CubSTH60625

      “Current population of Wrigleyville after cubs move would decrease by at least a factor of 50%”

      This is an insane statement. I live in and around Lakeview for a long, long, long time and this is just not a fair assessment.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Agreed, it would definitely shift the demographic of the neighborhood, which is probably a good thing.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Please explain how population figures are disingenuous when discussing the pools from which an enterprise can draw customers? Did I hide the ball whatsoever? Did I not explain clearly the limited purposes of this exercise?

      I am open to critiques of what is actually written, but nothing rankles me quite like someone calling me or my work disingenuous.

      • salesguy

        Didn’t mean to rankle, apologies if I did, and you did explain your figures, however (unintentionally on your part) I was more referring to the picture that the figures that you put up seemed to paint (again not by any conscience effort on your part), and that was a picture that understates the cubs importance to the community, and the north side of Chicago.

        I live in a community where such a shift, on a smaller scale took place, the results to the corresponding community were catastrophic to property values, income levels, and which effects are even felt now some 15-20 years later.

        My feeling is, some who post here from the Lakeview community, seem to take their community for granted, and don’t realize that shops, food establishments, and other business are there for one purpose, and that purpose is the fact that almost 3 million people make their community a destination point every summer. To understate the importance of that, and to not think that there would be an earthquake like shift on a large scale in that community, and the Northside of Chicago if the Cubs were to move, not to mention a huge windfall for the community that is chosen to receive the cubs is naïve. Political types like Rahm and Tunney, don’t think in these terms, and thus don’t see the pitfalls with some of the decisions and stances they are making. The fact that there are real life effects to real people a decision like this would have, is what I suspect is keeping Ricketts from making this decision. That is the point I was trying to make.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      The Cubs moving to a suburb would cause the population to explode by 500% in 5 years?

      I’d like to see your reasoning for this. That claim strikes me as well in excess of excessive.

      If any suburb really did believe that, it would be incentive to keep the Cubs out, not welcome them. That kind of a growth rate would cripple all local infrastructure in months.

      • salesguy

        I can share my reasoning with both you and Brett if you like, and that point that you made, is my point entirely, there would be pains of an enormous kind all around, severe contraction on the North Side, and explosion in the community they have chosen, as far as crippling local infrastructure, you are correct on that. My reasoning in posting would be that one would be a great problem to have, and one I’m sure city planners of that suburban community would be glad to deal with. For reference, check out some of the growth rates in local North Dakota communities because of the Fracking industry, as well as statistics on people leaving the major cities for the suburbs. Combine that with the cubs window of competitiveness coming soon, and IF they move, you have the makings of a perfect economic, and social storm. Lakeview survives without the cubs, however several orders worse, and several degrees poorer because of it, everyone focuses on the Cubs, and no one focuses on the satellite industries that surround them, and what would happen if that moved to another community.

        • mr. mac

          Aside from an occasional show at the Metro I would never be in Lakeview without going to Cubs games. Not saying that I represent the majority or anything, but I agree that Lakeview undervalues the Cubs in their neighborhood.

        • CubSTH60625

          Yeah…”To understate the importance of that, and to not think that there would be an earthquake like shift on a large scale in that community, and the Northside of Chicago if the Cubs were to move”

          So let me get this straight: Not only will Lakeview suffer, but the ENTIRE Northside of Chicago will experience “an earthquake like shift.”

          This is ludicrous. Do I believe the Cubs have something to do with cash flowing to businesses on 81 days out of the year…I’ll throw in 100 (include concerts, tours, etc)? Yes. However, you are overstating the point because that leaves a HUGE chunk of days where these businesses have to figure out a way to make money on non game days….which is over a 2/3 of the year.

          And…the entire Northside? You mean my home….in Ravenswood…is now going to suffer because of a Cub move?!?

          Eegads.

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            Also, it doesn’t factor in that many Lakeview businesses actually work hard to avoid the Cubs crowd. Outside of the bars directly adjacent to Wrigley (Cubby Bear, Sluggers, Murphy’s, etc.), Lakeview bars and restaurants try to avoid the the, for lack of a better phrase, “Cubs bros”

          • salesguy

            My reference was to Chicago Metro Northside proper, such things once started tend to have unintended consequences, business (even the ones that are not related to the cubs crowd) will suffer from this. I live in a major college town, with a huge football program, lots of food establishments and hotels in the community, those establishments make as much as 70% of their profit during the college semester, and corresponding football season.

            If that college were to close up shop and move to a neighboring community, even one 10-15 miles away, the businesses, currently located a mile or two from campus, would move as well in an effort to retain profits, and service customers. This would result in lower property values in that community, a rise in crime rates, and unemployment, and because of that would create a less palatable business, and economic environment for everyone. So yes, on a larger scale, I do believe communities outside of Lakeview, and Cubs communities, would suffer from a Cubs move as well. This impact gets magnified, as you get further out from the event.

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              While I get where you’re trying to go with the college town reference, I don’t think it really applies here. Lakeview and surrounding neighborhoods are nowhere near as dependent on the Cubs as a major college town is on the University.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Fracking employees thousands, and those thousands were not available in the local workforce and had to move in.

          The Cubs employ dozens, hundreds if we include all the related businesses, and the workforce would be able in the suburbs (it could even be the same workforce with a different… not necessarily longer… commute).

          The two situations are not comparable in any meaningful sense.

          I can’t see a scenario in which the population of a suburb increases five fold in five years as the result of a sports team relocating from one part of the metro area to another.

          But if you can point me to any similar 500% over 5 years growth rates that are the result of a team moving, by all means point them out.

    • TulaneCubs

      Sorry, but those population growth/decline numbers are absolutely crazy.

  • PolarBear

    This^^^^

  • SoMECubFan

    Near West side. Near United Center. Plenty of space over there.

  • JohnnyParkside

    All good points above, but I can honestly say I would be 10x more likely to go to a Cubs game, regardless of the product, if the ball park was more accessible in a different area. And I love Wrigley Field, but all this other “lack of progress” noise just makes going to this park more miserable.

    I go to far more Sox games each year because it is more accessible to be able to catch live baseball games. And I while I don’t really care for the Sox, the inaccessibility of Wrigley Field is a deterrent and keeps me away. It did when I lived in the city (even with CTA access), and it still does living in the suburbs (with more highway options).

    If the data was available, one can prove either way if there is an untapped resource of attendance based on accessibility of the park. If the Cubs were honestly going to consider moving, I’m sure this would be part of the due diligence. And maybe they have? But they won’t show that hand in the middle of negotiations.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Where did you live in the city where Wrigley was inaccessible via the CTA?? I mean I live in Skokie and Wrigley is still very accessible due to the yellow line, ditto with Evanston and the purple line.

  • TommyK

    Getting to Rosemont from 3 miles away is easier than getting to Wrigley from 1 mile away.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Really??? It’s called walking and it takes 10-15 minutes

      • Danny Ballgame

        I’ve taken the Amtrak up from St. Louis and hoped on the El for games and it is still not an issue to get to Wrigley from 450 miles away

    • Danny Ballgame

      Because there is no stadium out there and no reason to go to Rosemont at all. Put Wrigley 2.0 out there and the place will get crazy in a hurry and we will have different (And some of the same) problems out there.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        It’s insane around there after events at the Allstate Arena, which seats less than 20K

  • BenRoethig

    The one thing this assumes is that the majority of patrons at Wrigley are North side locals.

    • BenRoethig

      If they’re from the suburbs or bus trips, the graph gets turned on its head and a Suburbs park would appear more beneficial. Numbers aren’t of much use without context.

  • InsertNameHere

    There are so many layers to the population density and demographics that make it hard to get a good handle on this. That said, wrigley is accessible in about 30 minutes from any red or brown line stop from the loop north. If you took just the population within a 1/2 mile radius from each stop, you have a huge potential customer base. I think you have no problem selling weekend games at any location, but I think the higher proportion 20-35 year old residents in the city without families/small children are much more likely to go to weekday/night games than suburbanites.

  • Jon

    It’s real easy to play “Planes, trains and automobiles” getting to a Cubs game if you are in a group with a bunch of adults, but try that with young children, strollers etc. It’s a major pain in the ass unlike any stadium. A new stadium, anywhere, and the Cubs would do just fine, even thrive(provided the fix the garbage product on the field)

  • Blackhawks1963

    The Cubs should absolutely consider moving to Arlington Park. Churchill Downs Corporation would definitely be interested in a partnership…the LAND is there…the HIWAY and ROAD infratructure is there…the METRA TRAIN LINE is there. A brand new ballpark in Arlington Heights would draw 3.5 million fans in a heartbeat. The area is very strategically located to a wide geographic range of Cub fans. If we lose a few drunken frat boys living in Lincoln Park, then that’s a small price to pay.

    A new ballpark in Arlington Park would be a huge, huge, huge success. And likely a beautiful ballpark that would be the envy of baseball could be put in place with nary a cent of taxpayer dollars.

    • Jon

      “If we lose a few drunken frat boys living in Lincoln Park, then that’s a small price to pay.”

      ^ This.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        It could actually be a considerably large price to pay. Think the Tribune Company wasn’t interested in making money? Ever wonder why they never seriously considered moving?

        • Sandberg

          How bad was the amusement tax when the Trib owned the Cubs?

          Also, what about the forced day games causing fatigue in September and October? What if the Cubs make more money in Wrigley, but are at a severe disadvantage due to player fatigue?

          • Brocktoon

            You keep referencing the cubs wearing down in September. Have any data whatsoever to back that up?

            • Sandberg
              • Brocktoon

                No, Brett has not written about it extensively. He have a short blurb from a player who said he’s rather not have so many day games, and an article with no evidence behind it with the conclusion, “I dunno that’s just what I think”

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  I have, actually, written about five times on the subject over the past three years. The constant re-setting of the body clock is pretty well accepted now to diminish the body’s performance by the end of the season in a way that is unique to the Cubs.

                  That said, I disagree that it, alone, should be considered a reason for moving the team. (Instead, it’s a reason for more night games.)

                  • Sandberg

                    Once the Cubs renovate, what leverage do they have to get more night games? You could be 20, 30, 40 years to get them. What good does the money do the fans if the Cubs “can’t”* win because of their schedule?

                    *meaning they have a significantly reduced chance. At that point RIcketts is essentially choosing money over a competitive team.

                    • hansman

                      Ok, so how do other teams fair? What about teams with similar strengths of schedule?

                      Have the Cubs lucked out and faced “out of it” teams more often than not? Have they faced tougher teams, have they faced the same level as the other months.

                      We have 1 data point.

                    • hansman

                      Reply Fail

                  • Brocktoon

                    Since 1989(the first full year the cubs had a mix of day and night games), the cubs have a better record in sept/oct than they do overall. .483 vs .481

                    *I removed 94 from the data because there was no sept/oct baseball that year

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      That’s interesting to know, but it doesn’t prove as much as you might think.

                      To be sure, I have no proof either. Just my own sense of body and the anecdotes of players. I suppose relying on things like that can get folks in trouble in the baseball world.

                    • Brocktoon

                      Not sure why, but there’s no link to reply directly to your post Brett. It’s a 688 game sample size of Sept/Oct games. You’re taking the “I just know” argument here in spite of a good sized sample of statistical evidence telling you otherwise.

                      And this is with the teams more often than not being bad, and to that point having nothing to play for/dumping their good players/trying out prospects who were more often than not terrible.

                      I do have proof. The numbers.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Actually, setting aside the fact that I acknowledged the very limitation of my position that you’re criticizing me for, the size of the sample wasn’t what I am beefing you for (though, given the turnover involved in teams and the nature of September games, I’m really not sure it’s a meaningful size). I’m beefing your premise that you can prove that the Cubs aren’t playing worse in August/Sept by pointing to their record in those months versus their overall record. Perhaps, if they’d had more night games, they would have played even better. In other words, you have no control group by which to describe a change in performance.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      If my math is right, that is a difference of about one win over that 600+ game sample.

                      I’m pretty sure that falls within the margin of error range as well, meaning there is no statistically significant difference.

                    • Brocktoon

                      The theory as stated was the Cubs are at a disadvantage due to wearing down at the end of the year. If they were wearing down at the end of the year disproportionately from other teams, the data would bear that out in W-L records.

                      The control group are the 3900 games they play over every month. The games played at the end of the season show no statistically significant difference in terms of W-L record.

                      Obviously over 2-3 seasons there is tons of noise involved concerning quality of team in September vs. quality of team the rest of the season and strength of schedule in September for example, but I’d say 24 seasons does a pretty good job of sorting that out.

                      Unless you have a theory as to why the Cubs should perform better in September than they do the rest of the season, I’m not sure your argument.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                      In this case a control would need to be a team that plays a normal assortment of night games, not the Cubs earlier in the season.

                    • JB88

                      I’ve always thought that the Cubs’ “swoon” seemed to manifest itself in August. I’d be awfully curious to see what the Cubs’ winning percentage is in August/September versus what it was in the same season prior to then.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      The proper comparison would be the difference between September records pre and post-lights. (Or pre any night games, and again once the number of night games doubled some years back.)

                      At any rate, this has been done many times. Bill James first demonstrated that Cubs players had significantly bigger dropoffs in September than did players from other teams around the time the Cubs first put lights into Wrigley.

                    • Brocktoon

                      Luke, the control group in that case would be the other 29 teams in the league, by which case I’m guessing you could figure out how the W-L records would break down.

                    • Brocktoon

                      Well, Doc, this is 25 years since James said that, and the W-L records don’t bear it out.

                    • Brocktoon

                      To follow up Doc, the argument has nothing to do with a team playing 81 home day games a year, it’s whether the current setup is detrimental to the Cubs success. Comparing the Cubs record with 30 home night games a year(or whatever the number is boosted to now) to their record with 0 home night games wouldn’t prove anything other than to see if nothing but day games is detrimental.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      You made the wrong comparison. You need to look at ((April – August) – September). Moreover, you have to compare the Cubs to other teams, not the before and after: remember, the Cubs still play a much less consistent schedule than do other teams.

                      This is fundamentally a time series problem. How a team does in September is correlated with how it does in August which is correlated with how it does in July etc. So, the basic quality of the team is going to be important. The thing to look at is the shifts in performance: after all, that is what the “inconsistent schedule wears players down” hypothesis posits.

                      At any rate, I don’t know if anybody has checked to see if the drop in individual player performance has changed for the Cubs since 1988.

                    • Brocktoon

                      Well, ((April-August)-September)) is pretty clearly going to tell the same story as ((April-September)-September). It’ll push the difference slightly more in favor of my point.

                      And as I said upthread, the difference between the Cubs and the other 29 teams is going to be pretty obvious as well. (Again pushing it ever slightly more in favor of my point)

                    • Brocktoon

                      Hansman,

                      The 29 other teams have performed ever so slightly worse in September-October than they have the rest of their season. That’d be with a SOS trending towards .500

                      No idea how to quickly figure the Cubs SOS, but over that sample, these things tend to trend towards the center.

        • Jon

          A lack of fore site and leadership under the Tribune.

          The “Wrigley Field” experience isn’t really an experience. It’s a commodity that could be easily duplicated and even improved in an modern day ballpark.

          • JB88

            100% disagree. There are elements of the Wrigley experience that could be duplicated, but the Wrigley experience is wholly unique. Not that I’m any sort of expert, but based on the dozen ballparks I’ve been to around the country, no other park quite compares to Wrigley. Part of that is the proximity to bars and restaurants; i.e., there is no parking surrounding the stadium, and part of it stems from the fact that everyone is sort of all walking out of the park together and then walking somewhere else.

            Couple that with the El in the background and being immersed in a neighborhood, but it really is a feel that can’t be duplicated. I don’t know if it is better or worse, but it is not something that can be duplicated, and certainly not easily.

        • mr. mac

          It would have involved actual work from the Tribune Company to move the Cubs.

        • Blackhawks1963

          Brett, as someone who has been going to Wrigley since 1977 and has lived in thie Chicagoland area equally long, I can say with great confidence that if the Cubs moved to Arlington Park or Rosement then it would result in a huge attendance bonanza assuming a decent product on the field. All this drippy sentimentality over Wrigley Field being a magical destination would vaporize in moments. For the big majority of of Cub fans Wrigley Field isn’t convenient or even practical to attend on a semi-regular occurence. It’s just not. And a move to the right north or northwestern suburban location would not significantly compromise the attendance of those fans who live and/or work in the city of Chicago. That’s simply a false premise. Don’t skew thinking to the attendance draw that derives from Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville, etc. Any losses in those demographics would be greatly exceeded by Mr. and Mrs Cub fan living in the burbs or general Chicagoland metropolitan region and southeastern Wisconsin.

          You are once again falling into the troubling trap of interpreting things to fit a premise. Your objectivity has been horse bleep of late. Love you to death brother, but c’mon do your real homework and/or put the objectivity cap on.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            This has nothing to do with drippy sentimentality, and everything to do with cold, hard cash. I’m kind of tired of your “no objectivity” bullshit, by the way.

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

              [img]http://d2tq98mqfjyz2l.cloudfront.net/image_cache/1384990993521902_animate.gif[/img]

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            Sharing your objective thoughts and then saying Brett lacks objectivity because he disagrees with said thoughts. That’s golden right there. Keep up the good work Brett!

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              *Subjective thoughts

              Tommy needs a grammar lesson on this chilly Monday

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

            So objectivity = agreeing with Blackhawks?

            Just want to make sure I understand the meaning.

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              Apparently, Blackhawks’ opinion=fact

          • CubSTH60625

            We must also remember all the cold, hard cash the Ricketts own around Wrigley Field.

            As much as I would love, love, love to see the Cubs scoop up some property…preferably in the city…to build a new Wrigley Field, it’s not going to happen.

            This isn’t a debate (at least for me it isn’t) between sentimentality or not…this is a battle between a bunch of things already decided mainly 2:

            1. Wrigley Field is a partially landmarked stadium that is owned BY THE CUBS. Leave Wrigley and you suffer owning a structure that cannot be used for anything other than baseball. Renting it out to Northwestern doesn’t make up for the financial loss.
            2. The Ricketts own $40 Million in assets around Wrigley Field. I don’t think they see leaving that behind as a “savvy business move”.

            Everything else is just bullshit. The Cubs will NOT move to Arlington Heights, Rosemont. They’re not going to play games in Milwaukee for a time.

            Not because they are sentimental, but because they’ve laid their stake on rebuilding Wrigley Field (I suppose that is kinda sentimental).

            • Darth Ivy

              Stop ruining the fun with informative points that support your claim. Geez.

          • itzscott

            At this point I don’t give a squat if the Cubs move or don’t move simply because Wrigley isn’t going to be anywhere near what I remember it as one way or the other but I have no sympathy for those complaining about the commute from the suburbs….

            I lived in the ‘burbs also and I had no problem finding my way to a CTA “el” station which took me right to the ballpark and back within 45 minutes of wherever I was or wanted to go.

            So much easier to park for free somewhere, hop on the CTA and enjoy the ride.

          • Patrick W.

            What’s wrong with drippy sentimentality, btw? Without it, many of us might not be Cubs fans.

            In 2004 I got my season ticket. It was a lifetime goal and I literally cried when I got it. In August 2005 I moved to Seattle but I still have that ticket for me anytime I am back in Chicago, and this will be my 11th opening day this year. I know the ballpark well. I know that it’s true what people say, it’s a dump. There are times it feels like the word dank was invented just to describe Wrigley Field behind the seats. But oh what a different place it is from the seat out! Sitting in those seats is a special event. My first trip to Wrigley was in 1977, and the upper deck was closed that day, but now 37 years later that’s where my seat is, and I have to tell you, it doesn’t feel that different. I know the changes, I’ve watched them happen every year but deep down every April (or March a couple of times) when I take the elevator (a habit I got into because Dan the operator was such a great guy) and hit the upper deck (most years the first fan up there) and when I say high to the ushers I know by name (say hi to John if you get a chance, he’s right by the press box) I feel like that 9 year old kid again.

            Is it inconvenient to get to? Maybe. I travel 2,000 miles every year to make it there because I love the team. Is it hard to find parking? Yes. Are there very many other experiences that are worth the effort? No. Sure, I’m a drippy sentimentalist, but so what? I have an emotional tie to that place. Millions of other people do to. What’s wrong with the owner of it wanting to keep it running, and being willing to suffer the nonsense he has to in the pursuit of getting it done? Remember the chairman met his wife in the bleachers, and I don’t blame him for wanting to keep that place hallowed. I’m glad he’s doing it because I plan on spending a good portion of my retirement there, and that’s 20 years away.

            • JB88

              Very well said. And a feeling that is shared by many.

            • hansman

              This.

              Every time I go, I try to come up behind home plate and take in everything that is Wrigley as I come out. Then to know that just a few feet away stood one of the most prolific home run hitters of all time while he jacked one into the seats is just awesome.

              In the 90′s my family went to Wrigley to catch a game, and the only reason we went was because it was Wrigley (at the time I was an A’s fan). There are A LOT of people that are like that.

            • blublud

              Because some us couldn’t careless about sentimentality of Wrigley. The place is a dump. I couldn’t care less about Wrigley, Wrigleyville or Chicago. I’m a Cubs fan. I’m not a Wrigley fan. I’m not a Chicago fan. If the Cubs moved to South Korea, I would still be a Cubs fan.

              My personal preference is to move. The rooftop owners make sick. They are a very disgusting group of people who don’t deserve the air they breath. Anything for Ricketts to stick it them.

              If the Cubs stay in Wrigley, I also couldn’t care less. If the place being renovated makes them money and helps them be competitive, I’m all for it.

              I wish people would stop associating this with emotions to a building. It a business. Whatever is best for the business to be successful is all that matters. If moving is what’s best, then implode Wrigley. If staying is what’s best, then let’s stop all this stupid negotiating with the rooftops, tell them to kiss our asses and start the renovation.

              • JB88

                These are all valid reasons FOR YOU. But I suspect for the vast majority of people who make a summer pilgrammage to Wrigley, they do it because of that sentimentality and wouldn’t make the same trip if the Cubs played in Arlington or Cicero or Rosemont.

                So the real question is this: Do the Cubs want to bet hundreds of millions of dollars in assets (the diminished value of Wrigley Field without the Cubs playing there; the added cost of building a new stadium in the suburbs) that its true fanbase is some number greater than the number of fans currently going to the park and that those fans would subsequently go to a suburban park? Personally, I’m highly skeptical that the Cubs’ attendance figures aren’t a direct result of: (a) the historical significance of Wrigley; and (b) the proximity in the city to bars and restaurants.

                I would be incredibly interested in knowing the ages and locations of those in the “move the Cubs” crowd. I wouldn’t be suprised to find the answer to those questions as being 35+ and located outside Chicago.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Can we call it the Ballpark in Arlington Jr.??

    • baldtaxguy

      I think if that type of gate could be expected, I would expect that such a move would have been done over 20 years ago. I live out there and would love Wrigley Field at Arlington Park to happen as much as the next guy – but I think it would be way expensive, and I would anticipate a material drop-off in attendance. Again, I’d like it to be viable, but I think its a non-starter.

      {Hey look, I disagreed with you without having to name call or question your lack of objectivity or thinking process!! How did I do this…?}

  • Blackhawks1963

    Wrigley Field, for the big majority of Cub fans, is a royal pain in the ass to get to. It’s always been that way. A move to Arlington Park or even Rosemont would be a HUGE BOON for the Chicago Cubs. Absolutely huge. The weeping and gnashing of teeth over losing Wrigley Field would last 5 minutes once a new ballpark in Arlington Park opened. A ballpark that would be wonderfully accessible versus Wrigley to hundreds of thousands of Cub fans living in the suburbs as well as the city of Chicago.

    Do it.

    • Sandberg

      Of all the locations outside of the city, I think the Arlington Park area would be the best.

    • ChrisFChi

      I use public transportation. So much cheaper and effective than driving to Wrigley

      • Jon

        Public transportation is also a major pain in the ass especially if you have a family. I’d rather have a ballpark where i can park next door in a official lot for $20.

        • NorthSideIrish

          Not to mention that the Cubs would be the ones collecting that $20 rather than the random neighbor with a garage spot.

          • Jon

            Man, those a-holes with the garages will really try to rape you if they can, $40-60.

            • Patrick W.

              My offer stands, Jon. You and your family of four, parking, food, tickets et. al. under $120. Just let me pick the date and the food. I’ll arrange it.

              • Jon

                Are you buying too :) ?

                • Patrick W.

                  Maybe. Will you commit to writing a 1,000 word blog post about your experience? That’s 12 cents per word, very competitive for an amateur :)

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    I’m not sure that any topic better highlights folks’ inability to see beyond their own experience* than moving the Cubs to the suburbs.

    *You can include me in that group, too, I’m sure.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      Thanks for saying that Brett, someone had to

      • mr. mac

        Agreed, but I think most of us would truly support whatever it took to get a winning team on the field. The thing that scares me the most about all of this is that when the “kids” are ready and Theo and staff need/want money it won’t be there for them because of this renovation/rooftop nightmare.

        • Brocktoon

          “We” are not the issue. We will go see them play wherever. Hardcore fans aren’t going away, walk ups and casuals are the issue. And again, #5 in revenue. Wrigley isn’t stopping the cubs from spending money, @poortomricketts is

    • mjhurdle

      100% agree.
      There are so many variables at play in this that we (average fans even with internet research) don’t even know what all of them are.
      It is really easy to say “move the Cubs and make more $$$$ and create a baseball heaven”, but without knowing the research numbers, financial figures, business agreements, etc it is impossible to say whether that is even possible.
      I think most people are frustrated with the renovation process (regardless of where you assign fault) and the easiest answer that comes to mind is to move, which is why there are so many strong opinions in favor of moving.
      I can see some opportunities provided by moving, and I would not mind it if they did. But like you pointed out earlier, there is a reason that no one else has tried to move Wrigley yet. If it was as easy and profitable as some think, it would have been done already, in my opinion.

      • mjhurdle

        just for clarification, my ‘we’ in reference to average fans does not include you Brett. Your level of research is above the ‘internet research’ done by most of us.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Would the move from old to new Tiger stadium be comparable at all? I’m not sure how strong local opinion regarding staying in Tiger stadium was in Detroit.

      I’m not sure how much we could learn from that either (very different economic situations, for one thing) but it’s the closest thing to a relevant case study I’m aware of.

      • JB88

        Except old and new Tiger stadium were literally in the same neighborhood. I’m just missing a real modern connection between moving from a place like Wrigley to a suburban landscape and (a) seeing an attendance “bonanza” and (b) even maintaining the same level of attendance.

  • md8232

    Would MLB support the Cubs even if behind the scenes, so as to send a message to any other cities regarding future attempts to blackmail / hijack their local teams?
    All Star game and all it entails to open a new Cubs stadium?

    No one else has mentioned it, so how about a retractable Dome for our imaginary new stadium?
    No moe rain delays. Keep the Spring and Fall weather at bay?

    • cavemancubbie

      I believe the time is coming when every northern team will require a dome due to the increase in season length. i shudder to think what could happen to this weeks super bowl with another January winter blast.

      • ajbulls23

        I believe the MLB schedule makers will need to start opening day in warm weather or dome stadium locations for the first week or two of the year. This will cut down the number of issues with spring snow games.

  • cubs2003

    One thing to note is that I’m pretty sure city dwellers are far less likely to travel to the ‘burbs for a game that the reverse. Especially casual fans.

    • MightyBear

      Pure conjecture. No evidence for this statement whatsoever.

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        There is no evidence in any statements in this comment section from either side of the argument

      • Brocktoon

        How about that a family of 4 from the city doesn’t go to the suburbs on their weekend for fun.

        • mr. mac

          Then why is 55 south always backed up on the weekends?

          • Brocktoon

            I dunno family parties? Poor expressway construction? Is this going to be a serious argument that city people head out to the suburbs to enjoy their free time?

            • Robbo

              I live in Lakeview and have been sharing season tickets which has allowed me to go to 20-25 Cubs games a year for the past 10 seasons. Walking to Wrigley has been a blessing, but driving to Arlington Heights during rush hour would be brutal. So would taking multiple city buses and then the Metra out to Arlington Heights or any other burb for that matter. If they were to move to the burbs I seriously doubt I would make the reverse commute during the week for night games. I would still love the Cubs, but my personal attendance would significantly decline.

              This city to burb exercise was done with DePaul basketball during the height of their success and popularity in the 80′s and when DePaul started losing the stadium in Rosemont became a ghost town. Now DePaul is moving back to the city.

              Cubs fan base is much larger than DePaul basketball, but will people show up in the burbs during losing seasons? I think that question alone is enough to scare the Rickets from seriously considering killing their golden goose at Clark and Addison.

  • D-Rock

    I love Wrigley Field on Clark/Addison, but I would be willing for the Cubs to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to win a World Series, and if that means moving out of Wrigleyville, then by all means do it.

    • mjhurdle

      So, you are saying that you would support a Cubs move to St Louis if it got them a World Series? :)

      The Chicago Cubs of St Louis, Missouri.
      I wouldn’t mind, especially if they built on the east side of the river. Would make going to games so much easier for me :)

      • D-Rock

        As much as it would pain me, yes. Still less painful then seeing them lose year after year on Clark/Addison.

    • cubs2003

      I totally get that and I agree. I’ll admit to being a “stay in Wrigley” guy for the fan experience. Just anecdotal, but I know a bunch of Cubs fans who love to trek in from the ‘burbs a few times a year. It’s the only time they really go into the city and they have a blast.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Another key factor in a potential move to Rosemont is that Mayor Bradley Stephens’ family has long been accused of ties to the mafia. The Stephens family (his dad was mayor before him) have always been able to push through any legislation they need and have kept Rosemont profitable. So basically, there would still be shady politicians, but at least they would be on the Cubs side this time.

    • DarthHater

      Nobody in the mafia is named “Bradley.” :-P

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      I personally know multiple members of the Stephens family and they are going to die laughing when they see this comment

      • NorthSideIrish

        Both the attorney general of Illinois and the FBI linked Donald Stephens to meetings with the mafia when they were trying to build their casino about 10 years ago. Plus, there’s just something shady about any town that has that big of a budget for Christmas lights.

  • Medicos

    Since 2014 is going be wasted season anyways while awaiting the arrival of some of the young Triple AA and Triple AAA minor leaguers, the Cubs should just play home games at the newly constructed field near Lane Tech High School at Western and Irving Park. This way all the renovations can be done by 2015.

  • Sect208Row8

    You cannot build on the lakefront. The only exception to this rule was old mccormick place. Navy pier is city land, was a working pier. First Mayor Daley “king richard” pushed Mccormick place through and after the original burned down they never should of rebuilt. I believe Montgomery Ward wrote the original plan for nothing but parks on the Lakefront.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Brett, I think there are several “qualifiers” that a person has to have before strongly opining on the merits and pitfalls of a new ballpark in the north / northwest suburbs.

    1. Do you live in the Chicagoland area or have you for a decent amount of time in the past, regardless of whether in the city or burbs?

    2. How many games do you generally try to go to at Wrigley a season?

    I’ll stand by my contention that a the right geographic location in the suburbs (e.g., Arlington Park) would likely produce an absolute attendance and revenue bonanza for the Cubs. The assumption that legions of fans who live in Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville and the north side would be alientated and removed from the ballpark attendance and spending equation would more than be made up by tens of thousands of families and people living in the suburbs and the city of Chicago who would pour into a new, presumably much more accessible (hiways, roads, Metra rail, parking), state of the art ballpark.

    • RoscoeVillageFan

      I grew up in that area (Arlington hts) and now live in the city (reference my login). Arlington heights and all of that strip mall, flat and boring suburban area can keep their large plots of unused land. I’d never go to a game if the Cubs moved to Arlington Heights or Rosemont…how depressing! just like every other super-depressing suburban ballpark around the country. I actually like Brett’s take because he DOESN’T live here and isn’t biased like a lot of us. I think he makes a great argument about traffic patterns and even if the Kennedy congestion didn’t get worse with the ballpark moving to the burbs, in its current state of congestion, I’d never go see a game.

  • cms0101

    Apparently the Cubs filed for a permit for the right field sign they want to build. Could be a first shot in the legal battle with the rooftops.

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