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respect wrigleyWhile we await word on how the Chicago Cubs and the rooftops plan to proceed in light of the Cubs’ decision to apply for a right field sign permit, and the rooftops’ comments about legal action and what-have-you, the calls for the Cubs to leave Wrigley Field – or at least threaten it – have returned. I still don’t think moving makes much sense in the long run, but that won’t stop people from discussing it. And who am I to stand in the way of earnest conversation?

To that end, the Daily Herald spoke with Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens, who notably offered the Cubs 25 acres of land last year, just outside of Chicago, where the team could move if sparring with the City/neighborhood/rooftops continued. Stephens confirmed that the offer remains on the table, though he doesn’t seem to have the same gusto this time around.

“Obviously we’d listen to anything. We really don’t have any redevelopment agreement on that site, so if they’d call, we’d talk to them,” Stephens told the Daily Herald, in part. “It almost seems like divorce isn’t an option for them down there and they’re pretty solid on staying in Wrigleyville. If they’d call, we’d talk to them. But I’m not very optimistic.”

Not that it surprises me, but if the man behind one of the most visible “move” offers of last year now says he’s not optimistic about the Cubs divorcing themselves from Wrigleyville, it isn’t going to happen. You can read the Herald piece for a dismissive response from the Cubs, which is what you’d expect.

Moving on, and back to the signage fight.

  • juice

    I wish they’d just entertain the offer, even if there is no intent.

    • kj1

      Maybe if Rosemont sweetened the deal a bit by offering to pay for a percentage of the construction costs then Ricketts may consider it.

  • V23

    Rosemont:
    * Free land
    * No rules on night games and signs
    * Touches the city, near affluent populations, with already a large hotel base
    * Blue line and metra very close
    * 2 major expressways feed into Rosemont (Wrigley- Zero that go near)
    * Govt that works for business not against.
    * No annoying freeloading rooftop owners
    * No more wasted time

    But, unfortunately Ricketts has blown this whole stadium thing from beginning and now we have 2014 to waste as a season as fans.

    • Austin8466

      I’m sold.

    • CubFan Paul

      “unfortunately Ricketts has blown this whole stadium thing from beginning”

      Because He BOUGHT the stadium. The Cubs aren’t renting from the city.

    • Voice of Reason

      V23:

      Ricketts has done nothing wrong except show patients so everything can be approved and play out. There is a lot of legal stuff and political stuff that just takes time. Remember that Ricketts didn’t sign the contract with the roof top owners, he inherited it. He has played this perfectly. He doesn’t want to seem like the big, bad owner of the Cubs taking on the poor little roof top owners. The Tribune did just that and looked bad!

      And, THERE IS NO WAY THE CUBS WILL EVER MOVE FROM WRIGLEY FIELD! At least during our life times!

    • Scotti

      And Rosemont is just the second best option.

  • Funn Dave

    Guys, did you miss the last line? We’re moving on. Get over it.

    • Scotti

      hmmmm… Who’s last line said that? Not the Cubs and not even Brett’s (certainly not Stephens).

  • Ballgame17

    I’m not claiming those who’d entertain a move aren’t “true” Cubs fans, but c’mon….those who believe the Cubs are better outside of Wrigley have no credibility in my book. Not saying I’m better than anyone, but good god….if Ricketts wanted the perception to be made of a possible move, that needed to happen from the get-go. Cubs and Wrigley are something that can’t be broken. Too much history and don’t give me the “Yankee Stadium” argument..

    • V23

      So instead, have the Cubs continue to go against other teams with one hand tied behind their back because of less revenue, worse facilities and pressure of lawsuits?

      Wouldn’t a “true” cub fan want the team to win? Growing up near Wrigley, I have a long and true affection for it, but enough is enough.

      I’ve been to new and old Yankee stadium…guess which one is better? (Hint, not the old one).

      Would new facilities, more revenue and more night games help a team win?
      Ask any player, they would say yes.

      Why can’t Ricketts start over with his “threat” of moving. NO WORK HAS BEEN DONE!!

      Are there any Cub fans that actually want and expect a World Series? I’m behind the re-build, but this offseason showed us as fans, that without the stadium renovation, there will be NO ATTEMPT TO CONTEND. That’s not fun for me as a Cub fan.

      I’m surprised more “true cub fans” aren’t as disappointed as I am about this offseason.

      • CubSTH60625

        This isn’t about “wanting to move” or “threatening to move”.

        It’s not going to happen. Not because we want it or don’t want it…Brett has done an outstanding job of throwing a ton of very logical reasons why these past few days/months.

        REMEMBER: The Ricketts own: Wrigley Field and $40 Million in property around Wrigley Field.

        These are facts that get in the way of any discussion on moving to Rosemont or Arlington Heights or whatever…

        • Scotti

          “It’s not going to happen.”

          Clairvoyant some? Anytime someone throws in a “It’s not going to happen” or “Get over it” or whatever, their credibility goes down a notch or a thousand. Did the Dodgers move? Did the Yankees move? More to the point, does the Cub/Chicago relationship suck? As in leaching blood from the Cubs?

          But some sit by and accept it. By doing so, they and they alone, perpetuate it.

          “Not because we want it or don’t want it…Brett has done an outstanding job of throwing a ton of very logical reasons why these past few days/months.”

          I respectfully disagree. He’s given one side of the coin. There is a different side of this coin. He doesn’t feel it so he doesn’t write about it the same way. His site, his right. Doesn’t mean he’s proven anything logically.

          And, with the Cubs saying, “”We are still trying to figure out a solution to renovate (Wrigley)” but that they are “Flattered” with Rosemont’s interest and offer, that just isn’t the Cubs saying, “No, it isn’t going to happen.” Especially when the owner said it could.

          “REMEMBER: The Ricketts own: Wrigley Field and $40 Million in property around Wrigley Field. These are facts that get in the way of any discussion on moving to Rosemont or Arlington Heights or whatever…”

          Wrigley, plus some of of that property cost the Cubs $100M. The McDonald’s property cost $20. $120M that they would sell at a loss but they will also be selling the stake in Comcast ($50) for pennies on the dollar and no one bats an eyelash. Why? The new TV deal will offer more income possibilities. So would a new park in the burbs (parking, additional night games, additional ad buys, additional seating, etc.).

          Plus, what ever city they would move to would put a hell of an offer on the table that blows away whatever their losses on Wrigley are. Rosemont’s initial offer already blows those losses out of the water (25 prime acres and $15M-$18M in FEWER taxes per year).

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

            Come on just admit it you have a pony in this show, you are way to vested in move to be an objective observer and commenters in this whole discussion. It’s a lot of passion and ink for just a fan wish. You go out of your way to discredit anyone (especially Brett as of late) and have gotten really, specifically detailed on the “pro-move” front- especially when related to specific suburbs. Do you own property that will increase if the Cubs move? Do you work for somebody or place that will benefit from a move? Since this new rooftop problem presented itself you’ve been laser focused on this issue.

            • Scotti

              Pretty lame. Do you think, for a second, that anyone with skin in this game would waste time on a blog? Sorry, no.

              And, in regard to discrediting folk, making the absurd comment that I must have ulterior motives (as both you and Brett have done) is obviously an attempt to discredit. Any reader will notice, I don’t discredit Brett, I merely point out some of the facilities of his points. Nowhere have I dragged Brett’s name through the mud (though he, and you, have mine).

              How’s about you stick to maybe debating the actual points I’ve made instead of trying to discredit me? If you can’t, then simply admitting that there is some there there would go a long way to giving YOU credibility.

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

                Mea culpa Scotti you carry on… wasn’t trying to discredit you but now that you turned that page I’m even more suspect. Oh and I’m not looking for credibility in this race- I’m really indifferent with the outcome because I (and you and anybody else without inside information) lack the information to make an informative arguement. But you have been really really detailed with your proposal. But sorry if those dots don’t connect I’ll just leave you alone because I don’t want to upset you- just stating an observation . Carry on… Now why should to Cubs move and to where.

                • Scotti

                  “Now why should to Cubs move and to where.”

                  Trade straight up with Northwestern–Wrigley for Ryan Field. Provided that the City of Evanston builds a dome over Ryan Field. The Cubs could play in the winter and charge fans to park on the Lake Michigan ice…

                  Disclaimer. I was born in Evanston.

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

                And how is asking these questions “dragging your name through the mud?” It wasn’t an attack, it wasn’t even personal but your retort is to deflect the question into charges of besmirching your good and “anonymous” name- a little overreactionary and agressive don’t you think. Oh and earlier you discredited anybody who say “isn’t going to happen” so in that case it’s okay? Very interesting and thank you.

                • Scotti

                  Odd addendum to a mea culpa… To answer your addendum:

                  “And how is asking these questions “dragging your name through the mud?””

                  Suggesting that someone has a hidden, ulterior motive for making a given point is, in fact, dragging one’s name through the mud.

                  “It wasn’t an attack,”

                  Yes, it was. Instead of debating, or not, the various points made, you chose, instead, to suggest that I must have an ulterior motive (again). Since the Internet’s inception “attack the post, not the poster” has been rule #1.

                  “…it wasn’t even personal…”

                  It was personal–directed at me. It wasn’t general.

                  “…but your retort is to deflect the question…”

                  I happen to have ALREADY answered the question. In detail. There is nothing there. But, of course, how can I prove that I’m some simple Cub fan without an agenda? See how that besmirching works? When did you stop beating your wife? Why don’t you come clean and tell us why you are all riled up about the Cubs Wrigley situation? I’d understand if you didn’t, though…

                  “…into charges of besmirching your good and “anonymous” name…”

                  And your “anonymouser” name. Perhaps it means nothing to you. Noted. Michigan Goat has no problems being besmirched because he is anonymouser than folks who use their real first names.

                  “…a little overreactionary and agressive don’t you think.”

                  No. A good name is more desirable than great riches… Even, I suppose, a partially anonymous one.

                  “Oh and earlier you discredited anybody who say “isn’t going to happen” so in that case it’s okay? Very interesting and thank you.”

                  Anyone who says emphatically, “X is NEVER going to happen” has discredited themselves.

                  “The Cubs have zero chance of signing Tanaka” = already discredited.

                  “The Cubs will never win the World Series” = already discredited.

                  “The Cubs will never sign Theo” = already discredited.

                  “The Cubs won’t have a winning record until 20XX” = already discredited.

                  “Hee Seop Choi will never amount to anything” = already discredited.

                  “Ryne Sandberg will never amount to anything” = already discredited.

                  “Angel Pagan will never amount to anything” = already discredited.

                  “Neifi Perez will never amount to anything” = already discredited.

                  “Gary Matthews, Jr. will never amount to anything” = already discredited.

                  “The Cubs will never leave Wrigley Field” = already discredited.

                  “Tom Cruise isn’t gay” = already discredited.

                  Simply put, these statements are feelings, whether negative or positive, and feelings fall into the “hopes and aspirations” category but not something someone can know. These statements are not wrestled though logically, they are emotive. Even Tom Ricketts couldn’t, correctly, say if the Cubs will never leave Wrigley in his lifetime. It’d just be a guess.

                  More to the point, I actually engaged the commentator’s POINTS and answered them in kind–methodically. I did not simply brush them off because of some mythical, secret agenda of selling more hot dogs that he had. See the difference? Of course you do.

                  • mjhurdle

                    best line of this whiny post: ‘Anyone who says emphatically, “X is NEVER going to happen” has discredited themselves.”

                    So, the only universal law is that there are no universal laws?
                    You are literally saying:
                    “Anyone that emphatically states that something will NEVER happen will NEVER do credit to themselves”

                    that is…..classic.

                  • Joshua Edwards

                    Good lord, the only thing worse than watching discussions graduate to off-topic arguments is a Quote War about the nuance of definitions.

                    HEY: BASEBALL.

                    It’s the only reason worth reading anything here. Try to remember.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                A couple things here:

                “Do you think, for a second, that anyone with skin in this game would waste time on a blog? Sorry, no.”

                I guess you would be surprised to learn how inaccurate that has been over the past year.

                “And, in regard to discrediting folk, making the absurd comment that I must have ulterior motives (as both you and Brett have done)”

                Not only did I *not* do that, I went out of my way to say that I wasn’t trying to do that – I merely asked if you had an interest. Given everything, it was a very fair question. You answered, and I said nothing else.

    • mr. mac

      no credibility for voicing an opinion?! hmmm ok.

    • Austin8466

      This guy probably doesn’t believe in saber-metrics either lololol

  • BD

    Just fixing an omission…

    “Moving on, and back to the signage fight.”

    should be…

    “Moving on, and back to the RIDICULOUS signage fight.”

  • J.J.Fannin

    Why don’t you think it makes sense in the long run?

    While a lot of the people that come to the games are only coming to see Wrigley Field, you would be in a much better situation financially if they took the Rosemont offer.

    Fans could fly in to O’Hare and be right there for games. Chicago area people can get there easily on Blue Line, Metra or the Interstate.

    Even if you lose 250,000 fans in attendance from making the move, you would more than make up for it in naming rights to the stadium, signage and parking. Plus as the team improves on the field, so would the attendance.

    • V23

      +1 to JJ

    • Voice of Reason

      The Ricketts family have already had many studies done on Wrigley Field and it’s importance to the team. In fact, they bought Wrigley Field because they know how important it is to the financial future of owning the Cubs franchise.

      Instead of a bunch of guys sitting around a computer and giving some knee jerk opinion, they did professional studies!

      That said, they now own Wrigley Field and a bunch of land around it. THEY ARE NOT LEAVING! They will be patient and let everything play out, even if it means having it play out in the courts.

      The Cubs WILL NOT leave Wrigley Field in our life time so it’s silly to discuss!

    • Ron Swansons Mustache

      Get there easily on the Interstate? Traffic is awful around there without the Cubs. There is no getting anywhere easily on an expressway in Chicago, let alone around rush hour. It’s a terrible idea.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Let’s face it, the only thing that has been moving on are the invoices from a bunch of lawyers offices.
    What if the rooftops can prevent the Cubs from putting up the signage? Wrigley Field in present state is hardly a long term viable stadium. Makes know sense to invest $300 million if they can’t control the revenue streams in the park. As is, the stadium is a failed business model long term.

  • Ballgame17

    I’m just as disappointed/frustrated as you “V23″. Trust me, I’d take a win anywhere but I just don’t see fans being as loyal to a new park as it does at Wrigley (when the team is respectable). Long-term $, it’s worth staying at Wrigley. In a few years, these prospects will be up, videoboard (Jumbotron) will be up, etc. It seems like this whole rooftop situation is taking a turn towards a resolution (not necessarily a quick one). I don’t see why the Cubs can’t come to an agreement with the rooftops who’s view would actually be obstructed. The costs for a settlement could be offset (hopefully) by advertising revenue with RF board and videoboard. It’s just beyond frustrating that a handful of people, literally, are holding this entire thing up.

  • YourResidentJag

    Bruce Levine ‏@MLBBruceLevine 1h
    Being considered as juror for high profile sports lawsuit . Zero chance they will choose me .

  • Blackhawks1963

    Arlington Park…

    1. Beautiful plot of land already exists at the racetrack property.
    2. Churchill Downs Corporation would welcome the ability to partner with the Cubs
    3. Great strategic location for Cub fans living in the 6 county metropolitan area
    4. Hiway, road and Metra rail infrastructure already in place
    5. Ample parking

    Could build a gorgeous state-of-the-art ballpark in Arlington Heights. Would be a HUGE boon to interest in the Cubs, marketing dollars and attendance. Cubs would draw 3 million in their sleep.

    • Ron Swansons Mustache

      There is as much chance of the Cubs moving to Arlington Heights as you thought there was Tanaka would sign with the Cubs.

    • Voice of Reason

      I just don’t get why people can’t get it through their heads.

      There is a very good reason that the Ricketts family bought Wrigley Field. Because they had professional studies done. Not just what they thought, but professional studies on what Wrigley Field means to the Cubs franchise. Remember that the Ricketts are worth MILLIONS OF DOLLARS and successful. They didn’t get that way by making quick decisions or decisions based solely on what they thought.

      That’s why the Ricketts family insisted that Wrigley Field be part of buying the Cubs or they weren’t going to buy the franchise.

      So, those who want the Cubs to move I have, but two questions:

      1. What will they do with Wrigley Field and the land around it if they move?
      2. If you think it would be great financially then why did the Ricketts family INSIST that Wrigley Field be part of purchasing the Chicago Cubs?

      • V23

        Sure, every rich guy from other industries knows EVERYTHING about sports.

        Plus, it was his daddy that made the money.

        Lastly, consultants are crap mostly.

        • Ron Swansons Mustache

          Just a ridiculous response. If the Cubs thought it were best for the franchise to leave Wrigley they would. Anyone who doesn’t think they’ve had studies done on what Wrigley and the location means to the brand and the bottom line is an imbecile.

          • V23

            No one says they didn’t do a “study” or whatever. I could give a hayden simpson if they did a study or not. Did the study factor in wasted years, lawsuits, governmental bodies, and a fan base that is shrinking? Ask kids about the cubs, and the answer you get will not be positive.

            Most homes (besides us diehards) stopped watching the cubs like July 4th.
            You don’t think that hurts a brand? Look at the offseason the White Sox had vs the Cubs. It kills me to say, but they did a lot without spending that much. Cubs? 5th Outfielders and a late inning guy (who’s being forced into closing).

            Your head in the sand trust of Ricketts (who’s sole accomplishment is hiring Theo and shackling him to the fence) is disturbing.

            Most rich guys kids are idiots, and I’m scared we got a family of them.

            • jp3

              Sounds like you were taking a shot at Diehardthefirst’s home V23, he may take offense

              • Diehardthefirst

                I resemble that remark

        • hansman

          I dunno, Tom did a good job of building one of the world’s largest international bond firms.

          • V23

            NOOOOOOPPE. His daddy did and name him prez. cmon chief.

            • hansman

              Uh-huh.

            • DarthHater

              Yea, right. Please cite one iota of evidence that Joe Ricketts created Tom Ricketts’ investment banking company.

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

                Hmmm “evidence?” Now you’re just speaking Sith jibberish.

              • Diehardthefirst

                Ergo ipso facto

                • DarthHater

                  Bovem stercus, ergo sum.

                  • mjhurdle

                    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

                    • hansman

                      Respondeo melius est

                      (hooray google translate)

                    • mjhurdle

                      Amêndoa alegrias são impressionantes

                    • hansman

                      Almond Joys SUCK…

                      Google Translate THAT!

                    • mjhurdle

                      hmm, i put it in and it translates to:
                      “Tanaka has made up his mind”

                      SOMEONE ALERT TWITTER!!!

      • Scotti

        “There is a very good reason that the Ricketts family bought Wrigley Field.”

        Yes, because Zell couldn’t get as much for the Cubs in pieces as he could together. The buyers PREFERRED for the State (or anyone) to buy Wrigley and be on the hook for repairs to the renter’s specifications. He got few bites and none to his liking.

        “That’s why the Ricketts family insisted that Wrigley Field be part of buying the Cubs or they weren’t going to buy the franchise.”

        Didn’t happen. No matter how many times you make this claim.

        “…If you think it would be great financially then why did the Ricketts family INSIST that Wrigley Field be part of purchasing the Chicago Cubs?”

        Again, didn’t happen. The only time the Ricketts family balked was when Zell sold the TV/Radio rights to WGN (a company Zell owned) AFTER the initial $900M was agreed to between the parties. Zell backed down and the Ricketts bought their share of the Cubs for $50M less.

        “What will they do with Wrigley Field and the land around it if they move?”

        They’ll sell and take a loss but #1 they only paid $100M for the Stadium and about a dozen lots around the field ($700M for the Cubs, $100M for Wrigley and other properties and $50M for their share of the Comcast TV deal). At most they lose $50 million and that is stretching it. Wrigley itself would still have value (Northwestern University Football, Chicago Park District, the State (IHSA) and concert promoters would all have valid reasons to purchase the historic park at a discount (especially as it would no longer need $500M in park and area development to be viable–just stop the concrete from falling)).

        #2 Where ever they wind up, there is a deal that they will be offered that FAR exceeds any possible losses on the property. Rosemont has already offered 25 prime acres for free and an Amusement Tax that is only 3% to Chicago’s oppressive 13% (and Chicago is talking about raising theirs). That’s at $19.5M at current prices on a full house in Chicago at $4.5M in Rosemont (the AT in Rosemont is the Cook County AT–Rosemont fought it in the courts for their businesses). That savings ALONE is $15M per year. The difference only grows as the Cubs raise prices (they will) and the City of Chicago raises the AT (they will). Modest increases bring the difference up to $18M per year.

        $18M per year pay for whatever losses the Cubs realize in selling Wrigley and far more. The Cubs also paid $50M for their 20% stake in Comcast. What happens when they get a new media deal? Well, they sell that 20% to Comcast, Wirtz and Reinsdorf at pennies on the dollar (without the Cubs the value plummets). But, of course, they will make tons more elsewhere. Same with leaving Wrigley.

        *Wrigley has little parking and the team loses up to $20M because of it.
        *Wrigley has the worst access of all major sports teams in America (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA) and they lose massive money because of it. There are millions of fans who rarely go because it’s so damn hard to get a family in there.
        *Wrigley is limited on night games and loses millions in gate and, far more importantly, ad revenue because of it. The difference in a new TV deal–even on just 10-15 additional games per year–would be phenomenal.
        *Wrigley is, to date, not allowed to put up outfield ads or a video-board and they lose money because of it (and, even if what has been approved at Wrigley ever gets built, it would pale in comparison to what could be generated with two video-boards and a digital replica of the Scoreboard that can have ads).
        *Wrigley is stuck at 41k per game. Adding 4k (essentially the rooftops total) would put them at 11th in capacity and generate $16.4M per year at current ticket/concession rates and 75% capacity of those extra seats (20% increase in ticket/concessions and 90% = $23.6M per year).
        *Wrigley can be FRIGID in April and into May. Nothing you can do about it (and lower attendance) but you could build a retractable roof in any burb you move to. No more rain delays (affecting ad buys), no more “doubleheaders” (having to close down Wrigley between games), etc.

        • Voice of Reason

          Scotti:

          Either you’re delusional or you have no clue what you type!

          The Cubs INSISTED that Wrigley Field be part of the Cubs purchase.

          Just by you saying that the Cubs are going to sell Wrigley Field and take a loss shows you have no business sense at all!

          All your other notes, which by the way appear to be as lengthy as the Bible, are irrelevant. You see, the Cubs are not moving away from Wrigley Field.

          They won’t move for the reasons I keep trying to explain and get through your head. You sit down and type all this stuff out when the Ricketts have had studies done by professionals. Not by some guy who is sitting behind his computer and giving his opinion on some little website.

  • Fastball

    I hate this topic. Can we move it to another page so I don’t ever have to see it? I don’t care anymore!

  • salesguy

    In light of the Kaplan article, and Brett’s analysis. It makes sense now why the “move” offer is not being entertained with more seriousness than it has been. It appears as if the cubs have the upper hand (at least from what little I’ve read) couple that with millions of dollars in corporate attorneys at the ready, and the plan seems clear. They wanted to give the rooftops a chance to cooperate, litigation is often costly, somewhat unpredictable, and takes time, to say nothing of the PR fallout. However, now that the rooftops are seemingly digging their heels in, and don’t seem to be on board, the cubs have little option here, just hope this doesn’t put them too far behind.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Papa Mayor Daley tho a Sox fan would have building inspected to death each of the Rooftoppers

  • Diehardthefirst

    And if that didn’t work he would’ve found a way to annex the Rosemont land into Chicago and let the Cubs move there- then he would’ve condemned each of the Rooftoppers bldgs and use the land for parking to serve the church he would put on the Wrigley site- miss the good old days!!!

  • Diehardthefirst

    Res Ipsa Loquitor

    • hansman

      Is that latin for “That’s what she said”?

      • Diehardthefirst

        Means the thing speaks for itself- a legal bootstrap to prove a case without direct evidence- applies to Ricketts business financing

  • Diehardthefirst

    Obviously Ricketts didn’t heed caveat emptor

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