Throughout all three rounds of the will-the-Cubs-leave-Wrigley-Field drum banging sessions – when public financing options fell through a couple years ago, when the City struggles were ongoing last year, and now that the rooftop battle is reaching a fever pitch – there hasn’t been a single sourced report that indicated the Cubs were seriously considering the possibility of abandoning Wrigley Field.
Sure, there were whispers of some members of the ownership group wanting to think about it, there were overtures from various suburbs, and there were public statements that left all possibilities on the table. But there wasn’t a report saying, yes, the Cubs are actually thinking about going down this path. Although it probably cost them some leverage throughout, it also recognized the reality of the value of Wrigley Field in its present location.
And now Dan Bernstein reports this:
Sources: #Cubs frustration w/rooftops' intransigence is high enough that they are discussing "unavoidable prospect" of options elsewhere.
— Dan Bernstein (@dan_bernstein) February 6, 2014
I share it with you mostly because it is something of a first report, not necessarily because I buy it entirely. I have stated my case about the implausibility/undesirability of a move countless times over the past few years, and I’m disinclined to get into it again today because of this tweet.
Suffice it to say this report could get another very public conversation going, and it’s worth discussing. Maybe the Cubs really do start exploring other options – despite a yearlong effort to secure approvals from the City, despite agreements with multiple sponsors for ads at the current Wrigley Field, and despite the Ricketts Family buying up tens of millions of dollars of property all around Wrigley, and despite the inherent value of a century-old ballpark that draws fans from around the world by itself (a ballpark that is the singular focus of the Cubs’ promotional efforts this year) – and I will simply sit with my ears and eyes open for what is to follow.
Probably nothing. But maybe this report takes the public campaigning to an entirely new level.