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respect wrigleyThroughout 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:

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.

  • brainiac

    we all saw this coming. but let’s remember that this has nothing to do with the rooftops. those guys are just scapegoats for the PR plan. there’s simply more money for ricketts in a new stadium built by a suburb’s tax funds.

    sounds like the cubs are going to move by o’hare, if not soon within the next 6-7 years.

    • hansman

      Moving next to O’Hare would be a disaster.

      • Stinky Pete

        Oh come on, man. I mow my lawn. I’m not that bad.

        • TWC

          Heh.

        • hansman

          Eh, if I had to chose between the Rooftops and you…I would become homeless.

      • brainiac

        gotta give them credit, though. they’ve created a very effective PR narrative and stuck to “the plan” without fail. “sticking to the message” works when you want your way. over time people believe the message as true if they hear it enough. good businesses are run that way. and apparently bad sports teams.

        • hansman

          I’ve said it all along, the move issue will only become a real thing when the Cubs can’t get anywhere with the rooftops. Tom doesn’t want to be the evil greedy owner that moved the Cubs from Wrigley, but if his hand is forced, what could he do.

          Just think, we could be a real MLB franchise like most of the rest of them out there.

    • Jim

      Where, in Bernstein’s tweet, do you get the sense the Cubs are going to move in the O’Hare area? Outside of Rosemont offering land, there has not been any comments from other municipalities offering the Cubs any incentives to move.

      • BenRoethig

        From an transportation aspect, Rosemont works the best. You have CTA Blue, Metra, and the Rosemount transit station right next door and the Cumberland Greyhound a few blocks away. Plus its right off the parking lot… I mean interstate. There’s plenty of parking if they could double purpose the private garages for nights and weekends. There’s also lots of hotels. You get to tap into both the city and the ‘burbs. There’s also room to build a new mixed use Wrigleyville.

        They should have been talking about this a year ago. If the Rooftops are faced with their properties being worth nothing, they’ll either back off or want to sell. They lose out big time if Wrigley’s a museum.

    • snakdad

      If that had really been the plan, they would have seriously started exploring moving a year ago.

    • fossilhippie

      I think you’re wrong – this has everything to do with the rooftops and trying to maximize revenue streams as quickly as possible where they are at now. I believe that relocating games elsewhere for a year or 18 months and doing all the work at once will drive the rooftops out of business quickly or force them to the bargaining table with their tails between their legs.

      • Edwin

        Wouldn’t playing elsewhere for 18 months to a year create a scheduling nightmare?

        • fossilhippie

          It would if we were talking about this year, but other teams have done it while they were working on existing parks. It can be done.

    • DarthHater

      “this has nothing to do with the rooftops. those guys are just scapegoats for the PR plan. there’s simply more money for ricketts in a new stadium built by a suburb’s tax funds.”

      Okay, so you expect people to believe that what the Ricketts have really wanted all along is to move to the suburbs for profit reasons and–for the purpose of obtaining PR cover for that strategy–they have spent the last couple years: (1) pretending to negotiate with the rooftops; (2) pretending to negotiate with city officials; (3) working through the long process of getting city approval for a series of sham renovation plans, new night-game schedules, etc.; (4) negotiating sham agreements with sponsors for new advertising at Wrigley; (5) commissioning and publicizing sham renovation plans; and (6) even erecting sham mock-ups of the sham new signs.

      That’s a shitload of paranoia to peddle. But wait, there’s more! You also expect people to believe that the Ricketts have spent tens of millions of dollars buying up property all around the stadium that they want to abandon and that they are doing this for monetary reasons.

      Either you or Ricketts is completely nuts. For the Cubs’ sake, I sure hope it’s you.

      • brainiac

        well this is a nice spin about what i said. just for the record my position is that there never was a plan in the first place. it’s just a code for PR branding and deferment of making large player investments.

        what they’re trying to do is control their second tier profit margins in lateral spaces. they’re trying to do this partly by buying locations in the neighborhood, but that side of the stadium isn’t giving in. so one option is that if profitability isn’t maximized with self-improvement of the stadium, they can still build a giant apartment complex in that desirable neighborhood on the site, recoup purchase costs, and get someone else to build them a new stadium for free and have second tier investments within reach.

        to achieve this goal all they have to do is find someone to blame for upending chicago history that’s not actually responsible and either get their way there, or elsewhere. does anyone thing the rooftops are going to break their contracts just because a billionaire wants them to?

        • brainiac

          put more succinctly, “the plan” is to do what every other team already does, and to put things off as long as possible until they maximize returns. “the plan” is to brand *not* investing in the mlb team as 1) actually a larger process of winning, and 2) the fault of someone else for why they can’t spend on players.

  • LEO L

    Even if they don’t want to move I think this has to be done. Tell saleman (politician) A you want to buy this but you getting a better offer from salesman (politician) B. Even if this something else not exactly what you want. The more real the offer is the more likely salesman A will budge. And you never know, salesman B might give you an offer you cant refuse even if it was not your first choice.

    • Edwin

      I think it’s worth finding out how much it would actually cost to move, but don’t think it will put much pressure on anyone, since I think moving won’t be too attractive to the Cubs.

    • TulaneCubs

      Which makes you wonder why the Cubs org never let salesman B make his pitch in the first place.

  • cubs2003

    I guess Rahm doesn’t have near the clout Daley did. If Daley wanted it to happen while in office, it would be done Millennium Park style. I’m a fan of Wrigley, but everyone has their breaking point, I suppose. Still don’t really believe the threat.

  • Jrock1

    Just move. Winning will fix the rest.

    • Edwin

      Moving is a possible billion dollar investment. I don’t think it’s that simple.

      • hansman

        You could get a burb to pony up A LOT of cash and incentives.

        Just the easing of Amusement Tax is $10M a year.

        • Edwin

          So how do the Cubs finance the other $990MM?

          • hansman

            Well, they have $550M ready to go and over 20 years (figuring this is an amortized payout) that $10M adds up to $200M.

            Any burb would be happy to chip in $220M to get the Cubs to move in. Figure if you can get the Cubs on the hook for 30 years, they should be able to recoup that amount pretty easily.

            • CubSTH60625

              “Any burb would be happy to chip in $220M to get the Cubs to move in. Figure if you can get the Cubs on the hook for 30 years, they should be able to recoup that amount pretty easily.”

              I love how a burb will just “chip in” $220M and the residents of these burbs are going to be…”Ok. Sounds good.”

              • Pat

                Especially, Rosemont which has a total population of around 4,000. Which means about 2,000 residences at the very most.

              • hansman

                I bet you would have a harder time finding a team that was unable to procure funds from a city than finding a team that was able to procure funds from a city to relocate.

            • Edwin

              Where do you get the $550 ready to go?

              • hansman

                The amount they are willing to spend on the renovation. I doubt they have a stack of cash sitting around (unless that is what HR Block is using in their commercials) but I think it is safe to assume that they could come up with a similar amount for a new stadium and all of it’s trappings.

                I’m just spitballing with any of these numbers (just as you are with the $1 billion stadium).

                • Edwin

                  Sure, but I thought the $550 million was only available if they were able to put up the signs to get the extra revenue. Would they still try and put up the signs if they were trying to move?

                  We’re both spitballing here, but the point I was trying to make is that moving is a big financial move, and it’s not so simple to just say “winning will solve everything” or “Location X will just chip in”. These are the things that the Cubs are probably looking into, and it’s one of the things that will determine how serious the threat to move becomes.

                  • hansman

                    In theory, they’d have those signs in the new stadium.

                    I just think the money for building the stadium is the “easy” part of this. Making sure the move is more beneficial over the next 50 years is the part that gives Ricketts heartburn over it.

            • Edwin

              For the $10 Million, you’d need to do a present value of an ordinary annuity to figure out the actual PV.

              • hansman

                Very true; however, with escalating Amusement Tax rates and ticket prices, I bet it isn’t that far off.

            • Kyle

              They don’t have $550m ready to go. They have a plan to generate $550m through signage that won’t be revenue-generating at a new ballpark until it’s finished.

              • brickhouse

                The signage doesn’t come close to covering the 500 million dollar expension

                • Kyle

                  Well, the actually Wrigley Field expansion is only about $300m, the $550m includes real-estate development in the surrounding area.

                  And yes, the Cubs’ plan all along has been to come up with the money for the expansion with revenues generated from new signage, expanded beer sales and more night games.

                  • brickhouse

                    The right field sign and jumbotron are expected to generate about 14 million a year for 10 years from Budweiser

              • hansman

                In theory, they’d have those signs in the new stadium. Plus more than they could have at Wrigley.

                • Kyle

                  “In theory, they’d have those signs in the new stadium.”

                  They won’t have those signs *first*. The signs are worthless until the team actually starts playing games in the new stadium.

                  That’s the entire point of this renovation project being tied to an expansion: For whatever reason, it can’t be done with loans or out of pocket. It has to be pay-as-you-go.

                  • hansman

                    It isn’t pay as you go, if those signs and the other improvements were capable of generating $125M a year, then I think we have the smoking gun as to why the Cubs appear to be a mid-market team compared to other large market teams.

                    • Kyle

                      It doesn’t cost $125m to do a $300m renovation over 5 years or six years.

                    • hansman

                      They just said they could do it in 4 years since they lost a year.

                      If they are performing a pay as they go for all of it, that means those signs have to be able to pay for the hotel and the triangle building.

                      Even if they aren’t going to build the hotel and the Triangle Building until years 5 and 6 of your timeline that still puts signage revenue at $92M a year. If the Cubs are missing out on that kind of revenue (plus the revenue of the surrounding developements), there is your reason as to why payroll is what it is when they are operating at a $100M deficit (before TV contracts and ticket sales) to all the other big-market clubs.

                    • Kyle

                      It’s quite possible they are using Ricketts family money for the hotel and non-Wrigley development parts of the project, and pay-as-you-go for the Wrigley parts.

                      And no, it doesn’t explain why payroll is down, because the Cubs have other revenue streams that other teams don’t have.

                    • hansman

                      So they have $250M in cash equivelants and the signage is expected to achieve $75M in revenue.

                      This is an honest question, What other revenue streams? I, honestly, can not think of any that a team such as the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers don’t also have (due to national fanbases).

                    • CubFan Paul

                      “possible they are using Ricketts family money for the hotel and non-Wrigley development parts of the project”

                      They are. It’s that “Ricketts LLC” or group that’s involved.

        • cavemancubbie

          A billion dollars for a ballpark? That maybe a tad high unless the stadium has a retractable roof, or the land resides in southern California. My guess a Wrigley replica stadium cost would be in the 500-750 million range, not counting cost of land.

          • CubSTH60625

            AT&T Park cost around $357 million in 2000. I don’t know what that would be in 2014 dollars.

            • Edwin

              Marlins park cost $634MM. Target Field cost $545. Mets new park cost $900MM. I’d guess $700-$900 Million would be a good starting point. That’s just contrsruction cost, it doesn’t include land or other expenses incurred as well.

            • ColradoCubbie

              Found a website with a calculator, $357M in 2000 (for construction projects) is somewhere between $458M and $564M today.

              Marlins park is minutes from Miami Beach and Citi Field sits at the junction of Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan. I’d say that property value was a major factor in the costs for those two, Minneapolis is probably the closest for comparison. I’d guess $500-$600M for the Cubs to build a stadium in the suburbs.

              Sure, it will never be Wrigley Field. But on the plus side, it’ll never be Wrigley Field.

        • Edwin

          They also wouldn’t get that amusement tax money until they actually finished and moved into the stadium, which would be at least 2-3 years from now.

  • JulioZuleta

    No doubt you’d lose a considerable segment of city-living fans, but I don’t think there would be much of an attendance hit. I grew up in the NW burbs, and I can tell you that a huge % of the people out there don’t come to games now due to the drive and parking situation. There are a whole lot of fairly wealthy people that would love to see this move happen. A move would be sad, though.

    • Funn Dave

      It’s not just city-living fans, though. It’s a whole segment of the baseball-watching population–Cubs fans and non-Cubs-fans–that go to places like Wrigley and Fenway to bask in the history of the stadium.

      • cubs2003

        It does seem weird to me that the City of Chicago isn’t able to muscle through this like they’ve always done with pretty much everything. Part of me wonders if the Ricketts family’s public support of the Republican party didn’t really hurt their cause. You just don’t do that in Chicago. I do think the N and NW ‘burbs are probably the central fan base of the Cubs. Personally, I’d hate to see Wrigley go.

        • CubsFaninMS

          Politics are particularly nasty these days, so your point may be relevant.

          • cubs2003

            If you’re a registered Republican in Chicago, good luck getting any help from the city about anything. The political machine runs deep.

    • mdavis

      i disagree. a lot of the city uses the L to get to the game. move to Rosemount, and you still can take the L to the games. no big deal.

    • Argonzo

      I’d get season tickets. I know a lot of people out here that’d do the same. I don’t quite know that it’s 1:1 but for an awful lot of the people just going for the park cirremt;y there are fans out here that don’t go to games now because it’s such a pain to get there, park, and get out.

      • Ron Swansons Mustache

        And going to Rosemont would be a huge pain to get there and get out. The suburbs are a shit idea – would be ideal if they had a legitimate option somewhere else in the city.

        • Internet Random

          “And going to Rosemont would be a huge pain to get there and get out.”

          Exactly. That’s why nobody ever flies out of O’Hare.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Absolutely, unequivocally, totally the same thing.

            • Internet Random

              Break it down for me, G.

              • Internet Random

                And no that I don’t favor a move away from Wrigley. But I want to talk about it in terms that comport with reality.

                • Internet Random

                  Know

              • Ron Swansons Mustache

                I’m not Brett but people flying out an airport on business or for personal reasons is not remotely similar to making a choice to attend a baseball game.

                • Internet Random

                  Maybe not. But the location is, and that’s what you said is a pain.

                  Try again.

                  • DarthHater

                    The statement was: “And going to Rosemont would be a huge pain to get there and get out.”

                    Getting to and from an airport in the Rosemont area on the occasions when one is flying in or out of that airport is not comparable to attending a baseball game at a stadium in the Rosemont area.

                    Tried again and done.

                    • Internet Random

                      So you think they’re mutually exclusive? If not, what’s your point?

                    • Internet Random

                      Wait… your point is that getting in and out of Rosemont has nothing in common with getting in and out of Rosemont?

                    • Eternal Pessimist

                      I don’t get how the comparison of flying out of O’hare is unreasonable. Most Chicagoans have had this experience once, twice or a thousand times and know what the expectations are when going there. It is a simple drive from just about anywhere in the North, Northwest, or Western Suburbs.

                      Also, I think it was time to challenge the 800-900 Million dollar cost of a new stadium…and Rosemont already offered to kick in the land for free. For the record I prefer to stay at Wrigley, but if the cost of this decision is another 100 year of loveable suckiness due to financial constraints I for one am more than ready to accept a move.

              • TWC

                “Break it down for me, G.”

                It’d be badass it this was the opening to an IR/Ace epic rap battle.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                You want me to break down the difference between groups of people traveling constantly in and out to an international airport, and 30 to 40,000 people coming together at the same time to go to a ballpark (and then leaving at the same time)?

                I think I just did.

                *Drops rap battle mic.*

                • cubs2003

                  Haha! The short answer, to me, is that the city is fun and the suburbs are boring. I certainly mean no disrespect to people who live in the ‘burbs. Better schools, safer streets, totally makes sense to me. Especially if you’re raising a family. I honestly think that of about the 20-30 people I’ve had to convince to see a Cubs game with me over the last few years, I could have gotten about 2 to go with me to Rosemont/Arlington Heights. Just my experience.

                  • Internet Random

                    This, I agree with.

                  • ChrisFChi

                    I can honestly say, almost everyone I know goes into the city for some fun. The suburbs are quite boring(at least on the south side of the city.) Usually in the summer we spend our weekends downtown. Its always fun to catch a ball game, grab some good food, hit the bars/clubs exc…. I don’t see the Cubs moving away from downtown. I would make the trip to see them if they did move, but all the other entertainment the ‘burbs lack that and I think that aspect may hurt them in the long run.

                • Internet Random

                  Your point is that getting 30 to 40,000 people in one place at one time has nothing in common with moving a couple hundred thousand people through one place over the course of a day?

                  I don’t think that’s true. I think that there might well be some common attributes between them.

                  I don’t (yet) see any reason to think that one place might be good at both things.

                  But assuming for the sake of argument that, that’s true, just saying it’s different doesn’t explain why Rosemont would be any bigger of a pain than Wrigley. Again, assuming that that were true, you’re only making the point that being good at the one thing doesn’t necessarily make you good at the other.

                  What is it about Rosemont’s location and/or infrastructure makes it out of the question? Why is Rosemont a bigger pain than Wrigleyville? How have numerous other suburbs around the country made this supposedly gigantic pain work? What about Illinois suburbanites makes them incompetent to do the type of city planning that other states have done to successfully operate suburban venues?

                  • Internet Random

                    I don’t (yet) see any reason to think that one place *can’t* be good at both things.

                    • Patrick W.

                      Let me try this: Generally speaking, there are as many people arriving at O’Hare airport at a given time as are leaving. The general population from 8am – 5pm remains relatively static. Think of it like an 8oz glass of water under a spigot. If you turn the spigot on you fill up the glass of water to the top and then any more spills over the sides. The glass if full of 8oz of water. Now, put a hole about halfway down the side of the glass. You turn on the spigot, and it can run all day long without filling up the glass.

                    • Internet Random

                      “Let me try this: Generally speaking, there are as many people arriving at O’Hare airport at a given time as are leaving. The general population from 8am – 5pm remains relatively static.”

                      You do see that this indicates that a rush of people is showing up at 8:00 a.m. and then a rush of people is leaving at 5:00 p.m., no?

                      But to address your underlying point, how is Wrigleyville different?

                    • DarthHater

                      Thanks, Patrick. I can hear those goalpost moving machines revving up already…

                    • DarthHater

                      And there they go into action, right on schedule.

                    • Internet Random

                      Where did they start, and where did they move to Darth?

                    • Patrick W.

                      OK, see what I was saying was “generally speaking” it’s not like there’s nobody then all of a sudden everybody then all of a sudden nobody. That’s actually my underlying point. You might think (because it’s a new way to argue) that I’m saying the Rosemont location would be different than Wrigley (it would be in-arguably better) when I’m saying it would be different than O’Hare which is not remotely the same as a Rosemont stadium.

                      If the city of Rosemont wants to open 5 lane exits into Rosemont Field from the highway’s nearby, then sure, it would be great for traffic, but that’s not what is being proposed. Allstate arena does attract crowds of 18K and the traffic getting into and out of there can be as bad as getting into and out of Wrigley but on an about half scale. So, doubling the amount of people in a similarly situated location would be much more similar to Wrigley than to O’Hare.

                    • Patrick W.

                      Back to my glass analogy… O’Hare is the glass with the hole in the middle, the spigot turns on slowly, the water fills up to halfway point as the spigot is turned on more, the spigot makes it to full blast, filling the water level a little higher than the hole, water leaks out, the glass never gets full, the spigot is slowly turned down to off.

                      New ballpark: The water is turned on relatively robustly, the water fills up relatively quickly, the water starts pouring out of the top of the glass, the water is turned over and all of it gets spilled out at once.

                    • Patrick W.

                      Oh and around the holidays the hole in the glass moves up to around 1/3 from the top of the glass and the spigot runs more regularly.

                    • Internet Random

                      I guess I should clarify that I’ve neither implied, nor intended to imply, that the Cubs should play on the tarmac at O’Hare.

                      I’ve shown that getting to Rosemont is not such a huge pain that a couple hundred thousand people can’t do it in a day. And I’ve shown that at least 18,500 people can (and do) do it at the same time to go to Allstate Arena. I don’t have any reason to think, and no one has suggested, that the people of Rosemont aren’t clever enough to increase capacity, *if* that would even be necessary.

                      Rosemont would be a pain, but that alone doesn’t make it implausible, because Wrigleyville is also a pain and we flock there in droves (or did, anyway).

                      I strongly favor keeping the Cubs at Wrigley Field, and I think that, all things considered, Wrigley is the clearly superior venue. But just because I have a strong preference for x, doesn’t mean that y and z are implausibly painful.

                    • TWC

                      I honestly can’t figure out who is arguing what here.

                    • Internet Random

                      I’m arguing that, despite my deep and abiding love and respect for Wrigley Field, travel to Rosemont is not by itself so painful as to preclude operating an MLB stadium there.

                    • hansman

                      You see, there is a glass of water and someone drilled a hole in the side of it because they hate having full glasses of water. But yet they have another glass that they fill to the brim and then just dump it out.

                      Apparently, Patrick doesn’t like drinking water.

                    • Internet Random

                      And that Darth has no idea what “moving the goalpost” is, but rather has read some other people using the phrase, thought that it sounded cool, and is now throwing it into his comments randomly because he thinks it sounds smart.

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

                      I gave up following this arguement two years ago.

                    • Patrick W.

                      I’m not arguing anything.

                      The statement was:

                      ““And going to Rosemont would be a huge pain to get there and get out.”

                      Exactly. That’s why nobody ever flies out of O’Hare.”

                      And Brett responded in a way that seemed to me to be saying “they are not the same thing” and that seemed to cause confusion and so I tried to clear it up.

                      Screw you all.

                    • TWC

                      Would you like a glass of water, Pat?

                    • hansman

                      He’ll just pour it out or drill a hole in it or do something else other than drink water.

                    • Internet Random

                      “I gave up following this arguement two years ago.”

                      Pimpin’ ain’t easy, yo.

                    • DarthHater

                      This started out with somebody making a simple statement that Rosemont would be a pain. IR then suggested that, if that were true, nobody would fly in and out of O’Hare.

                      Of course, that is obviously false on its face, since it’s entirely possibly (and probably true) that people fly in and out of O’Hare in spite of the fact that it’s a pain. Since O’Hare is itself a pain, making comparisons to O’Hare in no way contradicts the contention that Rosemont would be a pain for Cubs games.

                      IR then starts in with arguments to show that it is possible to have large events in Rosemont. No doubt, it is possible, but that was not the issue. The issue was whether Rosemont is a pain. Goalposts just moved. Boom.

                      Then we get the statement that: “Rosemont would be a pain, but that alone doesn’t make it implausible, because Wrigleyville is also a pain and we flock there in droves.”

                      First, “Rosemont would be a pain” is a concession of the point that was originally being contested. I thought the existence of O’Hare was supposed to prove that Rosemont would not be a pain. Which is it, man?

                      Second, the initial point was not whether Rosemont is plausible, but whether it would be a pain. Goalposts just moved again. Boom.

                      Third, “Wrigley is also a pain” may be a legitimate point, but it does not support the suggestion that the existence of O’Hare somehow means that Rosemont is not a pain. Goal posts just moved again. Boom.

                      Finally, when all else fails, conduct a diversionary action by attacking Darth’s use of the goal post analogy. I won’t even dignify that by calling it a goal post move. It’s just simple, everday douchebaggery.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I don’t know what to think when you two fight. Up is down and all that.

                    • Internet Random

                      To spare those for whom this has grown tiresome, I’ll reply on the message board and post a link here when I get a chance.

                      Preview: My hair is a bird. Darth’s arguments are invalid.

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

                      I’m just waiting for Scotti to join the conversation.

                    • Patrick W.

                      All I know is this: That glass of water analogy was the best goddamn part of the entire discussion.

                    • Internet Random

                      I doubt anyone other than Darth would be interested in the exciting continuation of this enthralling saga… but, as promised, here’s the link:

                      http://www.bleachernation.com/forum/index.php?/topic/3012-bickering-that-no-one-other-than-those-already-involved-would-care-about/

                  • Internet Random

                    Oh… and Allstate Arena. Somehow 18,500 concertgoers plus employees can get there in Rosemont at the same time.

                    No, that’s not 40,000, but it’s evidence that Rosemont can get many thousands of people together at the same time and in the same place.

                    • Brocktoon

                      Have you ever been to a concert or tourney game at Allstate? It’s a nightmare getting out of there.

                • Eternal Pessimist

                  But Brett, when I drive to Wrigley (from the Western suburbs) I not only have to pass by Rosemont, but then endure the ridiculous travel through the narrow neighborhood streets of chicago (usually just one lane in each direction). The bottlenecks to Wrigley are second to none.

                  I go to Blackhawk games and manage to get in and out, right off the 290, pretty well.

        • Norm

          “And going to Rosemont would be a huge pain to get there and get out.”
          ha, compared to how easy it is to get in and out of Wrigley?

          Rosemont has public transportation and a couple of interstates within minutes.

          • Ron Swansons Mustache

            And the interstates are a clusterfuck without a stadium that is going to draw 40K. What do you think will happen when you add that to the mix?

            Not to mention Brett did a great job of showing how many people were near potential locations and Wrigley by far had the biggest population based on proximity to draw from.

            Let me guess – Rosemont would be easier for you.

            • Norm

              Rosemont would be easier for 95% of the people who don’t live in Chicago, so of course it would.
              But that doesn’t mean I’d go. I haven’t gone to a game in years and I’m very content going to Kane County Cougars games and watching the Cubs on TV.

              • Ron Swansons Mustache

                95%? We’ll just have to agree to strongly disagree there.

                People really strongly discount the spur-of-the-moment sales Wrigley brings in, especially with a competitive team.

                • mr. mac

                  “People really strongly discount the spur-of-the-moment sales Wrigley brings in, especially with a competitive team.”

                  When the team is competetive most games are sold out in advance anyway, so I don’t think the spur of the moment sale factors too much into this.

        • Argonzo

          Who said anything about Rosemont? Hell, there’s a nice location off of 53 in Arlington Heights where the Sheraton used to be. Right by the racetrack. And because of the racetrack that interchange knows something about large amounts of people. Metra station is right there too.

          • Diehardthefirst

            The Cubs Rooftoppers contract may not require the Cubs to use Wrigley for baseball- why not convert to a year round indoor soccer- music venue owned by Ricketts while moving Cubs to burbs?

          • Brocktoon

            Arlington has 1 event a year that is close to the size of a sold out crowd at Wrigley and it happens on a weekend

            • Argonzo

              Well is there any direct model for comparison in terms of attendance and traffic? Soldier Field perhaps. It’s not available. Given the proximity of the highway and public transit I’d say US Cellular is somewhat comparable to the AH spot. It’s not exactly Hell on Earth to get out of there.

              Did I miss Wrigley being well-known for its traffic-handling advantages? In terms of traffic anything is better than what’s already there.

              • Brocktoon

                Nobody’s saying Wrigley is a breeze to get in and out of via car, but when one of the selling points is “look how convenient Location B is” and it’s not convenient at all, well…

                • Argonzo

                  I disagree in that it’s not convenient at all. It’s certainly convenient to the suburbs. It’s right off a major highway and there’s a Metra station right there.

  • Funn Dave

    Oh, geez. Why is the need to renovate so urgent that they can’t just wait out the rooftop contracts?

    • cubzfan23

      Was this meant to be a serious question.

      • Funn Dave

        Yes.

        • Brocktoon

          #PoorTomRicketts

    • 65frank

      Have you ever taken a tour of Wrigley Field (if you haven’t done it, I would recommend it)? Yes it’s a historic ballpark but you have to understand that the facility is also historic, meaning that it’s at least 30 years out of date. There is no weight room near the clubhouse, the batting cages are under the LF stands (modern ballparks have a cage near the dugout so the bench players can get loose), and I think my HS locker room had more room than the visitor’s locker room. This park is in desperate need of an update. If you want a vision of what Ricketts wants to do with the Cubs facilites, just look at their spring training facility in Arizona.

      • aaronb

        He certainly spared no expense in Arizona.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I thought the City of Tempe paid for the stadium in AZ.

          • aaronb

            They did, 100% of it.

            • Brocktoon

              Maybe we could get Mesa to pay for this too? Tell them we won’t develop the land around the park otherwise…oops

      • Funn Dave

        Which is why they should have gone ahead and started those renovations this offseason.

  • MatthewP

    Regardless of how anyone feels personally about a move or not, it seems to me that it’s a common-sense procedure when you take into account just how many procedural hurdles the Cubs have to jump over just to renovate their own ballpark. It’s completely unique from every ballpark everywhere.

    The only thing that is surprising (to me) is if they are really only *now* having these discussions.

  • dash

    If the threat (to leave Wrigley) is ever going to be taken seriously, the Cubs must at the very least be in serious negotiations to go somewhere else. At the end of the day, the threat is still just a bluff; but only the Cubs need to know that.

  • hawkboy64

    Just an observation where’s Tunney at now had his nose in everything wht isn’t he more involved in getting the rooftops to settle or cut some kind of deal.

  • TTH

    This should have been leaked, at least, six-eight months ago.

    • hansman

      It’s probable the Cubs weren’t seriously discussing a move 6-8 months ago.

      • Kyle

        It’s probably they aren’t seriously discussing a move now.

        • hansman

          More seriously than they were 6-8 months ago.

          Odds are any discussion is not as serious as the Braves discussions to move but I’d venture a guess it’s a contingency-plan serious level where they are discussing where they would want to move to and what they would need and what would trigger it becoming Option A-2 instead of Option C.

        • TTH

          Exactly, Kyle. It would have been a more realistic negotiating ploy before buying up other property in the area and constantly declaring that they don’t want to move. Now it seems like a an idle threat.

  • terencemann

    Has there been any more recent news on their decision to go ahead with the renovation and just force the RTOs to litigate?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No – and it wasn’t the renovation, it was the right field sign, only. The Cubs filed for the permit. That was the last thing.

  • ChicagoJoe

    Does it have to be to the suburbs?

    Maybe there is some grand bargain to be had w/ the city about a development plan in another part of the city which would include some sort of public funding mechanism.

    I know the city is broke, but if you are operating under the premise that Lakeview can survive is an altered state life after the Cubs (which I think a lot of Lakeview residents would have you believe), City Hall would seem to have a lot to gain from creating a post-Wrigley development plan for the area which keeps it afloat while at the same time getting the Ricketts to pump a ton of money into another underdeveloped area of the city.

    • cubs2003

      The North Side – South Side stuff is pretty tough to work around. The Cabrini Green site was probably the best option. There just isn’t much undeveloped land on the North Side. I would guess a move would be to the suburbs. Build in Rosemont or take over Arlington Park racetrack are the only real options I can think of. I personally don’t like either option.

      • willis

        I like the idea of Rosemont selfishly. Non stop from Mem to O’Hare in the morning, hit the game, be home by dinner. Outstanding.

        • thoskam

          I think a lot of local Cubs fans underestimate the number of out-of-state Cubs fans there are. It seems every time I visit I talk to more out of towners than locals. A lot of people (like me) are transplanted Cub fans. I remember reading once that next to the Yankees and Dodgers the Cubs had the largest national fan base (this was a while ago so that might have changed now). Im just saying having a Stadium closer to O’Hare might just increase attendance.

        • aaronb

          In and out for less than 200 bucks.

          • Brocktoon

            I got that same deal at my buddy’s bachelor party

    • The New No. 2

      This is what I’ve been suggesting. It makes no sense for the Cubs to move to the suburbs unless somebody is going to build a stadium for them. But that doesn’t mean that Wrigley Field is the only place in the city for a new stadium.

      I think if the key to staying in the city is access to transportation. That means any site should be close to the highways and public transit. Any property must also be underdeveloped.

      I think there are at least 2 viable locations within the current city limits that could serve as intriguing possibilities. The first spot would be at Harrison and the river. It’s a tight site so parking logistics might get tricky but it is bigger than Wrigley, centrally located near the loop, and you’d have some pretty sweet views of the city. A similar location with more room would be along the river just south of Roosevelt. The L is only a coupe blocks away and the site is large enough for a stadium and plenty of parking and commercial development. The south Loop can become the new Wrigleyville overnight.

      Or the Cubs can look to their own past and find a location on the West Side. There have to be locations near the UC that could work. It would be close to the L, bus lines, the Ike, and downtown. There would be the Reinsdorf factor to consider but in the end I think a west side site could work out for the Cubs, the fans, and the city.

  • Johnny Chess

    Play the day games at Wrigley and the Night Games at Ricketts Field

    • Chiburgh

      Preperation H Ricketts Field

  • cavemancubbie

    With all due respect Brett, I just don’t buy into the theory that people go to Wrigley, not to see a baseball game, but a historical site. Wrigley field is not the Washington or Lincoln monuments. Visitors want to see a baseball game, drink a little beer, eat some iconic food and would rather do it in the evening rather than the heat of the day. When I visited Boston some years ago, Concord impressed me more than Fenway and I am a baseball freak more than a historian. As to spending money on land and buildings, corporations as well as individuals rarely use rational logic

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s more nuanced than people going PURELY to see Wrigley (although I’m sure many more than you think do). It’s casual Cubs fans who go to Wrigley because it’s Wrigley and they happen to also kinda/sorta like the Cubs (and Wrigleyville is a lot of fun). There are huge swaths of these types that, in my opinion, would not do the same thing in a new suburban park.

      • brickhouse

        Anywhere from 1/3 to 40% of fans attending Cubs games come from out of state and are tourists. This advantage disappears if you move to a new park where you need to win to fill seats.

    • Funn Dave

      You wouldn’t believe the number of people who plan their vacations around visiting historic ballparks.

      • Los_Capitanos

        Just how many historic ballparks are out there these days? You’ve got Fenway and Wrigley. Am I missing something here?

        Chicago and Boston have a lot more to offer than old ballparks.

        • Brocktoon

          Right so those people travelingn to chicago would just skip the ball game and head to the shedd that day instead

  • boomindanny

    i like dan bernstein a lot, but he has been anything but credible when it comes to cubs rumors. his source first said girardi was almost a lock. then his source said that they were going to get tanka. now his sources say they may leave wrigley. i’ll assume that this means the cubs will settle this dispute by the week’s end.

    i know its just a source, and rumors are rumors, but iz call em like iz see em.

    • beerhelps

      And Kerry Wood has a contract in Tom’s desk….

    • Los_Capitanos

      Bernstein never said Girardi was a lock. Bernstein never said Tanaka was coming to the Cubs. All Bernstein’s sources told him was that the Cubs were making serious runs at Girardi and Tanaka, not just making it loook like they’re trying. Big difference.

      • Jon

        Problem is, anyone can tweet vague statements like that. He’s never broke anything specific. Him and Boers make up “sources” to drive ratings on their show.

        • CubFanBob

          Kinda like a guy named Jon Greenberg

        • Los_Capitanos

          Yes, but it’s certainly plausible the Cubs would be discussing such options, if they haven’t already had in depth conversations on the issue.

          I don’t believe this is made up. It’s not like saying ‘they’re discussing moving’ is breaking any big news story. Any team owner with a brain would have that contingency plan in place. We’ve seen it a lot of times when teams are trying to get a new stadium.

        • JCubs79

          This is a pretty stupid statement. They’ve had their show and been in the sports talk business for a very long time. I highly, highly, highly doubt they make up their sources. They have likely heard it from someone in the industry.

    • boomindanny

      i wanna be clear that i don’t think he is making up a source. i also believe that someone he knows has told him the cubs will maybe move. what i was saying is that his sources in the past year have been inadequate at best and ignorant at worst.

  • Blackhawks1963

    As a long-time Cub fan who wants nothing more than for this franchise to succeed, my great hope is they move to Arlington Park and build a brand new state-of-the art on a beautiful piece of property that already has hiways, roads, parking, train line and infrastructure to support. I am so incredibly sick and tired of Wrigley Field coming before winning baseball. Dump this ludicrous love affair with a ballpark that has DEFINED losing for nearly 100 years.

    Wrigley is a dump. Access to the joint sucks too. I want to market a winning ballclub…not a friggin ballpark!

    MOVE. NOW.

    • cubzfan23

      Amen… Could not of said it better.

      • TWC

        Actually, though I don’t agree with them, man, many people have said it better.

    • Chiburgh

      You are correct, sir.

  • bridgeview_jay

    Here is a crazy idea to stick it to the rooftop owners. It might work if the contract wasn’t through 2024. I would try to split the home games for the remainder of the contract between Miller Park and Comiskey. You come back to Wrigley when the contract is over. The rooftop owners will shake in their boots after the first year after losing out on all that revenue and sell to the Cubs.

    • Edwin

      I don’t MLB would allow that. Plus, it probably screws over whoever the Cubs contract with for ballpark services, and they’d probably lose a ton due to probable lower attendance, plus probably having to “rent” time at Miller and The Cell. Plus there’s a good chance that scheduling conflicts would arrise.

      It’s an interesting thought, but I can’t see how it’s even close to be realistic situation.

  • Jon

    It’s cute when Bernstein pretends he has “sources”

    • Funn Dave

      haha

  • Ballgame17

    “Wrigley is a dump”?? 0% chance a Cubs fan would feel like this. Pisses me off that someone would say this. Calling a place a dump that Babe Ruth played in, just don’t get it…

    BH1963, I’m twice as confident (if that’s even possible) in the Cubs not moving as you were in Tanaka going to the Yankees. A few of you are talking about projects that would take years and years to develop. Not to mention, $100’s of millions. We needed to play this “bluff” card a long time ago for it to be really effective, but it seems like the contract language favors the Cubs. Less than 15 building owners are creating ALL of this. I don’t wish ill will on anyone, but….

    • Jon

      Stacked side by side against the amenities and comforts of other ballparks in baseball, yes Wrigley is a dump. I don’t know how anyone could debate that. If it wasn’t the Ricketts wouldn’t be trying to sink 500 million into it

    • Los_Capitanos

      Lifelong Cubs fan and season ticket holder. Wrigley is a dump.

    • Patrick W.

      Well, let me be the exception that proves the rule. I love the Cubs. I love Wrigley Field. Wrigley Field, behind the seats, is a dump. I am a season ticket holder, I have been to about 200 games in the last 10 seasons (I live in Seattle) so I’ve spent a fair amount of time there, and it’s just not a great place when you’re not in your seat. I hope the Cubs never leave Wrigley, I hope to spend 90 or so days a year there starting around the year 2035, and I hope it has EXTENSIVE renovation before then. The concourses are narrow and dark, the restrooms are often disgusting, and I feel like they invented the word dank to describe Wrigley Field in humidity above 50%. When I am sitting in my seat there’s no better place on earth, but until I get there and after I leave it, it’s just terrible.

      • When The Musics Over

        Weathering a few severe storms at Wrigley over the years, one complete with tornado alarms blaring and all, has offered some interesting experiences.

      • TWC

        “I feel like they invented the word dank to describe Wrigley Field in humidity above 50%.”

        My ass is still sweaty from that 3.5 hour rain delay 20k of us huddled through in the concourse in July 2012.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          “My ass is still sweaty…”

          Since 2012 you say? I think it’s time you consider some other possible causes;)

          • Brocktoon

            Too much olestra in the diet

  • josh ruiter

    My question is, in relation to the rooftops saying to restrict the view breaches a contract of ticket sales…would moving to a brand new location do the exact same thing? Would leaving Wrigley while having a contract in place with outside revenue parties breach the contract in the same way and in direct effect, leave the Cubs exactly where they are today…facing allegations and lawsuits for breach of contract? Also, when is this contract up? 2017? If the Cubs do proceed to purchase (or are gifted) a new piece of land and proceed to build a stadium in the “burbs”, wouldn’t that open in 2016 at the earliest? That means 1-2 years of revenue gained for 700+ million dollars spent over the amount of the renovation? Is that 1-2 years add up to 700+ million in revenue, not to mention the landmark status, wrigleyville atmosphere, and whole scene that is the Cubs as part of Chicago?

  • Senor Cub

    I hope they move a state of the art stadium….if NYY can do it, so can the Cubs. I will be first in line to get season tickets. I’ve enjoyed going to Wrigley throughout the years but because they aren’t in Wrigley, it would not stop me from being a fan.

    Enough with these arguments about “it won’t be the same” well DUH…that’s why it’s called moving. It will be better. Out with the OLD and in with the NEW!

    • Ron Swansons Mustache

      The new Yankees stadium was across the street from the old one – not even remotely an apt comparison.

  • Ballgame17

    I was saying that with everything taken into consideration, Wrigley is not a dump. Hell yes, it needs renovations and lots of it but to ever call it a dump under any circumstance is inappropriate. They’re trying to modernize it with the outdoor plaza, videoboard, new clubhouses etc., so it’ll look a lot different. There’s been some heavy duty foundation work being done all offseason, so I don’t understand saying nothing is being done. Just nothing major enough to excite fans. The time is coming, don’t give up guys. F-ing rooftop owners, that’s who I’m actually pissed at not any of you..

    • Los_Capitanos

      You lose people when you say it’s not a dump. It has netting set up all over the concourse to catch falling concrete! Right there, that fact, makes Wrigley a dump.

  • mccleave79

    If they want to stay in Wrigleyville, why can’t the Cubs offer to help the rooftop owners build up? Seems like a win-win. Building up and adding a few more floors creates additional revenue opportunities.

    Also, aside from all historical aspects, moving to Rosemont wouldn’t be so bad. Logistically, you have the blue line, airport, metra, and the intersection of major highways. Plenty of parking lots (tailgates). There is a casino right there. Plenty of hotels and convention centers. Plenty to do outside the stadium with MB Financial Park and plenty room to grow out. If we can get over the idea of moving out of Wrigleyville, it really is a perfect option. Ricketts can go wild with building out of a stadium in that area.

  • jammin502

    I have mentioned this before, and I look at ballparks like Pittsburgh and Cincinnati that sit on the water and how nice it all looks. When you look at Soldier Field there is a boat dock canal to the east of it and then a large plot of empty land to the east of that called Northerly Island. I think that would be an awesome place to build the new ballpark, right on Lake Michigan with a nice walking bridge across that canal linking the two stadiums in that area. The views would be awesome from there and a retractable roof might allow some warmer games in April and eliminate rain outs. Drawbacks: I am not sure who owns that land and if it could be used for a stadium. No bars in that general area. Traffic / Parking when the Cubs and Bears are playing at the same time. Now here is the part that you call me crazy …

  • itzscott

    If the Cubs want to end this quickly, instead of buying up land around Wrigley they should use that money to buy a large parcel of land outside the city…. which would send a chill down the roof top owner’s spines, immediately act to lower the current value of their properties and make them more agreeable.

    • Edwin

      Once the roof top owners cave due to your master plan, what do the Cubs do with the land they bought outside the city?

      • itzscott

        Here’s a wild idea…. They sell it?

        • Edwin

          I don’t know if it’s that easy to just buy and sell land like that, unless they’re fine either tying up a bunch of their cash into an asset they don’t actually want, or are willing to take a big loss on investment.

          It just seems like a very expensive negotiating ploy, is all. If they’re that desperate, put up the signs and just go to court. Or buy out the rooftops.

  • V23

    MYTH DISPELLER!

    1. I know many on this board do not live within the city limit (nor have they), and many who do are transplants in the trendy areas. Rosemont touches the city. It is by a very populated area with the CTA Blue line and Metra accessible. It is not Wheaton, or bumble F anywhere. In fact there are many large office buildings in Rosemont

    2. For many it would be easier, many it would be tougher to get to, depending where you live.

    3. If the Cubs build a beautiful park with excellent amenities, it will draw the supposed “golden” traveling cub fans too. In fact, the first few years would probably be a bigger draw

    4. As a lifetime Cub fan, I love Wrigley. However, it’s a losing history. If the winning Yankees can leave, so can the Cubs. Wrigley field isn’t an architectural phenomenon, it’s OLD!! I would miss it, but you know what, I’m tired of going to crappy stadiums that smell like urine (Soldier Field & New Soldier field included).

    5. It would be nice to go to the bathroom and not miss 2 innings. Howabout concourses that you can actually walk through?

    6. Families may attend a Rosemont Wrigley MORE, due to parking and accessibility for those who don’t want to fight city traffic and no parking.

    7. If there is loss of revenue from tickets, signage, night game flexibility and more opportunity for revenue would clearly at least offset it.

    8. Rosemont has a hotel base way better than Wrigleyville, which may even attract some cub fans!!

    9. Zero expressways feed into Wrigley. 294, 90 (and other connectors) feed right into Rosemont with Balmoral exit already constructed and one more about to be.

    10. Casino, restaurants already in place!

    Quit saying Cubs “can’t move”. Of course they can, if they have the cajones.

    • willis

      This is a great post. You hit a lot of solid points about that area vs. wrigleyville.

      If it helps this team build revenues and move forward into a winning culture, screw Wrigley and make the move happen.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      There’s some useful points in here, but keep in mind: the value in staying at Wrigley Field is in part because of the unique character of Wrigleyville – that’s a huge part of the draw (and the customer base, frankly). Being in that neighborhood is legitimately special, particularly when compared to pretty much every other ballpark in the country.

      • itzscott

        If the Cubs field a winning team, Wrigley itself becomes less of the draw and the actual team does…. which is the way it’s really supposed to be….. which kinda puts the whole Wrigley as the draw thing to rest.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Right … but even the best teams have down years. Having a ballpark/neighborhood draw is a nice buffer, even after the Cubs are (finally) good again.

          • When The Musics Over

            Wait a minute. I thought the Cubs were going to make the playoffs in perpetuity starting with the 2016 season.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              When you imply that people have said ridiculous things, it’s usually good to supply quotes/links.

              You know, so it doesn’t seem like you’re making things up.

              • When The Musics Over

                I was being playful.

          • thoskam

            Brett – I say this with so much do respect I hesitate to type it. But in the interest of friendly debate I have to ask. You keep mentioning the “neighborhood” draw. Are you talking about all the bars? The same bars that it’s impossible to get into because they are jam packed full of “fans” (I use that term loosely) who arnt’ even watching the game and just looking to hook up? Or are you referring to the numerous street vendors peddling knock off cubs gear or the 2 or 3 overpriced retail shops? Certainly it’s not the sticky floor McDonalds is it? This is what I think of when you say the neighborhood atmosphere. I grant you – im not a local – so maybe I see things in a different light, but if all of that were to go away then all the better. New bars can be built along with better restaurants. Again – maybe i’m just looking at the situation through a different lens, but I just don’t buy the “neighborhood appeal” argument.

            • cubsfan08

              “new bars can be built along with better restaurants”

              This would never happen with any “new” stadium. Sure they might be around the surrounding area, but by surrounding I mean miles. Parking would be everywhere around any new park etc. It would be incredibly inefficient, for all the reasons complain about Wrigley, to try and replicate the current neighborhood.

              And yes – the “neighborhood” draw is pretty much the bars I would think. 90% of the people in those jam packed bars have tickets to the game. For many of them, part of the allure of going to the game is to go do said bars. I spent most of my 20’s doing just that. Don’t get me wrong, love the Cubs and rarely missed a pitch, but the neighborhood scene made forking over $50-$60/ticket much enticing. To me at least…

              • thoskam

                Maybe i’m naive (entirely possible) but I see the construction of a new Cubs park similar to the construction of Coors field. There is plenty of parking their to the north, but to the south, east, and west there are numerous micro-breweries, high-end restaurants, along with the lower end sports bars. Maybe I just live in a dream world (or Colorado) but it seems like that would be a good model. Target field in Minneapolis is similar to this theme as well.

                • Brocktoon

                  But target field is located Ina desirable part of the city(can’t speak to coors, never been), while groupon field would be in fn rosemont il

                  • Brocktoon

                    Point being, nobody wants to hang out at a bar in rosemont il unt until midnight unless that person is from rosemont

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                People hate hearing that last part because of the “bro” Cub fan stereotype … but it’s a big piece of the equation.

                And, truth be told, I like going to bars on game day, too.

            • Ron Swansons Mustache

              I live in the area and am in my mid-30s so I am biased. The bars are a draw for sure, although I tend to avoid Clark as most of the bars are awful. Southport is a much better area. It’s also great access to unique restaurants that you only find in the city – not the cookie-cutter suburban shit. You are right by the lake, you have easy access to downtown or other city neighborhoods. It is unique.

              There is nothing like the atmosphere in the city when the Cubs are good – it is electric and is a total bonding experience. You would absolutely lost that if you build a new stadium in the suburbs. When the Cubs are good, Wrigley is an experience – there is nothing like it and no matter how great of a job someone might do with a new stadium it would not be replicated elsewhere.

              People get too focused on the frat-boy, drunk idiot aspect of it when there is so much more to it.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              It’s not just the bars (though as CF08 notes, that’s a big part of it) – it’s the neighborhood feel. Walking up to the park. Literally being situated in a neighborhood that actually feels like a neighborhood. It’s just unique and different in a way that a lot of people really like and could definitely NOT be recreated just about anywhere else.

              • Ron Swansons Mustache

                Exactly. Going to a Cubs game has a community feel that you just don’t get elsewhere.

              • Jim

                Exactly. Its the uniqueness and hype in the area that makes it special. And the Taco Bell.

                • Brocktoon

                  Cheesy gordita crunch

        • Los_Capitanos

          The last two years of declining attendance says that people don’t want to see a bad team, even at Wrigley. I must have gone to like 5 games last year, and couldn’t even GIVE tickets away more times than not.

          • willis

            I foolishly came up twice last year and didn’t even think about craigslist/ebay/stubhub. I just hung around until right before the game started and got decent tix for abotu 10 bucks a piece.

          • Brocktoon

            2.64m tickets were sold to see one of the worst teams on baseball last year. This after 2.88m tickets were sold on 2012 to see…one of the worst teams in baseball. I don’t think your point is quite proven. I’d say it’s a hell of a lot more likely the people that care passionately about seeing winning baseball were the ones who drove the decline the past 4 years

      • Blackhawks1963

        That is a load of hoey. While the Wrigleyville area has obvious appeal to a meaningful portion of the fan base (e.g., 20-something frat boys who drink, people who are local) your statement is not reflective of the majority of Cub fans. I have gone to countless games at Wrigley since 1977. The place is a pain in the ass to get to for the big majority of fans…the place is parking lot challenged…the place is a decaying dump…and the place has been a friggin house of horrors for the Cubs for decades.

        Winning baseball games is what draws people. This mamby pamby love affair with Wrigley Field is ridiculous, and defines the Luvable Loser syndrome that plagues this franchise and makes the rest of the baseball world laugh at the Cubs and all of us as a fan base.

        • Ron Swansons Mustache

          Your definitely of who Wrigleyville appeals to is far too narrow. Just because that is your opinion does not mean it applies to the majority.

          Winning does draw people as you can see by the trend in the decrease in the Cubs’ attendance. But I guarantee you it would be much worse off if the Cubs were in a different location in a different stadium.

        • mjhurdle

          I know the majority of fans here in STL love Wrigley field for the history, and get almost as indignant as some Cub fans at the idea of the Cubs leaving Wrigley.

          They definitely aren’t laughing at the Cubs and their fans fondness of Wrigley.

          • brainiac

            it’s really too bad we didn’t get different owners. it’s all smoke and mirrors and threats and gaudy advertisements, and political wars with the mayor, and mismanagement of the competitive dimensions of the sport…

            it’s becoming sociologically interesting though, because what we’re seeing is what happens when non-sports interests take over a sports team and treat it a-historically as a business interest. it’s destroying the team for now, but the final outcome will be something to see. it wont just be on the field but in the related enterprises itself.

            • mjhurdle

              Just FYI, most if not all sports teams are run as a business interest. That is how the Rams, Blues, and Cardinals are run down here.
              Just because you don’t like the Cubs Front Office doesn’t suddenly mean that every “good” franchise is running simply for happy smiles for all players and fans, cost be damned.

              • brainiac

                with one major difference, those businesses actually produce and distribute their product in good faith for the cost paid.

                i also don’t think sports is *only* a business *interest*. it’s a lot more than that…or at least it was. maybe it’s not anymore and we’re simply passing time before we die without any true investments in family, history, or affiliation anymore. i dunno…

                • mjhurdle

                  Sports franchises have always been run as a business interest.

                  No Owner distributes his “product” in “good faith”. They distribute their product to make $$$$. Always have, always will.

                  Concessions made to fans are nothing more than a way to get them to become more invested which equals more $$$$. If they can dupe a few people into believing that they actually care about the happiness of the fan more than their business, then it is that much easier to get that fan to spend more $$$$. The only thing that changed is that most people don’t fall for it anymore.

        • hansman

          Well, I know who’s lawn I need to walk across.

  • Ballgame17

    I like itzscott’s suggestion of buying a huge piece of cheap land out in the burbs to scare the sh*t out of the rooftop owners. If they did buy some land, I’d give an over/under of 2 weeks before an agreement was reached. Good idea!

  • Los_Capitanos

    @V23

    Very well put. I cannot agree more. The thing most people miss with a Rosemont location (or any other location for that matter), is the fact that the Cubs can have as many night games as they want. Thats an equalizer right there. People with jobs can go to more games without having to take the time off of work to do so.

  • ClevelandCubsFan

    How many people can watch a game at Illinois Field in Champaign? :)

  • FortyFour

    We’ll see how this truly plays out but if the Cubs elect to leave Wrigley it will be for reasons other than the City of Chicago, the rooftops, or the local leadership of Ald. Tunney. The Cubs have or will soon have just about everything they have wanted (tons of signage, nearly 50 night games, additional concerts, and no rooftop agreement in 9 years). It may come down to just the Cubs wanting to capture all the revenue, including parking, that they lack right now and it is convenient to lay the blame with the City, the rooftops, or the Alderman.

    With respect to Wrigley being a dump, I think that is overblown. It may be for the players who lack the use of resources available at all other stadiums (this could have been addressed by now). It could also be that the bathrooms are not all as well designed or plentiful and therefore it takes longer to accomplish a bathroom break. I go to plenty of games as a season ticket holder and I have never experienced urine odor being the problem people write about. To the extent people experience an odor, it is no better in newer stadiums like Miller Park or US Cellular Field (regardless, new bathrooms are part of the renovation plan).

    Rosemont as an alternative would not be a better experience for the fans. I would not want to put up with the constant smell of jet fuel at a new park next door to O’Hare. Nor would I want to hear planes landing every minute.

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