Although some construction on the Red Line conspired to make me late, I let myself be the weird guy running down the street with his computer bag flopping alongside him, and I made it on time for the first panel of the day. It’s the Ricketts Family Forum, which, as the name implies, involves the Ricketts Family members holding a forum. I’m a wordsmith!
I’ll toss in below any interesting/funny/useful bits that come up. I reckon there will be a lot less anger coming in the fan questions this year.
- Tom Ricketts leads off with a take on 2014, and how the organization views it as a turning point. Facilities, charity, talent.
- The first two “questions” were not questions. They were prepared statements. The second was literally a written-down prepared statement. The crowd booed at the mention of “prepared statement.”
- And the third question is also not a question. The fourth question was about whether the ivy is gone and, if so, if it is coming back. CubsCon!
- Ricketts says family does not think about the Cubs like a traditional business, in terms of making a profit. He reiterates: they generate revenue, pay expenses, and the rest goes to baseball operations.
- Ricketts confirms at least two rooftop purchases, and says the Cubs intend to operate those as rooftops.
- Great question on streaming plans down the road. Ricketts say it’s a high priority for the Cubs to have an answer to in-market streaming, and they push for it when they meet with MLB. It’s complicated, though, as you know.
- Ricketts says it’s a high priority to get games to everyone, but doesn’t really address the issue of folks in the Chicago blackout region who don’t get WGN-9 or ABC-7.
- It will be a “challenge” to have the bleachers ready for Opening Day, and the Cubs will lay out the contingency plan later today at the business operations panel.
- Wow – fan cops to being the person with whom Ian Stewart tweeted back when he got suspended (without pay, and the fan asked for a share of the $100,000 the org saved).
- Laura Ricketts did a show-of-hands on “Go Cubs Go,” and it’s probably a skewed voter pool at a Convention, but it was overwhelmingly in favor.
- The obligatory Sammy Sosa question, and the obligatory non-answer. “There are some things that have to happen first.”
- Ricketts was asked if he could give a little more insight on the Maddon tampering investigation. “No, not really.” Heh. He did say that they know they didn’t tamper.