Monday, May 14, 2012

The big f'n deal about closing off a road

Tom Tunney, alderman for the Lakeview community where Wrigley Field is located, is once again trying to make life difficult for the entity that has made many of his constituents very rich.

The Tribune reported last weeks that Tunney is opposing the idea of letting the Cubs close off a street to host concessions and other day of game festivities.  The road most suspect to be the focus of the proposal is Sheffield Avenue, though the idea of Clark or Addison being closed off isn't inconceivable either.  Sheffield was closed off in 2010 when Northwestern and Illinois played there goofy football game there.  It is also the road that the Ricketts family wanted closed down last year during the 3 series against White Sox, Cardinals and Yankees for their "block party" (which ended up being rather lame).

The Sun-Times also has briefly made mention of this along some roadblocks Tunney has with more advertising around the ballpark.  (It should be noted that the Sun-Times story is exposing who some of the the major contributors are to Tunney's election fund.)

This is all a matter of money.  Rooftop owners don't want their views blocked.  Bar and restaraunt owners don't want the Cubs to take away some of their business.  Basically, these people then contribute money to Tunney so he puts up opposition to just about anything the Cubs want to do to generate revenue.

Back to closing off the streets here....the thing is the police already close off a street on days that the Cubs have a home game.  Notice I didn't mention Waveland Avenue earlier in this post?  Waveland is already closed for every home game to accommodate charter buses and the crowds surrounding the area.

So on top of closing Waveland off, would closing off Sheffield really make that big of a difference?  As it is, before and after games right now that street is extremely difficult to navigate as it is.  Addison and Clark tend to have more traffic, but closing off Sheffield would seem to make a ton of sense without really affecting fact, it might make things a little safer in the neighborhood on the day of a game.

These people seem to have had no problem with Waveland being closed down for buses to load and unload their passengers.  Outside of making things a little more convenient for people, this really doesn't benefit the Cubs in any way.  Closing off Sheffield (or Addison or Clark) would be done for the express purpose of benefiting the Cubs and taking away money from the people who have benefited from the Cubs being in that neighborhood.

Don't give me this bullshit about closing off a road as being an inconvenience to the people of the neighborhood or causing more congestion or any of that crap.  This is about dollars here and the people who are screaming about this aren't people who would be inconvenienced by traffic's the people that are going to have fewer people getting drunk off their alcoholic servings in lieu of the Cubs having more people getting drunk off their alcoholic servings.

So who is Tunney trying to protect here?  It should be noted that most of the residents that live there are in the neighborhood because of the ballpark.  Some aren't and those are the idiot young yuppies who complain the most about anything Wrigley related because that's all they know how to do.  In these regards, Tunney doesn't care about those people.
Dreaming of big money!
(Chicago Tribune photo)
Wrigley Field has been there for 100 years.  All of the people living in Wrigleyville have been there for a much less time.  These people moved into this neighborhood full well knowing that ballpark was there and knew of everything, good and bad, that came with it.  Don't tell me they couldn't find a different place to live...that neighborhood isn't exactly cheap to live in.  The people complaining are liars and hypocrites.

I know the Ricketts family has been trying very hard to be a good neighbor here, but I really wish they would start making some serious threats to the people in this neighborhood.  The neighborhood needs the Cubs more than the Cubs need the neighborhood.

(Among other things, Tunney is also looking to continue to limit night games and concerts at the ballpark.  Isn't that nice?)

So, Mr. Tunney, let the Cubs close off a road or don't seem to have any problem with Waveland being closed right now.  Let the Cubs increase their revenues.  And looking at the big picture, almost everyone will benefit if this, or some other reasonable plan, can get passed.