Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Cubs will get what they want

The renovation of Wrigley Field has taken front and center this week as the Cubs quickly approach spring training (much to the disappointment of Scott Hairston, who is supposedly on the verge of being signed by the team).

It seems that Rahm Emanuel is on board with the current plan that the Cubs have put forward where the team picks up the entire tab for the Wrigley Field renovations in return for the city easing, or even completely removing, the restrictions put on the ballpark.

That really leaves Tom Tunney and the rooftop owners as the only obstacles in the way from having this renovation plan move forward finally.

I've been on record in the past saying "fuck the rooftops" and I still stand by this.  Tom Tunney isn't any better as the Sun Times likes to point out...

So far, the rooftops have adopted a hard line, emboldened by local Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), who has received at least $171,356 in direct campaign contributions from rooftop club owners and another $15,675 to the alderman’s 44th Ward Democratic Organization.

But for as much noise as the rooftop owners make, along with the alderman they have in their pocket, they don't very often get there way when it comes to dealing with the Cubs.  Over the past several years, the Cubs have successfully lobbied to:

  1. Add more night games
  2. Expand the bleachers
  3. Hold concerts
  4. Put up advertising
  5. Get a percentage of the rooftop revenues
While the rooftops aren't doing anything more than stealing a product, the truth is, the Cubs have pretty much had their way with them for the last decade, and that isn't likely to change with the current plans.

The Cubs are asking for more night games, more advertising, more concerts, and more street festivals on the already closed off Sheffield Avenue.  

The Cubs are going to get their way here for two reasons.  First, the Cubs are more important to the city than the rooftop owners.  Second, the shortsighted rooftop owners will actually benefit from all this.  

More night games, particularly on week nights, are going to boost revenues for the rooftops as more of the corporate clientele would prefer to go to these games at nights.  More concerts...more events for the rooftops to sell tickets too.  More advertising?  Quite frankly, the Cubs will likely ask some of the rooftops to actually erect the advertising on their building, allowing the owners to take a large percentage of the revenue.   The only thing that might hurt the rooftop owners is the Sheffield festivals, which might take away some of the concession sales the rooftops take in (but not significantly, since most of the rooftop tickets include all the food and drink you can ingest).  

An agreement is going to get done and going to get done quickly...most likely before opening day.  

All we have to worry about then is how extensive this renovation is actually going to be.