Friday, March 8, 2013

Would Bud Selig let the Cubs replace Wrigley?

This headline is more of an attention grabber more than anything.

The last few days, after about a month of silence, Wrigley Field renovation talk has spiked yet again.

First, two days ago, the Cubs announce that if they get approval to do what they want with the ballpark, as part of the hotel complex they plan to build across the street, they plan to put in a very large fitness center.  I guess that is also something that is needed in Wrigleyville.  Whatever...

This resulted in a couple of reactions from other parties involved here.  First, according to the Sun-Times, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was not too pleased with the Cubs announcement, as it would appear the Cubs are trying to sweeten the pot here by bribing the people of Wrigleyville who don't own rooftops...using bully tactics against their enemies.

The other reaction came from the Alderman of Waveland and Sheffield Avenues, Tom Tunney who has now pretty much planted him self down in opposition to any renovation plan that blocks the views of the rooftops which he represents.

Today, the mayor met with Tom Ricketts and Tunney in an attempt to move closer to getting a resolution to this problem.

I personally didn't think it would take this long, but it is obvious that after there was no proposal brought before the city council a few weeks ago to increase the number of night games, it seems that Tunney and the rooftop owners are going to play every single card they have to prevent the Cubs from creating the revenue from advertisements that they want.

I've said this before...and I'm going to say it again...IT'S NOT WORTH IT!


Build a new stadium.

If no agreement is reached by opening day, which many people believe is required to be able to start the renovations on time after this coming season is over, the Ricketts family should wake up, stop being fans for a little while and dump this love they have for this crumbling 100 year old rat infested structure and look for sites to build a new ballpark.

The biggest mistake the fan-owners made when they bought this team was to say outright that the Cubs would continue to play at Wrigley Field no matter what.  That should have been their biggest bargaining chip when renovation time came.  This isn't the same as the White Sox saying that they would move to Florida if they didn't get a new ballpark. The Cubs are the ones with the money here and they are the ones who will be financing whatever it is that happens here.  They'll stay in Chicago.

Would they lose some tourists and some fair weather fans in the process?  Yeah...probably...but if the Cubs put a winning team on the field, that won't matter.  Besides, fuck the tourists.  The Cubs shouldn't be focused on running a historical monument.  If the city want's to keep the ballpark as a historical monument, then the Ricketts should sell the place to them, take the money, build a new stadium and let the city give tours of the 100 year old monument of failure as it crumbles to the ground.

Believe it or not, there are a number of decent sites within the city that could adequately handle a new Cubs stadium...and almost an infinite number of sites available in the suburbs.  If the Rickettses want to be allowed to run there business as they see fit, then they should move somewhere that they are allowed to do that.

The Yankees tore down the most storied ballpark in baseball history.  The Cubs very well can leave Wrigley too.  


Ok...with all that said, the Cubs aren't going to move because the Ricketts family is stupid when it comes to this matter.  I still think they'll get a large portion of what they want.  They have already made a ton of investments in the areas around the ballpark and own a number of properties in Wrigleyville other than the ballpark.  Dumping Wrigley and all the other properties they own and moving somewhere else would result in a dramatic loss on their investments.  On top of that, Bud Selig would probably step in and require an agreement be reached for the Cubs to stay at Wrigley for the "good of baseball".

That being said, if they had threatened to move, they likely could have gotten a lot more than they have...including some amount of public financing, more night games, the triangle building and all the advertisements they want.  That strategy worked wonderfully when they wanted a new spring training facility...just ask Mesa how that worked out?

Please continue to watch this issue over the next couple weeks.  A deal is still likely to come before opening day.  I just hope that any compromise made is to the Cubs advantage.