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Proposed Wrigley Field Renovation/Makeover

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  • Proposed Wrigley Field renovation

    Sorry if this was posted already but I found this article on ESPN.com

    http://espn.go.com/chicago/photos/ga...ld-renovations

    Also an article regarding Wrigley Field and Rick Reilly blaming Wrigley Field for the Cubs 100 plus years of ineptitude.

    http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story...ing-life-field

    Holy Cow! What a mess!
    The Cubs won't win unless they're allowed to trim back Wrigley's traditions


    Wrigley Field loses about $30 million a year because it isn't allowed to put advertising along its outer walls like other stadiums because it might block rooftop watchers outside the ballpark.
    For the 98th straight season, the Chicago Cubs will attempt baseball this season in Wrigley Field. It's historic, magical and covered in vegetation. Then again, so is Machu Picchu and nobody's trying to win baseball games there.

    I love Wrigley Field. But I'm not a Cubs fan. If I were a Cubs fan, I would despise Wrigley. I'd want Wrigley laid flatter than Wrigley gum.


    There's a reason the Cubs have never won a World Series at Wrigley. There's a reason they're 0-for-the-last-67 pennant races at Wrigley. The reason IS Wrigley.

    Wrigley isn't just the old family dog that needs to be put down. It's an old family dog that probably costs the Cubs about $73 million a year. That's three Prince Fielders!

    Where do I get $73 million? Start from the outside-in -- with the money-sucking rooftop mini-stadiums that metastasize outside the ballpark.

    The owners of these annoying watchtowers sell tickets as though they were the Cubs themselves. They even sell season tickets! The city continues to protect these leeches, who pass themselves off as mom and pop entrepreneurs, but actually rake in an estimated $24 million a year, according to the club.

    Of that, the Cubs get a paltry 17 percent, or $4 million a year. Any fair deal would give them at least half. (There's $8 million they don't get.)

    Inside, the Cubs are prohibited from putting up advertising signs that could make them up to $30 million more a year (that would be $38 million) because the signs would block the views of the precious rooftop oglers and the city can't have that.

    You talk about a business being in your business. Can you imagine this happening to any other business?

    Hey, H&R Block! We're not going to pay you for your tax advice, but we ARE going to pocket the cash people give us to sit outside your window and listen to it!

    If all this seems insane to you, you should talk to Bruce Springsteen. In the middle of a recent concert at Wrigley, he stopped, turned toward the rooftops and said, with a smirk, "Everybody up on the roof! Who'd you pay?"

    You say, "Well, the Cubs aren't really a business. They're a city treasure, a kind of living museum."

    Fine, if they're a city treasure, then the city should help support them, the way it did for this summer's 30th anniversary of the Chicago Blues Festival, which received a $15,000 grant.

    The Cubs pay 12 percent city "amusement" tax on every ticket (about $17 million a year -- we're up to $55 million), and yet the city doesn't give them a dime. Very unamusing.


    Owner Tom Ricketts needs to run Wrigley Field like a business, not a historic landmark, if the Cubs ever want to win a pennant.
    There's more. You can open the doors of your business pretty much whenever you want, but the Cubs can't. They're allowed to play only 30 night games a year. And they can't even pick the nights. When owner Tom Ricketts inquired if they might play a few Saturday night games this season, the local restaurants fumed, "It'll kill our dinner business!"

    Got it. Everybody gets to compete for customers except the Cubs.

    Any idea how much more the Cubs could get for a TV package with 55 night games, which is what many teams play and when most fans watch? Me neither, but let's guess $5 million. (We're up to $60 million.)

    God forbid they'd want to put up a decent video replay board, which is ad gold for most teams and, by the way, a place where Cubs fans could actually tell the score of the game without having to do the inning-by-inning math themselves, as they do now on the old hand-lettered relic in center. ($7 million? Total so far: $67 million.)

    Plus, can you imagine the frogs that would rain down if they tried to sell the name of the stadium? They could never do what the White Sox did, which is to sell Comiskey to U.S. Cellular for $68 million over 20 years. The Cubs could probably get $100 million. There's another $5 million a year. (That's $72 million.)

    And forget about how long it takes you to get up and get a hot dog at Wrigley (two innings sometimes), or get to the restroom and back (often three). Hell, by the third inning, the Cubs are on their third reliever. No wonder so many people sneak food in. What's that total in lost concessions? A million? (We're at $73 million.)

    And that's just the money they don't get. Imagine the players they don't get -- because of their weird start times, their rotting training facilities, their wimpy weight room, their nonexistent in-game batting cage, their backachingly small clubhouse and their 104-year ringless streak.

    Can you imagine what a genius like Cubs GM Theo Epstein could do with another $73 million a year? He'd be Theo, Unchained. He'd have the fourth-highest payroll in MLB instead of the 15th (2012). One of the biggest draws in sports shouldn't be 15th in anything.

    The Red Sox finally stopped treating their little neighborhood park like it was a Faberge egg. They started putting up signs everywhere at Fenway, maxed out revenue anywhere they could, and won two of the past 9 World Series. You hear Boston fans complaining?

    And yet Ricketts doesn't want to raze Wrigley. He was practically raised on Wrigley. He lives close enough that he takes the "L" to most games. And because he loves it, he has offered to pour $500 million of the family's money into renovating Wrigley -- $300 million for fixing the joint and the rest into a proposed hotel/fitness club across the street.

    And what does Ricketts want for plowing no government cheese into the Wrigley rat trap? Not a dime. He just wants the city to relax some of the restrictions that make the Cubs a kind of crippled Carnival cruise ship with foul poles. And STILL aldermen such as Thomas Tunney are gumming it all up. Tunney wants more parking, more cops and to extend the sleazy rooftops deal, all of which he doesn't want to pay for. "You're talking about one of the richest families in America," Tunney told reporters the other day.

    Not at this rate.

    Epstein really didn't want any part of this column, but he did email to say, "We're focused on doing everything we can with what we have available to us now to make the baseball operation as healthy and successful as possible."

    Too bad there's so little available.

    It's simple, Chicago. You can either have your creaky, quaint, vine-covered crypt, or you can win. But you can't have both.

    Do the math. You're used to it.
    Can't really say I agree with Wrigley Field being the problem per say, but I would definitely say that the Cubs are more than generous to the guys across the street.
    Last edited by Jim Vaz; 03-18-2013, 10:24 PM.

    Comment


    • I keep hearing rumors about moving to Rosemont. I would guess thats gotta be years down the road if they do ever move.
      "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

      "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

      Comment


      • Originally posted by chicagowhitesox1173 View Post
        I keep hearing rumors about moving to Rosemont. I would guess thats gotta be years down the road if they do ever move.
        Well to be honest with you, I think the Cubs would move to Mars before they move out of Wrigley Field. Unless there is some major structural issue that is found where they're forced to rebuild, the Cubs IMO will always be in that place.

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        • I think the cubs are being guilted into stay at wrigley. I would say say that Tiger and Old Comiskey were better stadiums and once they were killed off the cubs really felt like they had no choice.
          The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by chicagowhitesox1173 View Post
            I keep hearing rumors about moving to Rosemont. I would guess thats gotta be years down the road if they do ever move.
            Wow, I can just imagine the O'Hare traffic combined with the Cubs' traffic...not that getting to Wrigley on the North Side isn't brutal, but I can just see that whole 294/90/190 interchange being stopped dead before and after games.
            "If I drink whiskey, I'll never get worms!" - Hack Wilson

            Comment


            • What's keeping the Cubs from NOT looking for a new stadium? You can only spackle so much. .

              But I don't agree with the ineptitude of the Cubbies being blamed solely on their home stadium. But then again, in today's world, a 20 year old stadium is "old" and "cannot generate competitive revenue."

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              • The cubs have tons of sell outs, just like the red sox. The question on the table is will the either continue to have these sell outs if they move. It's a case of people go for the stadium not the team right now.
                The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.

                Comment


                • Not that this would ever be done - but imagine if MLB forced the teams to share all revenue associated with their team? Like the stadium money. Wonder how many "old" stadiums would still be ok if the owners had to share all the added revenue streams with the others. I know this is America... but what if?

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                  • Wow, how can the upper deck carry all this weight?

                    Using a stolen chant from Boston Celtics fans whenever an L.A. team is playing up there just reeks of inferiority complex.

                    If hitting a baseball is the toughest thing to do in sports, then pitching must be the easiest thing to do in sports.

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                    • You can retrofit steel to handle added weights. It's done on bridges and buildings all the time.

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                      • Originally posted by ericlc129 View Post
                        ...I don't agree with the ineptitude of the Cubbies being blamed solely on their home stadium...
                        has more to do with more than a half century of owners who...
                        a. treated the franchise like a hobby
                        b. a conglomerate that was only interested in tv profits to prop up therir failing newspapers
                        c. a family that hasn't applied resources to keep up with other franchises and want a taxpayer bailout.
                        the turd in the punchbowl
                        reality really sucks.
                        enjoy the game more...

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Paul W View Post
                          has more to do with more than a half century of owners who...
                          a. treated the franchise like a hobby...
                          And I suppose since the franchise name has a lot of pull, I'm guessing the owners/management are milking every drop of "popularity" out of it to get something for themselves, and not so much for the city, nor the team....

                          Comment


                          • All I know is I went to take a tour of fenway park (similir in this scenario to wrigley) with a few friends a year and a half a go in the winter. I don't think I could have convinced them to tour any other park unless it was wrigley.

                            The historical aspect of wrigley is what's keep it alive and what gets the attendence numbers so high. If they move to a new stadium and the team continues to play bad we will see first hand how bad attedence drops. I'm sure owners and fans know what to do with it.
                            The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.

                            Comment


                            • While I completely agree that Old Comiskey is a superior park to Wrigley one thing that makes Wrigley stand apart from some of the other old and departed park is WGN. Anyone in their 30's who grew up in America will remember summer afternoons when WGN was broadcasting Cubs games during the day nationwide. That was priceless exposure for the Cubs. Millions of people had a chance to see Wrigley on TV everyday in an era where it was impossible to see out of market games with any regularity. I think ESPN started carrying baseball games a couple times a week in 1990, but during the 80s it was basically Cubs or Braves (and some Mets if you got WOR, which thank God I did). Without WGN the whole country's perception of Wrigley Field, the Cubs, and Harry Caray are completely different.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Chevy114 View Post
                                If they move to a new stadium and the team continues to play bad we will see first hand how bad attedence drops. .
                                Much like Pittsburgh, and Cleveland, and...hey wait, isn't Baltimore always doing poorly?

                                Comment

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