Yesterday Mr. Boylan was kind enough to give us an account of Tom Ricketts’ lunch with the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, where he discussed the Wrigley renovation stuff for the bazillionth time since he took over as owner of the Cubs. Given the fat packet application and the signs of impending construction that Anno has observed while walking around Wrigley, it seems very apparent that the Ricketts and the Cubs will stay in town.
That doesn’t stop other Chicagoland burbs from trying to steal the Cubs, however. Enter Cicero, a burb in the Southwest sandwiched between the Ike and the Stevenson Expressways. The other day, after the Cubs dispatched the Cards, I was watching the WGN news and they showed a segment where the head honcho of Cicero, Larry Dominick, offered land and no restrictions to the Cubs if they moved to the burb.
Dominick, a lifelong Cubs fan who has two tattoos to prove it, said his town can offer something new — a “modern stadium with all the assets to make it one of the country’s best baseball parks.”
I have no idea how much money Cicero generates, but that’s quite a hefty sell to make. Dominick, like many fans I have encountered, thinks that Wrigley Field is what’s holding the Cubs back from a championship. That’s not entirely accurate but we’ll discuss that another time. However, the deal is pretty sweet if he can pull the money out of his ass:
Just west of Chicago, Dominick said Cicero has around 60 acres of available land that would be a good fit for a ballpark. Also in the offer – 81 night games, parking and lots of advertising space.
For their part, the Cubs have no intentions at this time to move out of Wrigley despite Tom Ricketts’ recent threat-that-wasn’t-a-threat to explore other options in the event that they can’t work out signage deals with the neighborhood, particularly the rooftops.
“It’s great to hear all the other cities and municipalities make sales pitches,” Julian Green, Chicago Cubs spokesperson, said. “But this is clear- we made a commitment to be here in Chicago.”
Most fans agree.
“It’s wrong. They belong right here in Chicago,” Christine Hergenrother, Cubs fan, said.
Here’s the deal now. If the Cubs belong in Chicago, they have to be allowed to run their business in a more efficient manner that is agreeable to the owner to dropped a billion (with a B) on the team. They’re committed to dropping another $500MM on the renovations, and even more on player development, player signings, etc. So something’s got to give. My guess is that the deal pushes through, especially with the looming “threat” of the possibility of the Cubs moving out, however empty people think that threat is. We’ll probably find out more towards the All-Star Break, and also later on this week when the Cubs go on a road trip and the team erects fake signs to show how much of a view the rooftops would lose.