The Chicago Cubs could be on the verge of leaving Wrigley Field. The one phrase that no one wants to hear, but one that is a very real possibility due to all the problems the Wrigleyville Rooftops are causing for the Cubs in their attempts to renovate, restore and expand Wrigley Field. According to Dan Bernstein, host of the popular afternoon show on WSCR 670 The Score, the Cubs are seriously considering moving out of Wrigley Field because of the setbacks they are facing due to complications of Beth Murphy and a number of the other Wrigleyville Rooftops.
Sources: #Cubs frustration w/rooftops’ intransigence is high enough that they are discussing “unavoidable prospect” of options elsewhere.
— Dan Bernstein (@dan_bernstein) February 6, 2014
This is the one phrase that a majority of those involved do no want to hear.
Tom Ricketts does not want to leave Wrigley Field. He knows what a special place the famous old ballpark holds in the hearts of the Cub fans. He also knows that Wrigley Field is a revenue generating gold mine. That is why he wants the Cubs to stay in the ball park they have called home for nearly 100 years, and why he wants to put $500 Million of his own money into restoring, renovating and expanding the famous old ball park. But the Wrigleyville Rooftop owners are making things difficult as they do not want their views blocked, so they can continue to sell tickets to view the Cubs games to their loyal customers.
The Wrigleyville Rooftops do not want the Cubs to leave Wrigley Field, because if they do, their business is officially dead. The millions of dollars they put into bringing their buildings up to code will now have gone to waste, and they will be lucky to have broken even. No one is going to spend money to sit on top of a rooftop and look down on an empty field. Though, some might consider that more entertaining than watching whatever the Cubs have thrown out onto the field the past few years. But the rooftops definitely want the Cubs to stay in Wrigley Field, so they can continue to make money off of them.
A fair percentage of Cub fans do not want the Cubs to leave Wrigley, because as some say, that is the one good thing the Cubs have going for them, and the only real reason at the moment to go watch the team that has tried their best to lose 100 games the past few seasons. Fans have come to love Wrigley Field, and all that has become part of the Wrigley experience, including the ivy covered walls, the vintage hand operated scoreboard and of course the bars around the ball park. Fans love Wrigley, but the tide has turned as more and more are starting to welcome the idea of their team moving out of the ball park they love. However, I believe a majority would still be against a move out of the ball park.
The bar owners around Wrigley Field certainly do not want the Cubs to leave Wrigley, as that is one reason to go out to their bars. Cub fans who are unable to get a ticket (which is far easier to do nowadays than in the past) have always gone to the bars around Wrigley to feel a part of the game day experience, and watch the games from inside those establishments. While the bars might still do decent business if the Cubs left, they would lose a hefty percentage of their customers if the Cubs were not playing baseball in Wrigley Field. The Cubs are their lifeblood, and while they would be able to survive for the short term, as a long term business, they might not be long for the world.
Finally, the City of Chicago does not want the Cubs to leave Wrigley Field. The amount of money the Cubs bring to the City of Chicago is amazing. Even though they have been the doormat of the National League the past few years, and quite frankly for nearly 70 years now, they bring in a lot of money for Chicago. That would put a huge dent into the coffers of Chicago, and they would suffer financially more than people might realize.
However, because the Wrigleyville Rooftops are making life difficult for Tom Ricketts and the Cubs, he has got to accept that the Cubs might just have to leave Wrigley Field. If they ever want to have their revenue generating signs and video board, before the 10 remaining years expire, the best thing for the Cubs to do might just be to move.
While we have looked at the contract and have seen that the Cubs might well have the rooftops in checkmate due to wording in the contract between the Cubs and the rooftops, their winning the case is no sure thing. There is a distinct possibility that the Cubs could lose a lawsuit no matter how good the situation looks for them. There is also the chance that if the case does get to trial (which I do not believe ever would) if they were unlucky enough to get a judge who threw continuance after continuance out there, that would set the Cubs back years.
One thing that could keep the Cubs in Wrigley Field, allow for the expansion and make the Wrigleyville Rooftops happy would be to buy them out. Doing so would allow the Cubs to do everything they wanted, and the vision of what could be is amazing. But so is what the Ricketts could do if they do decide to move out of Wrigley.
Depending on how much land they are able to acquire, the prospects of what could be done are limitless. Imagine an exact replica of Wrigley Field being build. the only differences would be no obstructed views by poles that are supporting the upper deck, and likely able to hold a larger capacity. Once you add in the revenue generating signs and video board, you would have a state of the art Wrigley Field 2.0 with all the creature comforts of the ballpark of the past, with all the comforts of a ballpark from this century. Sky boxes, suites, broadcasting booths and press boxes that are second to none. The envy of the baseball world.
For those who say the Cubs would be missing the atmosphere that made Wrigleyville so impressive, the Ricketts family could easily fix that. There is nothing stopping the Cubs from also building bars across the street, boarding the infield walls. They could also build the hotel the want, maybe even two across the street from the outfield walls. Build bleachers on top of the hotels and sell tickets to watch the game from across the street, just like at Wrigley Field.
The possibilities are endless with what the Cubs would be able to do if they moved out of Wrigley Field.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Wrigley. The place has become my second home. The place is where I grew to know and love the game of baseball. There is no other place like Wrigley Field anyplace around baseball. But we have to face the facts that Wrigley is falling apart. The Ricketts family cannot afford to continue to spend millions of dollars every year just to keep the historic park standing. That is why the renovations are needed, and why the Cubs must leave if they are not allowed to do what they must do.
While this is still only speculation, started by an afternoon sports radio host, there may well be something to this. Perhaps the Cub fans better start bracing themselves for the very real possibility that in a year or two, the Cubs may well be calling another ball park home.