There she is. The single greatest moment of our sports lives! The Chicago Cubs accomplished the impossible. They actually won the World Series! They needed 108 years to do so, but they have given the fans everything they ever wanted to see.
However, that is where the good vibes stop. The cost of a winning franchise unfortunately comes at the expense of the fans who have to pay more to see their favorite team. From the skyrocketing prices of the annual Cubs Convention to the ticket prices, some long time fans are left out in the cold.
As a season ticket holder, I can relate. My package went up about 15% from what the cost was a year ago, after going up 10% the year before. If you want to see a winning team, a perennial contender like the Cubs costs money.
The mega millions that were paid to Jon Lester, Jason Heyward and others have to be paid by someone. Keeping Theo Epstein and the front office around will not be cheap either. Then you have Joe Maddon who received a hefty raise as well. Then there are the young studs on the Cubs roster who all will need to be paid (hopefull sooner rather than later). Lastly there is the renovation of a ballpark that is well over 100 years old, that is a lot of work and a lot of money to do said word. Renovations that Tom Ricketts had to pay for himself since the city of Chicago was too cheap to help with. Want someone to put some of the blame on for skyrocketing ticket prices? Blame Chicago for not helping pay for the renovations. They stuck the Ricketts (and the fans) with that tab.
While initially Ricketts and his family will cover the costs, they need to make up the money somewhere. A lot of that cost is coming from the advertisers. But a good chunk has to come from us, the fan. Just imagine how much ticket prices would have gone up if not for those video board advertisements.
Sadly, what we have all been waiting our whole lives for is costing many fans the chance to actually go to the games. That is a painful pill to swallow. Spend all this time and money to follow a crap team, then be unable to do so when they are actually good and worth seeing.
I feel bad for the fans that are left out in the cold, I really do. If the Cubs keep winning, chances are I may have to give up our season tickets because we will also be priced out.
Such is the cost of winning.
Sure. They did not have to renovate Wrigley. They could have continued to play there until things literally fell apart, but I want them playing at Wrigley forever. Wrigley is the crowned jewel of baseball. They could have spent less on the players, let a free agent pass by, but would they then have won the World Series? Take one of the every day guys off the roster (even Heyward) and I am not sure they win (or even get to) the World Series.
Long gone are the days of “#RickettsCheap” now sadly the saying is “#RickettsGreedy” to some. I wondered out loud if some fans would rather the Cubs continue to be the losing franchise they have always been if that meant the prices would remain low.
One thing the fans need to understand though is that the Cubs do not “owe” us anything. Least of all the Ricketts family. In their seventh year of ownership they won the World Series. Something no other Cubs owner has done in 100 years. You cannot hold them responsible for 100 years before they bought the team. You can hold them responsible for the last seven, specifically years three through five which made me want to vomit.
Fans must also remember that they are running a business, not a charity (well they run one of those too). All they “owe” the fans is to give them a chance to win the World Series, which they did and are still doing. The plan worked too well, the Cubs became a farm of young studs which are surrounded by expensive gap fillers. Soon those cheap young studs will also need raises.
Such is the cost of winning my friends. Sorry to say, but I f the Cubs keep winning, the costs will continue to rise, which will squeeze more and more fans out.