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The Cubs are following in the Red Sox’ footsteps

Nov 8, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Wrigley Field

We know they’ve hired Theo Epstein and are looking at the same managerial candidates, but one other way in which the Cubs are aping the Red Sox is in their approach to their historic old ballpark:  they wanna make it a cash cow.

We’ve talked about that a lot over the past couple of years, but this story in the New York Times from over the weekend outlines and updates that nicely enough.  Cubs owner Tom Ricketts is even quoted in their saying that Epstein’s experience with the renovation in Boston was a plus for him being hired in Chicago.  I’m assuming it’s because he knows how to do drywall or something, because otherwise I presume renovations will be handled by building professionals, not baseball executives.

Anyway, the Cubs are going to be interesting to watch over the next five years. I don’t think Epstein is a god or anything, but I really get the feeling that something new is happening and that the Cubs aren’t going to continue to be an easy punchline for organizational ineptness going forward.

  1. Alex K - Nov 8, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    I like the idea of the Cubs genreating revenue from the streets around Wrigley. I think it would work best doing it on Waveland between Clark and Sheffield and Sheffield between Waveland and Addison (for those unfamiliar that area is where the HR balls hit out of the stadium go). They wouldn’t even need to restrict the streets to ticketed perople either. They could let people who have tickets in the area for no charge and charge a small amount for non-ticketed people (something like $5 for adults $3 for kids 3-12). Then people who want to sit outside the park and try and hawk baseballs still can and people can still look through the knothole to watch a little of the game.

    • Alex K - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM

      Why is this such and unpopular idea?

      • Gardenhire's Cat - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:43 PM

        Let’s see … You’re having a private company charge people to walk on public property

      • Alex K - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:58 PM

        It’s not unheard of. There are plenty of concerts at public parks that charge admission.

      • dan1111 - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:50 AM

        Lots of things are heard of but still dumb.

  2. umrguy42 - Nov 8, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    “the Cubs aren’t going to continue to be an easy punchline for organizational ineptness going forward”

    At which point, up will become down, East West, white black, dogs lying with cats, MASS HYSTERIA!

    • comeonnowguys - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      Tell them about the Twinkie.

  3. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 8, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    No matter how long the rebuilding takes, I’m thrilled to see what moves Jed and Theo will make. I’m so glad Ricketts is actually an owner that cares. As a Cub fan, we haven’t seen that since the Wrigley family’s heyday.

  4. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Nov 8, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Wrigley is the oldest “virgin” ballpark as it has never been the home to a world championship team.

    • 78mu - Nov 8, 2011 at 4:45 PM

      Epstein is young enough that his 50 year plan is sure to bring a WS title by 2061. Any bets on if Wrigley lasts that long?

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 8, 2011 at 5:34 PM

        Oh cool, a joke about the Cubs’ cold streak in the World Series. Nice to see home unique thoughts being put out here.

  5. yippityskippity69 - Nov 9, 2011 at 2:42 AM

    It’s about time the cubs make realizes towards putting together a quality product for their fans! I am a cubs fan but admit idly had to witness my 1st WS this yr in STL. The thought of waiting for Chicago to get to 1 was motivation enough to make the 3 hr trip to watch!

  6. cintiphil - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    I just got back from Vegas, where I made a a few bets on the Cards. The talk there is that the Cubs fans are placing a load of money on the 2013 Cubs to win it all. Now, optimistic attitude is a good thing, but this is crazy. I think the odds are about 60-1, but that doesn’t deter the Cubs faithful. I think this is the reason for all the talk on this subject. A word to the Cubs fans. Lets see if they can get to 2nd or 3rd place before you go all wild for a W-S winner. Maybe in 2013 or 2014-2015-2016 or whenever.

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