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A Cubs spokesman bluffs about the team possibly leaving Wrigley Field

Feb 3, 2014, 7:44 AM EDT

Jason Aldean Press Conference AP

As far as bluffs go, this one would have seemed laughable not too long ago, but then the Braves just up and decided to leave their relatively new ballpark for the suburbs so I suppose anything can happen. But still, this seems like a pretty weak bluff.  Via the Chicago Tribune’s story about the inpasse the Cubs and the rooftop owners have reached regarding view-blocking signage and scoreboards:

In a separate interview on WSCR-AM,  Cubs spokesman Julian Green said the possibility of leaving Wrigley Field remains, though the Ricketts family wants to win a World Series at Wrigley Field.

“How far do you go before you say ‘You know what? We tried and we tried to make the good effort, but it didn’t work out?’” Green said. “I won’t speak on behalf of the family, but I’m sure this is weighing heavily on them because they want to move forward on this.”

A lot farther than this, that’s how far you go. According to the article the Cubs get $3-4 million a year in revenue from the rooftop owners and are looking to get $15-20 million a year from ads on billboards and scoreboards that would block their view. So I guess you see how much money they have to play with to buy out their increasingly estranged business partners across the street.

Or I guess they can see if there are suckers in Schaumburg like the ones the Braves found in Cobb County.

  1. sleepyirv - Feb 3, 2014 at 7:49 AM

    The Cubs have taken considerable aggravation over the years from all their neighbors in Wrigleyville, which is odd considering all those establishments need the Cubs to survive. Playing hardball with the Cubs, instead of offering a larger slice is a pretty good way to kill the golden goose.

    • masher1965 - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      Absolutely !! The rooftop owners are being greedy beyond belief. At this point, I wouldn’t blame the Cubs for moving if they did

    • 78mu - Feb 3, 2014 at 3:26 PM

      Does anyone really believe the Cubs would move over a few million? It’s probably a rounding error on their income statement. The PR hit would be a lot bigger than what they can make from the billboard ads.

      The Cubs will move when Wrigley starts falling apart so that slinging some netting around to catch pieces of concrete is not enough. The time will come that it will cost way more to upgrade Wrigley than it is to build new.

      • mybrunoblog - Feb 3, 2014 at 5:10 PM

        The Yankees knocked down Yankee Stadium. The Braves are leaving a beautiful 18 year old ballpark. The Cleveland Browns moved when they couldn’t get a good Stadium deal. The Seatle Supersonics moved while they still drew a healthy number of fans. Shall I go on? I doubt the Cubs would move but nothing is forever anymore.

      • 78mu - Feb 3, 2014 at 9:28 PM

        Wrigley will not stand forever and the Cubs will play in a new stadium some day.

        But to think they would move because they get 4 million from rooftops instead of 15 million from advertising is silly. A new stadium with modern facilities and revenue sources that Wrigley can never generate will swamp any additional revenue new billboards would bring in.

        The really hard thing to believe is that a team can play in the same stadium for 100 years and never see a world series winner. Or even a WS game in 69 years. Will the Cubs get a new stadium before they win another WS?

  2. alexo0 - Feb 3, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    Cubs owners are hoping the rooftop owners play ball off the field better than the team plays ball on the field.

  3. paperlions - Feb 3, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    The Cubs are going to have to move relatively soon anyway. There is no room in the place for modern facilities: video rooms, training rooms, workout rooms, locker rooms, indoor batting cages….nothing. They have netting up to keep the crumbling concrete from falling on fans. The place has outlived it’s usefulness. Anything they do to it is really just slapping lipstick on a pig, because the place simply doesn’t have the necessary room to resemble a modern facility or to bring in the revenue associated with a modern facility. If the Cubs move, even if they build their own stadium rather than bilking the public, they’ll make far more money on parking, tickets, concessions, suites….everything….and the place won’t be crumbling down.

    Yes, being in Wrigley forever is a nice thought, it is also not practical.

    • mybrunoblog - Feb 3, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      If given the right deal I could see them taking down Wrigley and rebuilding it on the same site with the additional property the team owns there. Make it bigger, better, modern etc. Changing the steet grid near the triangle area might be tough but it is possible if the city gave its blessing.

  4. chacochicken - Feb 3, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    The El Paso Cubbies? maybe SLCubs? Or the Chicago Cubs of Aurora?

  5. Carl Hancock - Feb 3, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    If the Yankees can demolish the House that Ruth Built, there is no reason why the Cubs should bluff about leaving Wrigley. Don’t let nostalgia stand in the way of bringing modern facilities to the team and fans. Sure the ivy is nice but it’s not like Wrigley has a lot of find World Series memories to hold in to. It’s got nothing but nightmares. Time to move on. I’m not just saying that because I’m a Cardinals fan. The team would benefit from better facilities and more seating so from a rival standpoint I wouldn’t want to see it. But the Cubs are stupid to continue playing in Wrigley.

    • masher1965 - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      I am beginning to believe that you are correct. Maybe it IS time for the Cubs to get a new stadium

      • hep3 - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        Having visited both Wrigley and Fenway, I am surprised both teams have not found a way to build new stadiums with the idea of keeping the field dimensions and quirks the same on the inside.

        I found both ball parks to be fun to watch a game, but not very comfortable or fan friendly.

        Flame away!

  6. jfk69 - Feb 3, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    Cubs win appeal. Block view of apt bldg across street with Century 21 Reality sign stating…………. Stadium for rent. All offers considered.

  7. byjiminy - Feb 3, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    They could keep Wrigley field for a minor league team — I mean a real minor league team. Like the Saint Paul Saints. If you’re going there for the stadium anyway, who cares who’s playing? You’d be more likely to see a competitive game between evenly matched teams, too.

  8. Old Gator - Feb 3, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    A fried in Chicago sent us a couple of frozen Lou Malrati’s half-cooked frozen pizzas for the Stupor Bowl – one sausage and one spinach. Ohboy. It was more interesting to watch them bake for 40 minutes than it was to watch the game.

    • APBA Guy - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      Lou Malrati, deliberately mis-spelled invocation of a pop culture iconic image or inadvertantly funny? Either way, in Chicago, Lou’s is a top destination for deep-dish, which I will not call pizza in deference to my New York friends, but which is incredibly delicious on its own.

      But frozen is frozen, and while it is better than much of what passes for pizza in any given locale, for those of us with ties to Chicago all a frozen Lou’s really does is make us miss the real thing even more.

      • Old Gator - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        APBA: I agree that frozen is frozen but the closest authentic Chicago style pizza available down here is about a five hour drive to the Giordano’s in Orlando. Having those pizzas for a game that was otherwise a total waste of time for anyone but a Seahawks fan was a godsend. There are very few really good conventional pizza places in Macondo (one of which is, blessedly, just a few minutes from home) but none that I’m aware of proffering the real deep dish or stuffed Chicagoland variety. If there were, I’d prolly have to think twice before eating one.

        I didn’t know you had Chicago connections – or don’t recall your ever mentioning them. I went to UC in the late 70s as a graduate student. Dave Kingman was the Cubs’ main attraction (and even was writing a short-lived column for one of the newspapers – hilariously awful, unfortunately), and the Bears were horrible. But in the world of pizza, the big event was the splitoff of Bacino’s from Giordano’s and the opening of one of their first restaurants in Hyde Park, a few blocks walk from my apartment. It was pretty much indistinguishable from Giordano’s taste-wise so it saved me a drive to the North Side when the cravings set it. I got to a Chicago Girodano’s last about two years ago when I was in town for a Cowboy Junkies concert at the Old Town School theater and hit the one near Wrigleyville, of all places.

        My favorite there is the stuffed spinach special, to which I usually add extra veggies. The Malnati’s pies are excellent – their tomato sauce has more tang than the Girodano’s, but I prefer the thicker, almost cake-like crust on the Giordano’s. Wouldn’t turn down an invitation to either place.

      • APBA Guy - Feb 3, 2014 at 6:55 PM

        Hey OG-

        My GF went to Northwestern, and used to frequent the Rogers Park Giordano’s (there’s one in Evanston now, of course.) Have you actually tried any of the Orlando locations?

        I traveled to Chi for work a lot between 85-98, but mostly to the North side, so I did Pequod’s and Uno’s as well as Geno’s East. Loved them all, but the place I couldn’t do without was Gene & Georgetti’s. Never had steak that good before or since, anywhere. G & G’s may have been a bit much for a grad student’s wallet.

    • vivabear - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      A fried what?

      “frozen Lou Malrati’s half-cooked frozen pizzas” This phrase makes no sense. If they were half cooked, it was your own fault for not being smart enough to properly bake a frozen pizza. Plus, it is “Malnati”, not “Malrati”. Evidently your reading comprehension is lacking.

      • Old Gator - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        APBA Guy: typo. That whole early Billy Joel music scene never appealed to me very much.

        Teddybear:

        I guess insinuating the “n” into “friend” was just too complicated a semantic exercise for you. No surprise there.

        “frozen Lou Malnati’s half-cooked frozen pizzas” would make perfect sense to anyone with half a mind in their brain, just like my comment about state sales tax last week. Only you seemed to have a problem with it. For the sake of anyone else out there who was born stupid, Malnati’s ships is frozen pizzas half-cooked and their customers complete the baking process in their own ovens.

        There. Simple? Hope that wasn’t too difficult for you as well.

        What’s ackcherley on display here is your imbecility – as usual.

      • vivabear - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        Old Felcher – either way, seems you’re not smart enough to properly bake a half cooked, frozen pizza. That my friend, is a true example of your idiocy.

      • vivabear - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        Old Racist – I believe you are referring to state income tax, not sales tax. Again you have facts confused, it just doesn’t end. You have no clue about anything that’s happened in the past.

      • Old Gator - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        You’re really on one of your forgot-my-medication rolls today, aintcha? You do realize that every time you post again, you make yourself look like a bigger, self-obsessed adolescent, right?

      • vivabear - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        Old Racist – that’s your opinion, however wrong it may be. Again, you fail to respond to the real facts. You continually fill your comments with misinformation and pretend otherwise.

      • Old Gator - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        Hokay, let’s try and see it from your perspective – though I prolly risk brain damage in the process. You fill your comments with sententious exaggerations and misreadings of my comments (which are about all you ever comment on in the first place); you reduce yourself (or maybe you don’t – that would imply you had a higher level to operate on in the first place) to a lot of childish name-calling, homophobic fantasies and epithets; blow typos out of proportion in a particularly lame and obvious manner; can’t control your histrionics at the mere sight of my handle; continuously deny having made stupid comments and assertions going back two years that everyone else on here has already read, and simply reverse all the horses’ backside behavior you have exhibited and accuse me of having done what it was you who ackcherley did. Quite a resume. I suspect that finding your behavior infantile and dim isn’t an evaluation limited to me alone – a couple of other correspondents here have, in the past few days, called you out on them too. You even went so far as to write “point taken” in response to one of them, implying a realization that you clearly didn’t even have, since you’ve gone right on behaving in the same mindlessly adolescent manner.

        But go ahead and populate your dystopia for one. Wrigleyville real estate may crash if the team moves out, but your recalcitrant sole occupation of your fantasy universe will keep its property values stable, at least.

      • vivabear - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        Old Racist – again you respond without directly addressing anything. You don’t know the difference between sales tax and income tax. You think the Marlins had a choice of Garza or Zambrano when they traded Volstand to the Cubs. Now you say Morrison was involved, that would have been a totally separate set of trade talks. You are an idiot. You know nothing about baseball. You are not funny. You are a racist.

      • Old Gator - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        There’s really nothing to “respond to” except your juvenile name calling and even more lame and juvenile insistence that a mistype represents some sort of substantive misunderstanding when my original post last week was precisely about income tax and you failed to understand it, simple as it was. Another correspondent pointed that out to you but, like any ole time anyone’s pointed out a mistake to you, you just carry on on some other tangent instead of acknowledging your own imbecility. You know this, of course, but your flimsy excuse for a rhetorical gambit tries to circle it when, once again, everyone else here has already read the stuff. Talk about pathetic. I also note that now you’re referring to conversations about the Garza situation you were claiming a few posts and blogs back never happened in the first place, not to mention confusing the Zambrano trade and the Garza-for-Tweeter trade discussions (which took place months earlier) at your own convenience. Also pathetic. Nice selective memory. What greater compliment could there be than being called ignorant by a complete ignoramus, anyway?

      • vivabear - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        Old Racist – I’ve said MUCH of what you keep blathering about never happened. Not all of it. Again, your reading comprehension is lacking. Just because you keep telling other commenters they are illiterate, doesn’t make it true. You’ve done this to countless commenters. You brow beat people, yet when it happens to you, you pretend as if it’s such a disgusting act, and totally uncalled for. You are the very defintion of hypocrite.

      • vivabear - Feb 3, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        BTW Old Racist – you bring up my “juvenile name calling.” Dude, that’s what you’re known for at HBT. You have some stupid play on words for almost everyone you respond to on here. Once again, definition of hypocrisy.

      • vivabear - Feb 3, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Old Racist made to look like an idiot once again, so he abandons this post without further response. Just coming back for a thumbs down vote.

      • Old Gator - Feb 3, 2014 at 4:04 PM

        Nope, just have more important things to do than go around in circles with a witless juvenile. You’re doing a fine job of making yourself look stupid, so I’m not going to waste much more time on your empty accusations and name-calling. I’ve wasted more time on you, worthless as you are, already. Incidentally, I never use the thumbs, and you know that – just one more empty jape your sorry excuse for an imagination cranks out. Look at you: how many posts in a row was that? You’re just a hateful, humiliated little troll-child, totally obsessed, totally out of control, totally out of touch with your own comments and blather. Now go take your anti-psychotics.

      • vivabear - Feb 3, 2014 at 4:06 PM

        Old Felcher – no respone to me pointing out your hypocritical behavior?

      • Old Gator - Feb 3, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        Except that it’s total BS, no. You don’t “point out” anything. You just make it up as you go along. And it’s always the same nonsense. You’re just a parasite here.

  9. tfilarski - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    ivy grows just as well in rosemont as it does in wrigleyville.

  10. windycity0301 - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    As a long time suffering Cub fan, I wish they would just move. The drive in and out of Wrigley is a nightmare, parking is horrendous, and the stadium is awful. It’s time, they have a great offer from Rosemont with land and tax incentives. They might lose out on a few tourist dollars, but they will more than make up for that in new ads and more real fans having access. Here’s hoping they get past the bluff stage…

    • Old Gator - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      The big question is, who will inhabit the evacuated Wrigleyville first, with its deteriorating core, shuttered businesses and boarded up restaurants – the developers and yuppies, or the gangs and crack dealers?

      • Alex K - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        I don’t think Wrigleyville would completely die if the Cubs left. At least not super quickly. There are so many residential areas around there that people in the neighborhood would still spend their money at the bars and restaurants.

      • Old Gator - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:26 PM

        My guess is that once the team announced it was moving, businesses in the area would begin letting their leases expire and looking to move to other neighborhoods. I don’t think they’d sit out the slow-motion apocalypse if they could escape. The ones who are stuck with longer term leases might benefit from having less competition in the aftermath but, again, unless the city has the foresight to put some kind of development plan in motion in advance of the move, that neighborhood is going to have serious problems in the wake of the team’s pullout.

    • Alex K - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      You think getting to Rosemont is going to be any easier? Sure, parking will be easier, but to actually get there won’t be. Plus, a lot of Cubs fans are City dwellers. To get from there to a game in Rosemont is going to be worse than doing it the other was around. If a person in Chicago doesn’t have a car (which I know lots of people where that is the case) they would have to take the blue line to a bus to get there, which is going to be a very long trip.

      A stadium in Rosemont would be great for me as my office is in Elk Grove, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for the Cubs.

      • cardinalcrazy - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:27 AM

        So why not have the Cubs play in a different place temporarily. They can demolish Wrigley Field while keeping some of the artifacts that Cubs fans cherish (whatever that is), and then build a new updated stadium using whatever was kept from Wrigley.

      • Alex K - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        It’s not just that Cubs fans cherish some of the parts of Wrigley, it’s that they are historical landmarks and have certain protections.

        I’m not against the idea of building a new Wrigley in the old one’s place. I like it, actually. It also gives the Rooftop and other business owners in Wrigleyville a glimpse of what happens if the Goose that lays the golden eggs leaves. It could really help the Cubs in future negotiations.

  11. cackalackyank - Feb 3, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    The saying ‘Take it or leave it’ exists for just such situations. The roof top crowd better take it or the Cubs just might leave it. Wrigley as it exists is a huge albatross. The fact that the Ricketts are even considering staying and pouring money into that 90 year old dump has more than made a PR point in their favor. I think the quote is “weak” because it is polite. You can take X or you can take zero should be kinda straight forward.

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