So I was reading an article on ESPN why Wrigley Field sucks:
Um, okay, so we're leading to a non sequitur. For now let's just call this a red herring, to be polite.
I love Wrigley Field. But I'm not a Cubs fan. If I were a Cubs fan, I would despise Wrigley. I'd want Wrigley laid flatter than Wrigley gum.So you love the thing you'd hate if you were a fan of the team... please, go on...
There's a reason the Cubs have never won a World Series at Wrigley. There's a reason they're 0-for-the-last-67 pennant races at Wrigley. The reason IS Wrigley.I'm sure you'll give evidence to back this claim... right?
Wrigley isn't just the old family dog that needs to be put down. It's an old family dog that probably costs the Cubs about $73 million a year. That's three Prince Fielders!Okay it's expensive. What does that have to do with them winning or losing on the field?
Where do I get $73 million? Start from the outside-in -- with the money-sucking rooftop mini-stadiums that metastasize outside the ballpark.So still on the money issue again. What exactly does that do to their ability to hit a ball where it needs to go? Where is the "Green Monster" that this causes?
The owners of these annoying watchtowers sell tickets as though they were the Cubs themselves. They even sell season tickets! The city continues to protect these leeches, who pass themselves off as mom and pop entrepreneurs, but actually rake in an estimated $24 million a year, according to the club.
Of that, the Cubs get a paltry 17 percent, or $4 million a year. Any fair deal would give them at least half. (There's $8 million they don't get.)
Inside, the Cubs are prohibited from putting up advertising signs that could make them up to $30 million more a year (that would be $38 million) because the signs would block the views of the precious rooftop oglers and the city can't have that.So a musical concert doesn't like the venue for a BASEBALL GAME with traditions a mega-rich musician from Jersey doesn't like cutting into his bottom line. The hell does this have to do with the game again?
You talk about a business being in your business. Can you imagine this happening to any other business?
Hey, H&R Block! We're not going to pay you for your tax advice, but we ARE going to pocket the cash people give us to sit outside your window and listen to it!
If all this seems insane to you, you should talk to Bruce Springsteen. In the middle of a recent concert at Wrigley, he stopped, turned toward the rooftops and said, with a smirk, "Everybody up on the roof! Who'd you pay?"
You say, "Well, the Cubs aren't really a business. They're a city treasure, a kind of living museum."Amen. But how does that help your argument that it's the stadium's fault they lose?
Fine, if they're a city treasure, then the city should help support them, the way it did for this summer's 30th anniversary of the Chicago Blues Festival, which received a $15,000 grant.
The Cubs pay 12 percent city "amusement" tax on every ticket (about $17 million a year -- we're up to $55 million), and yet the city doesn't give them a dime. Very unamusing.
There's more. You can open the doors of your business pretty much whenever you want, but the Cubs can't. They're allowed to play only 30 night games a year. And they can't even pick the nights. When owner Tom Ricketts inquired if they might play a few Saturday night games this season, the local restaurants fumed, "It'll kill our dinner business!"Actually it's a neighborhood ballpark that fought putting up lights in the first place to even have any night games. This isn't some strictly touristy district of some city designed for the sole purpose of bilking tourism dollars wherever it can. It's a stadium that continues to stand in spite of that crap while upholding traditions of the game, going through some of the worst periods of corruption, dumbed down commercialization of everything, and doesn't afford free starbucks coffee enemas for espn writers riding in on their high horse about our billboard. Wait, you were probably getting to that...
Got it. Everybody gets to compete for customers except the Cubs.
Any idea how much more the Cubs could get for a TV package with 55 night games, which is what many teams play and when most fans watch? Me neither, but let's guess $5 million. (We're up to $60 million.)
God forbid they'd want to put up a decent video replay board, which is ad gold for most teams and, by the way, a place where Cubs fans could actually tell the score of the game without having to do the inning-by-inning math themselves, as they do now on the old hand-lettered relic in center. ($7 million? Total so far: $67 million.)It's baseball, not calculus. The hell is wrong with you?
Plus, can you imagine the frogs that would rain down if they tried to sell the name of the stadium? They could never do what the White Sox did, which is to sell Comiskey to U.S. Cellular for $68 million over 20 years. The Cubs could probably get $100 million. There's another $5 million a year. (That's $72 million.)Money and the name? How does that affect the game play exactly? Busch Stadium is still Busch Stadium with all the commercialization. Comiskey got leveled and rebuilt and is still called Comiskey by fans. A rose by any other name... of course if you level it and build a commercialized dung heap, it doesn't matter what you call it, it'll still be a commercialized dung heap.
And forget about how long it takes you to get up and get a hot dog at Wrigley (two innings sometimes), or get to the restroom and back (often three). Hell, by the third inning, the Cubs are on their third reliever. No wonder so many people sneak food in. What's that total in lost concessions? A million? (We're at $73 million.)They sell food and beer in the stands, you small bladdered pansy! The hell is wrong with you?
And that's just the money they don't get. Imagine the players they don't get -- because of their weird start times, their rotting training facilities, their wimpy weight room, their nonexistent in-game batting cage, their backachingly small clubhouse and their 104-year ringless streak.My gawd, they might actually have to appreciate tradition and the love of the game? The horror!
Can you imagine what a genius like Cubs GM Theo Epstein could do with another $73 million a year? He'd be Theo, Unchained. He'd have the fourth-highest payroll in MLB instead of the 15th (2012). One of the biggest draws in sports shouldn't be 15th in anything.So you wanna go from slave rebellions to "I'm rich, bitch!" The fuck is wrong with you?
The Red Sox finally stopped treating their little neighborhood park like it was a Faberge egg. They started putting up signs everywhere at Fenway, maxed out revenue anywhere they could, and won two of the past 9 World Series. You hear Boston fans complaining?They did so without leveling the place or tearing down the green monster or turning it into half-ballpark half-mall department store.
And yet Ricketts doesn't want to raze Wrigley. He was practically raised on Wrigley. He lives close enough that he takes the "L" to most games. And because he loves it, he has offered to pour $500 million of the family's money into renovating Wrigley -- $300 million for fixing the joint and the rest into a proposed hotel/fitness club across the street.So he's not hurting for money. What was your endless arguments about money about then?
And what does Ricketts want for plowing no government cheese into the Wrigley rat trap? Not a dime. He just wants the city to relax some of the restrictions that make the Cubs a kind of crippled Carnival cruise ship with foul poles. And STILL aldermen such as Thomas Tunney are gumming it all up. Tunney wants more parking, more cops and to extend the sleazy rooftops deal, all of which he doesn't want to pay for. "You're talking about one of the richest families in America," Tunney told reporters the other day.Yeah, at this rate he still will be. And?
Not at this rate.
Epstein really didn't want any part of this column, but he did email to say, "We're focused on doing everything we can with what we have available to us now to make the baseball operation as healthy and successful as possible."Maybe people wouldn't want to have any part in this article because it fails to make its point and endlessly talks about razing one of America's most historic ballparks. Or maybe you're just a douchebag in real life too. Beats me.
Too bad there's so little available.
It's simple, Chicago. You can either have your creaky, quaint, vine-covered crypt, or you can win. But you can't have both.You failed to explain how that revenue will makes us "win" any more than now. The only relevant issue you brought up was schedule issues, which is a pain in the ass for any baseball player given all the away games, is minuscule. Everything else uses the game to sell shit instead of selling shit so we can have a game. Zero appreciation of the game, the traditions, or even a remote interest in the community.
Do the math. You're used to it.
How about this. Raze your own house to put up a billboard to help the homeless. Your family can live under it. Douche.