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A Letter to the Sun Times…

Let me see if I understand this. The owners of the Cubs are prepared to pay all the expenses, to the tune of an overall investment of $1,350,000,000.00, i.e., the purchase price; stadium and neighborhood improvements, which would also keep the $20,000,000.00 in the annual taxes they generate + the profits made by the surrounding bars, restaurants and assorted businesses in the area, in exchange for fairly modest cooperation from the neighborhood and the surrounding poachers who own the “rooftop clubs”. And, for this, they are treated like pariahs.

The Alderman…a successful restaurateur…who when it comes to knowledge of baseball is…a successful restaurateur, doesn’t seem to appreciate this.

Nor do the poachers who make money by stealing a copyrighted product. (Yes, the previous owners who had spines of jelly signed and agreed to allow their continued theft in exchange for a 17% participation of the poachers’ take.) That said, they have no “seat at the table” as contract notwithstanding, they have no say. They are squatters who coerced a corporate-owner which probably figured with all their games being sold out, there would be no more income from attendance, so it was cheaper to agree to the squatters’ theft in order to get a 17%-piece of their action. No sympathy here.

Nor do the residential-neighbors, who if they didn’t know night games have been played there for 25-years, not to mention over 100-years of day games, needed to have taken a look before they moved there. It’s not as if the ballpark is a non-descript, two-flat mixed-use building with a small shop on the ground floor and an apartment above. Wrigley Field physically dominates the area. It’s not like they couldn’t see it.

Nor does the City, it seems. Ask yourself this. How many times have we seen/heard this type of argument being made regarding keeping businesses in the City? But how many of those businesses have pledged to spend that kind of capital to STAY in the City…unlike the Bears and White Sox, who threatened to move their teams out of Chicago if they did not receive taxpayer-financed subsidies…which they did. We could add Sears and others who have left to that list. Also, let us not forget the fact that Wrigley Field is the #3-tourist draw in the state. Can that be said about the poachers’ rooftops? Do tourists from across the country make plans to go to Wrigleyville in order to visit the McDonald’s at Clark & Addison?

Rosemont has offered the Cubs a much better deal than they have with Chicago. As I have been attending Cubs games for nearly 60-years, I want to see them win a pennant and a World Series before I die. Quite honestly, I don’t care if that happens at 1060 W. Addison or at Balmoral and I-294. It would serve all of the above right if the Ricketts family  were to take their game; its scores of millions of dollars in tax and business-revenue-generation and go “home”…to a new home…in Rosemont.


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