Odds are, Rosemont not a bad option for Cubs
David Kaplan reported Monday on CSNchicago.com that Rosemont mayor Brad Stephens is angling to persuade the Cubs to move to his suburb.
Naturally, the panel of sports journalists on Comcast's "Sports Talk Live" pooh-poohed the notion that the Cubs ever would play a single home inning anyplace but Wrigley Field.
The response was amusing considering many urge the Cubs to express interest outside of Wrigleyville as leverage to get Wrigley Field renovated.
Maybe it's true, though. Maybe the Cubs prefer playing footsie with the city's political forces in an effort to keep playing baseball in Wrigley Field.
But it sure is fun to think of the possibilities out here in the suburbs … including something called parking.
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts quickly issued a statement stifling talk of the Cubs going to Rosemont. But something in the release was interesting.
" … The current focus is to work toward an agreement with the city of Chicago."
"Current" means now. Not five minutes from now. Not next week. Not next month. Not next year if no agreement is reached with the city by then.
Negotiations haven't been exactly fluid. A better characterization might be glacial. Nothing ever gets done quickly when it comes to sports facilities in Chicago. Just ask the Bears and the White Sox.
So while others wonder why Rosemont would even suggest luring the Cubs, a better question is why not?
Stephens, and before him his late father Donald, never should be underestimated. The community is a beast that will gobble up any entertainment venue that would help get outsiders to spend money there.
They have built a tourism mecca, from a convention center to a theater to restaurants to more and more and more. There's a casino nearby in Des Plaines, giving the area in general as much to do as Wrigleyville has.
So why shouldn't Rosemont position itself for any potential development, and why shouldn't the Cubs seriously ponder the possibilities of a free 25 acres of land for a replica Wrigley, lower amusement taxes, accommodating politicians, advertising signage inside the ballpark and an unlimited number of night games during an 81-game home schedule?
This isn't a century ago when Wrigley Field was built. It's a century later and people actually live out in the burbs. When I grew up in Logan Square, the Northwest suburbs were like another world. Now I live in Arlington Heights with indoor plumbing.
Seriously, the Sox would be so much better off out here. The Cubs might be, too, though it's difficult to convince traditionalists of that.
Suburban sprawl has spread so far out that getting to games in Rosemont would be a pleasure compared to traveling to Wrigleyville. The town is situated to attract both urban and suburban fans.
The risk is the Cubs would lose one advantage: They can lose 101 games and still draw from 2.5 million to 3 million fans to Wrigley Field.
How terrible circumstances in Rosemont would be, right? The Cubs might have to be competitive, maybe even contenders, to maintain their fandom.
Actually the Cubs still would be the Cubs and Cubs fans still would be Cubs fans and the twain always shall meet.
But even if it did take a winner to prop up attendance, the Cubs would generate enough revenue in Rosemont to build one.
Let's be realistic: The Cubs are 1 million to 1 longshots to ever leave Wrigleyville.
Rosemont, just for the fun of it, probably considers those odds doable.
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