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posted: 4/2/2013 5:29 AM

Ricketts holds the cards to Wrigley's future

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  • Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts wants to renovate Wrigley Field, but he wants some concessions from the city to help make it work.

       Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts wants to renovate Wrigley Field, but he wants some concessions from the city to help make it work.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer/2012 file

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Insider

So I'm reading another publication over the weekend where the subject of the Chicago Cubs someday moving to the Village of Rosemont was being discussed.

The writer said Rosemont was an unattractive option because rush-hour traffic for a night game would be a big problem.

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Wow -- is that the best he could do?

Not every Cubs fan attending games lives in Wrigleyville, Lincoln Park or Lakeview. The drive to Wrigley Field from the Northwest suburbs day or night is no picnic, and neither is parking.

Seriously, have you ever come from out West and sat on the Kennedy going to Wrigley Field or on congested Irving Park Road? Or maybe you've been on Addison trying to figure out what side streets to take to get out of the mess.

Look, in a city that needs revenue and where Wrigley property values are substantially high, I get the impression objectivity is out the window on every level when it comes to the Cubs. From Alderman Tom Tunney to the roof top owners to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, I'd like to play the "if I were Tom Ricketts game."

If I were Tom Ricketts, I'd say quit holding my feet to the fire because I own the team. And sooner or later if you don't cut me some tax breaks so we can renovate

And if you keep aggravating me about the rooftop businesses

And if the mayor of Chicago keeps thinking I'm not going anywhere well, then think again.

Here's my cutoff date -- so let's get it done.

Then I would tell Cubs fans I am entertaining all offers, including Rosemont.

Mayor Emanuel thinks that because Tom Ricketts has plans to build a hotel on Clark and Addison he won't move the team.

Well, Rosemont already has at least nine or 10 hotels that would be great for out-of-town fans, and I am guessing Ricketts would have the money to buy one of them. Then I would build a replica of Wrigley with all the upgrades and amenities, including state-of-the-art facilities and locker rooms -- everything just a short walk from the Rosemont entertainment district.

There is a wide array of bars, restaurants, a bowling alley and movie theater all poised to handle the business.

I get a kick out of the politicians giving the Ricketts family the once over. If the Cubs leave that area, look out!

So, if I'm Mayor Emanuel and the City of Chicago, I would stop saying Cubs ownership has no options because they do -- and one day they may say enough.

So give the Ricketts family all the help they need because, like it or not, they are holding the cards!

Program note:

Watch me on "Mancow" on WPWR Ch. 50 at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Friday and Monday.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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