Thursday, April 17, 2014

Watch out, Chicago. You're Getting Set up to Be Screwed Again

The Cubs' owner is asked about the Atlanta Braves' planned move to the suburbs:
Ricketts said the Cubs have been trying to avoid such an issue. 
"We've been approached by several suburban sites and alternatives to move the Cubs to a new ballpark," Ricketts said, "and although I haven't studied it thoroughly, I imagine that's probably an attractive proposition for us. 
"But we've made it our priority to try to stay where we're at because of what it does mean to the neighbors and what it does mean to the city, both economically and just from the standpoint of quality of life in general."
Note that Rickett never says flatly that the Cubs will stay put (though such a promise would be worthless anyway), he only says they will try.

Would the Cubs actually move out of Wrigley? Probably not, but the threat is ho doubt good enough to extort a few hundred million out of the taxpayers. Rahm Emmanuel is a leading practitioner of crony capitalism, and there's plenty of precedent (e,g., Daley's Soldier Field sweetheart deal for the Bears).

On a side note: It's interesting that Cubs attendance has dropped more than 20% in the past few years. Maybe Cubs fans are wising up. One reason I could never stand the Cubs is that their fans (at Wrigley) are mostly a bunch of drunken boors who know nothing about baseball – they go to the games as an excuse to get drunk and be seen doing something cool.

(Apologies to my Cub fan friends, who are exceptions to that rule).

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