Cubs Could Do Better Than Being in Chicago

Cubs Could Do Better Than Being in Chicago
Southwest News-Herald Thursday, May 09, 2013

I’m not much of a baseball fan, unlike like my son, Aaron. For that matter, I really don’t like sports at all.

Aaron can tell you the names of all the major players, explain whose autographs are the most valuable and recite statistics for the top players. He learned that from hanging out with the fine folks at the Baseball Card King in Oak Lawn.

He actually spends a lot of time watching MLB highlights every day while I watch reruns of “King of Queens” and even “Leave it to Beaver,” the operating manual for Baby Boomer families.

But I do know one thing. Going to a Cubs game sucks. It takes forever to drive there. There’s barely enough parking. The ballpark is squeezed in. The food is just OK, and the team is always dependent on taxpayer subsidies and incentives.

In the end, as a taxpayer, I pay too much for a ticket to sit too far from the action, and some of my tax dollars end up covering sports events in this city.

I don’t like it. But then, like most smart people, I don’t live in Chicago anymore, bailing out long ago for a better life in the suburbs.

The problem is, while most fled Chicago, the sports teams are still stuck there.

Bridgeview made a fantastic move to build a sports stadium for soccer that features the Chicago Fire. Forget about the naysayers in the news media. In a good economy that stadium will be a gold mine for taxpayers and is a boon for the Southwest Suburbs, which have long been ignored.

So what’s keeping the Cubs in Chicago?

They haven’t won a World Series in more than 104 years. You don’t have to know anything about baseball to know the Cubs have a major problem.

I think it’s their stadium.

One of my clients, the Town of Cicero, and another suburb I have nothing to do with, Rosemont, have both suggested the Cubs move by them. I’m partial to Cicero, of course. But the whole thing got me thinking.

A new stadium in the suburbs would break the headlock that prevents the Cubs from generating more advertising revenue, and allow the team to focus more on improving the performance of the players than constantly haggling every season with the rooftop owners and Chicago politicians.

They could have more night games in the suburbs. There would be more parking. There would be more seating. And that would mean more attendance and greater revenues for the team.

The ballplayers could focus on being better players rather than politicians. And it’s true, a World Series victory would do wonders not just for the suburb that hosts the Cubs but for the entire region.

In other words, being in Wrigley Field is a downer. The Cubs losing every year drags everyone down, including me in my little suburban hamlet in Orland Park.

Everyone says the Ricketts family would never relocate the Cubs. If this were 1909, I wouldn’t blame them. But it’s 104 years later.

Maybe relocating the Cubs to a new modernized stadium that puts the fans and the players as the top of the priority list might be exactly what they need to change their luck.

As for the goat? Well, order some rice, some spices and we can enjoy a nice Middle Eastern meal.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and media consultant. You may reach him at and follow him on Twitter at

Categories: Chicagoland Topics

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. You don’t like going to Cubs games…ok no problem don’t go. Wrigley Field still fills it’s seats every game and those of us who are diehards would love you would go to the south side instead and leave us our stadium and our team for the real fans. The Cell has plenty of parking cause no one goes. But stay on the beaten path if you don’t want to get mugged. Also go to different city while your at it. I travel for a living and I can assure you Chicago is one of the safest and cleanest cities out there. Orland Park are you crazy how bout Ford City while your at it. these places have less to offer than Nebraska. There is a history you don’t unserstand that has nothing to do to with winning World Series. If that was the case The Sox won the world Series recently last year I attended a Sox vs. Yankees game in the cell and with all it’s luxuries and wins the team has…..I could walk down from upper deck to third row. Why go to a game if the fans don’t go that’s half the excitement. I recommend you find something you do know about instead of writing about nonsense from a window shoppers point of view.

    • Thanks Joe … I don’t go, except when I feel like it. But there is one thing that is for sure, the Cubs suck because the team is constantly forced to focus on the loser rooftop owners, the loser bar owners, and the restrictions set by the whiny neighbors. You’re not a neighbor of Wrigley Field, are you? The fact is if the Cubs could focus on baseball, they would be a better team, more than just a prop for selling booze to a bunch of Wrigley neighborhood drunks. But then, that’s just my opinion. : )

    • Joe, you’re kidding right. I’m talking about letting a baseball team focusing on being a baseball team and throwing off the hassles of the rooftop owners, night game restrictions imposed by the neighbors, the excessive drinking that everyone knows takes place there, and all the other limitations of practicing in a basement during a game and not having enough space, and not having enough seating and not having enough parking, and you’re talking about what? You’re not a rooftop owner, are you? Because they don’t care about the Cubs at all. SAVE THE CUBS and move them out of that hell hole called Wrigleyville!

  2. The Fact is: Teams shouldn’t be buying championships. The Fact is: It’s a game and the more it become to much of a business the sport suffers. True the Cubs aren’t stacking their deck like The Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox the list keeps going. But the game shouldn’t be about that. Whether or not it’s a business it’s a sport first. It’s not like the cubs have never been to the off season in fact we have been many times. But like many teams out there not buying championships, the destination still hasn’t been reached. I don’t know what your talking about with the bar owners, rooftop nonsense either I don’t care what that politics the bread and butter is on the field, stands who ever happens to be singing the 7th inning stretch that day. It’s doesn’t effect the 40,000+ die hards that show up every game. I can rent a billboard and say I’m the best thing since sliced bread and maybe some people will believe it. You have one thing right it’s not about the stadium there’s an easy fix for that like I said don’t go…please, I’m asking you don’t ever go. Save the seat for someone who cares. Sorry I’m touchy about this but imagine I came to your house and said “thanks for the dinner but I have had way better.” Yes, I consider Wrigley my house…aside from my actual house Wrigley Field and Soldier Field are two place that feel like home because I and many other people grew up there.

  3. Ray, consider using public transportation part of the way to see the Cubs. Park at a lot by the Orange Line, take the Orange Line, transfer to the Red Line, and you’re only a few blocks away from Wrigley Field. I agree that the Cubs should consider moving to the suburbs, and not because I have moved to the suburbs myself. I’m actually a White Sox fan, although I have been to Wrigley Field a few times.

    Joe what about all the tourists who show up for a game. I’m sure not all of them are true Cubs fans. Should they not pay for a ticket and occupy a seat according to your reasoning? Perhaps it’s time for the Cubs to build another ballpark to hold those many, many fans, and keep Wrigley Field as some type of tourist attraction.

    I actually am waiting to see if the Cubs will win another World Series in my lifetime. I hope that the ballpark can withstand the shock! Take care.

  4. Its the friendly confines. Everyone is welcome. But that being said complaining about a vintage park is dumb. It’s MLB history everyday it’s open. Comisky was better than The Cell because if the history if it.


  1. Pension Reform And Then There’s Illinois « Ray Hanania Columns
  2. Cheer and loathing at the Chicago Cubs Game « Ray Hanania Columns
  3. David Orr and Making Voting Just So ‘Easy’ « Ray Hanania Columns

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: