The Cubs are really gonna be different to watch next year. Not only will you have new voices, but you will notice something behind the batter in shots from the WGN centerfield camera. In today's Trib, Paul Sullivan writes that the Cubs are expecting approval on a rolling advertising board behind home plate. Yes, the Cubs are finally gonna put an ad board on the legendary bricks behind home plate.
In Sully's article John McDonough says: "...the money generated from that(advertising) is going to the payroll, and it's going to be deployed, as it has been, extremely well with what Jim Hendry has done with the additional budget he has."
These are not the Cubs I grew up with. Taking additional revenues and using them on payroll was never an option. I think Mr. Wrigley used to take all additional revenues and spend them on repairs for his Lake Geneva estate.
This move will offend many of the traditionalists and prompt some letters to the editor in our Sunday Trib. At one time I was one of the complainers. Remember when the Cubs tried to put up lights in the 80's? It was such a bad thing. Now a night game at Wrigley Fd. is a great way to spend a summer evening in Chicago. Even at Wrigley Field time never stands still.
By 2006, when St. Louis opens the New Busch Stadium, every team in the NL Central will have a new ballpark, except the Chicago National League Ballclub. Wrigley Fd. does not generate the advertising revenue nor the 365 days a year restaurant/gift shop revenue that the new ballparks do. If the Cubs want to keep the payroll high playing in Wrigley Field they have to make these changes, they have to modernize.
While I understand the saddness in seeing the ballpark change, wouldn't it be sadder to watch the Cubs play in Schaumburg?
Fight with City Hall Awaits
This is Chicago and nothing happens for free. In the ongoing feud between Mayor Daley and the Tribune, City Hall will probably have the Landmark Commision make this difficult for the tower. The Cubs will probably have to promise to put out more portable johns or something. That's how things work here.