Friday, November 05, 2004

A Rant on the City of Chicago vs. The Cubs

More news on the never-ending dispute between the Cubs and City Hall:

Today the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Tribsters owe the city $3.3 Million for the land that lies underneath the players parking lot just west of the ballpark. Interesting that in 1981 the Tribsters bought this land from the railroad company that had the land.

This whole thing is typical of Chicago politics. The city of Chicago which brought us the New Soldier Field at taxpayer expense, is now telling the Cubs what they can and can't do on their property at their own expense. The city does this in the interest of "the neighborhood" and "public well being". Where was the interest of "the lakefront" when they Bears stole city money to rebuild Soldier Field into a flying saucer?

The $3.3 million is just the start of a negotiation between the city and Trib on what the "legalized payoff" to the city will be for the Cubs bleacher expansion--funny how the city in a major budget crunch decides to call in this "found debt". As is always the case in Chicago you can break any code or law if you grease the right politician. In this case the stakes and rules are no different. The only difference is that Wrigley Field has a larger profile than even the Mayor.

I would love to see the Cubs fight this. That won't happen. They are desperate to get the bleacher expansion and Wrigley Field campus complete in this century. So they'll play the games and get it done. The Tribsters plan to build an entertainment complex on the land west of the ballpark. This will only enhance the value of the franchise and help bring in more revenue for the team. All the city is asking is "Where's mine?"

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