Thursday, December 23, 2004

Cubs want the nets to be permanent; building commission's response: nope

My stance on the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field is pretty simple. The most important thing to me, as a Cub fan, is to see the Chicago Cubs win a World Series before I leave this earth. For years I have advocated that the Cubs use Wrigley Field to create additional revenues and most importantly invest these back in to the team. In recent years the Cubs have began to take advantage Wrigley Field. Advertising, bleacher expansion, rooftop deals, concerts, sponsorships, and other revenue streams have become an important part of the organization. Creating these new revenue streams is great and hopefully will bring the Cubs the championship we all dream of. The problem is the Cubs can not overlook the problems that come with playing in a 90 year old ballpark.

Tuesday's Sun-Times reported Wiss Janney Elstner filed a report, on behalf of the Cubs, suggesting that the nets be left up to catch falling concrete from the upper deck. In Wednesday's Sun-Times the City says the nets are not a long term solution. For the first time in many years, I'm gonna side with Mayor Daley and his merry band of thieves. The Cubs have got to give the City and the fans a better answer than "the ballpark's old we'll keep the nets up to protect you". They have to provide a solution to this problem.

If the lower deck at Wrigley Fd. is not safe, the Cubs have got to solve this problem before any bleacher expansion or Jimmy Buffet concert. Wrigley Field is showing it's age. Leaving up nets for the 2005 season and beyond does not solve any problems. It just delays the inevitable. Boys and girls this ballpark is crumbling literally.

The Tribsters have three choices:
  1. Let Wrigley Field fall apart and demand that the State/City/or suburb build them a new park. (the White Sox and Brewers used this plan)
  2. Fix the problem--if possible.
  3. Rebuild the grandstand and upper deck at Clark and Addison.

When this all began last year Kaderbek said that netting would be a short term solution. He did not want to see nets in place for Opening Day 2005. Maybe it was unrealistic for the Cubs to get the needed survey and estimate on the work that had to be done. I would not have come back to the city with a proposal that said everything is fine and dandy. Falling concrete and ice from buildings kill people every year downtown. This situation has got to be taken seriously by City Hall.

Before the Tribsters move ahead with any of the plans to add revenue, they should tell us what they are going to do about the falling concrete. Nets that are more appealing to the eye are not a solution.

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