Sitting with hundreds of Cubs fans in front of a panel stacked with aldermen, landscapers, architects, Tribune execs, and Cubs PR guys, it was hard for me to grasp exactly what the new Wrigley renovation means for the organization.
The proposed plan which will cost the Cubs 30-50 million bones, looks to be a great addition to an already iconic mecca for baseball fans across the country. But let's dissect the numbers...
An addition of 1790 seats, multiplied by 81 home games at $20 a seat, and an estimated $20 per game in concessions, total around $5 million in added revenues.
This means that this project will take 5-10 years to pay for itself.
Are we forgetting that the grand-stand is losing concrete already and the entire stadium is going to need renovation is the time frame it will take to make money on the proposed renovation? And can the cubs justify spending this money now,when they could be spending the 30-50 million on fielding a world champion team?
Yours truly posed this question at the meeting last night, and was given a good old-fashioned spit and polish chrome job by one of the Tribune companies best face men, Mark McGuire.
"I assure you that the Cubs #1 priority is to win a world championship of the Friendly confines of Wrigley field" McGuire chimed to the legitimately concerned question of a 1060west fan.
"With cub attendance peaking, isn't their a risk of adding on right before a decline in attendance, when the money could be spent on making the on-field product better suited to make a run for the championship?" 1060west MCav asked.
"We feel with attendance where it is, we act fast to meet the needs of the fan." Mr. McGuire responded, smiling and waving to the applause of the fans in the audience.
I hope he is right, and that the cubs are able to keep posting great attendance numbers, via winning games, and making the play-offs, and ultimately winning the World Series, but as a businessman second and a fan first...
I would like to see the Cubs spend the dough on the team, fielding a World Championship, team, then add the all the freaking bleacher seats the city can hold...
Spit and Polish all you want, this is all about the dollars, not about fielding a world championship baseball team at 1060west addisson.
Just a bit outside,
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