An article in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune caught my eye and I found that editorial board member Steve Chapman made a compelling argument to consider tearing down old Wrigley Field.
Considering the massive shortage of funds that are available from both the public and government financial war-chests it just may be wiser to consider building a new ball yard for the perennially dysfunctional Chicago Cubs. It may be more prudent to get the emotional appeal of aging Wrigley Field placed into its proper perspective before pumping an endless supply of already scarce dollars into a bottomless pit.
Can you imagine the howling that would ensue if the ball park was moved? Residents of “Wrigleyville” have complained for years about parking problems, night games, and more. However, these same vocal voices will no doubt demand that their precious ball park stay just where it has been these many years in order to protect their property values.
If I were a betting man, I suspect that emotion will win over a practical solution to this obvious business problem, but you have to admit that Chapman has presented a strong argument for everyone to consider when he says, “…I am immune to the appeal of using tax dollars to enrich a private business.”
Please do not take this commentary the wrong way, I love that ballpark! Over the years I attended many games there and at old Comiskey Park on the South Side where the Chicago White Sox once played. Comiskey has been replaced by U.S. Cellular Field (The Cell) and was built directly across the street from the old ballpark. I should add here that state, county and city dollars were at least in part used to build the new venue under the direction of the Illinois Sports Authority.
Your Commander suggests that the Ricketts family had this plan tucked in their desk drawer when they submitted their original purchase plan for the Cubs. Wrigley Field did not just get old and in need of millions of dollars in repairs and upgrades in just one year! Obviously the Ricketts were not honest brokers in this deal, so I don’t have any sympathy when they come crying to the fans and taxpayers to bail them out financially.