Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Rosemont Mayor Makes Public Pitch to Cubs

David Kaplan spoke with Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens on Monday morning, and the Mayor “is willing to give the Cubs and the Ricketts family a 25-acre parcel of land in the village that is a prime piece of real estate large enough to accommodate a new ballpark and anything else the Ricketts family would desire to have as part of the new complex.”

Mayor Stephens expressed to Kaplan that the Cubs are “being held hostage by the neighborhood as they look to run their business” and they are willing to offer the team a tremendous opportunity. Stephens told Kaplan just “bring the bricks and the ivy and we can get a deal done.”

David Kaplan reached out to Tom Ricketts for a comment but he was unavailable. Dennis Culloton, a spokesman for the Ricketts family issued this statement:

“Since Day 1, the Ricketts family has been working tirelessly to develop a championship organization and to come up with a plan to preserve Wrigley Field and invest in the neighborhood. The family appreciates the expressions of interest from Rosemont and others, however the current focus is to work toward an agreement with the City of Chicago.”

David Kaplan’s Full Report on Comcast SportsNet

According to Greg Hinz, this might strictly be a bargaining ploy with Chicago, but the Cubs aren’t ruling out a move. Hinz was not able to speak with Mr. Stephens but did talk with the Mayor’s spokesman who confirmed that Kaplan’s story is accurate and that the Mayor “has spoken to some of the Cubs’ people.”

Hinz also spoke with Dennis Culloton on Monday. Culloton called the offer “flattering” but the Cubs “hope to work out something with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and their neighbors to allow the ballpark to be built with new finances, mostly from additional night games and more advertising signs.” The Cubs focus remains to work out a deal with the city of Chicago.

Greg Hinz added later in his report, that the team has received other offers to move, but did not go into specifics.

Full Report from Crain’s Chicago Business

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  • SuzyS

    Watching Rosemont over the years…I would be careful.
    The politics of Rosemont are akin with Chicago’s or Cicero’s. And you’re still talking Cook County.

    Aaron, Evanston and Winnetka are very inconvenient for anyone coming from the south burbs…it would have to be more centrally located…perhaps in Dupage County or Lake County along the I355 corridor.

    In any case, for this moment, I don’t see the Cubs moving.

    • Tony_Hall

      Nothing central about it and nothing that could remotely be called south side for the Cubs. If they moved the North or Northwest Suburbs would the only place to go.

      I have had two thought for a long time, that the DH was bad and that the Cubs should do everything to make Wrigley work. I have changed my opinions on both of these. Bring on the DH, and I now hope that Tom Ricketts walks into the next meeting with the City of Chicago and tells them, times up, we are moving outside the city, and that we will be moving the Kane County Cougars to play at Wrigley. The look on the roof top owners face when they realize that Wrigley can hold all the people it needs for the minor league games and that ticket prices are far, far less expensive would be priceless.

      • Dorasaga

        Why wouldn’t the Ricketts? Fear of the convenience provided by Wrigley-ville? that drew uninterested tourists to pay for bad products on the field? I don’t know. If there’s anything not done, it’s not just the rooftop and bad politics. These two have been here since Year One. I wonder when will the Ricketts give up working with the untouchables, and start funding with their own money to build a better ballpark around Illinois?

        • DWalker

          When the cost to stay becomes to high. Theres a lot of people who right now say they will stop being fans if the cubs move. A new stadium is going to be expensive. At what point does the risk of moving and the cost, become outweighed by the oppurtunity cost and renovation? Right now, Ricketts stil think its worth doing buisness in chicago. I am not 100% sure that right now this is entirly buisness and not to some degree fannishness of WANTING to make wrigley work. Outside looking in, I find it hard to think that a move does not have strong advantages over staying, but I don’t have even remotly close to a full picture, especially not of the negative costs from the fanbase. The Cubs do and right now they aren’t making noise about moving, that means to me that they are nowhere near the deadlock it looks like, and that so far they don’t see the cost of staying as more than the cost of moving.

          • Dorasaga

            There are still NBA Sonic fans from Seattle and NFL Ram fans from LA. Both franchises moved a looong way (and a long time now). If the Ricketts simply move to the Illinois suburb, then hypothetically, the fanbase will only grow. In fact, I’m even thinking the current inpendent leagues around Illinois will be able to work with the Cubs more closely. We can think of endless opportunities. The problem of course, is our lack of info. to make an in-depth conclusion. But it’s not the point for a fan. We are supposed to look from outside-in.

        • DWalker

          Going to see if this posts, I had a long response typed up and it didn’t show up, had the same thing happen yesterday.

          They will move if the cost of doing buisness + the cost of rennovation + the oppertunity costs outweighs the cost of moving + the loss of fan support + the loss of historical status + the oppertunity costs of being in wrigleyville. Right now, based on the mild rheotiric being thrown around, I don’t think we are at the impasse it looks like, nor have they decided staying is more expensive than moving yet. Not knowing the numbers and details, I do find it hard to beleive staying is really that cost effective, so I wonder if we are seeing some Ricketts fandom and that he WANTS really to see wrigley to be the cubs home on a personal level thats so far outweighing a pure buisness look.

          • DWalker

            well, now it showed up. How annoying.

          • SuzyS

            DWalker…lol…it was a good post anyhow…so don’t be too annoyed.
            I have to say that if they moved, the Cubs would indeed lose that built in tourist attraction crowd that guarantees them huge attendance in bad years.
            Gee…”all the nice restaurants and bars…the $50.00 parking…all that jazz would go up in flames.”
            That doesn’t mention the $$$ the Cubs have already invested in property in the Wrigleyville area.
            So no, I don’t see them moving…but they really should leverage their bets by

            publicly considering other locations…Things only get done in Chicago with clout…the Cubs have it…and have not figured out how to use it yet.

          • Dorasaga

            The Ricketts own the “stadium.” They can always bring the Cubs back to Wrigley for 10-15 weekend games, and DAAAAY game! woohoo! Tradition never dies!–just to boost up attendance during bad years.

            I don’t believe it can be an issue of losing fan-base; e.g. my comment above. Baseball fans in Illinois and around it are HUNGRY. If the Cubs moved, more fanbase. Newer fans. Younger fans. Fans who’ll stick another century because now they’ll remember forever how they can bike to a ballpark and watch a big leaguer first time in life.

            It’s not like Chicago owns the whole Midwest, and Chicagoans never drive. The Ricketts can even provide free parking and cheap hotdogs with a bigger space more remote from a metro!

        • Tarzan Joe

          if Ricketts leaves Wrigleyville; he’ll be forced to put a competitive team on the field. something in his 1st 4 yrs of ownerhsip he has not wanted to do. wrigleyville allowed them to lose 101 games and draw 2.8M; no team ever has lost that many and drawn 2.8M. and since the renovation so far is much more important than winning; i doubt they’ll move. but w/o making efforts to do so; he is losing the built in leverage he has with the city. wrigleyville exists due to the cubs. at this point’ not sure what is more exhausting; the stewart saga, the cubs losing on purpose, or the never-ending renovation talks. can’t wait for the season to begin……….but somehow not expecting this 90 plus loss team to be much of a distraction. good thing i spent money for the MLB package!

          • Dorasaga

            I don’t know why other fans gave you the downer button. You didn’t express an opinion that most here wouldn’t say.

      • SuzyS

        Again…No to the DH…unless you like to watch aging sluggers fade out…it changes so much strategy of the game…it makes the game more boring in my opinion.
        Tony, since you live in Rockford, perhaps you were unaware that Lake County along the I- 355 corridor is considered the NW suburbs.
        DuPage County is immediately south of Lake County…and would be considered more of a far western suburban area. Both are more accessible to all fans than either Evanston or Winnetka would be.

        • Tony_Hall

          I think of 355 as Western Suburbs. To me the Northwest Suburbs run along 90 and mostly the north side of 90 and immediately off of 90 to the south.

          355’s far north is south of O’Hare (Addison, Glendale Heights) of which I consider more Western Suburbs.

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