Which is why it makes no sense for the Cubs to leave Wrigleyville for suburban Rosemont or anywhere else.
“Their greatest asset is their fans, but Wrigley is as great an asset as the team itself, and that’s because of the value placed on it by the fans,” said Jim Grinstead, publisher of Revenues from Sports Ventures, a well-regarded newsletter on the economics of sports teams. “Cubs fans have put up with a lot of losing for a lot of years. They’re loyal to their team, and that loyalty extends to the ballpark as well. If you move from Wrigley, you risk breaching the trust of your fans.”
The threat of abandoning that equity and investment for a new ballpark in Rosemont, as has been floated of late, is undercut by aversion to that risk. Even if the resulting edifice proved an adequate replica, the roar of O’Hare arrivals and departures drowning out organ music notwithstanding, it couldn’t be the same. Part of Wrigley Field’s appeal, nestled in a real community of bars, restaurants and apartments, is that it is real.
In that sense, the Cubs are the victims of their own hype. All those years of touting Wrigley as a baseball cathedral — and a more reliable attraction than the also-ran teams sent out of the third-base dugout to play in it for decades — have masked its deterioration and lack of modern amenities.
Posted: March 27, 2013 at 08:36 AM | 87 comment(s)
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