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  #261  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 3:50 PM
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If you miss Tribune ownership their is something wrong with you Alexi. Ricketts is doing everything the Trib should have been doing themselve while they owned the team for almost 30 years. The Cubs have been leaving millions upon millions in revenue on the table for decades because of the Trib's lack of vision and incompent management of the franchise. They even sold the team for far less than what it actually is worth, especially now that these regional sports network tv deals are adding $100 million plus annually to the revenues...
I'm okay with the Trib leaving behind millions in revenue. They still built one of the top 3 most cash-rich teams in the league (it recently dropped to #4, $1m behind Philly in revenue) but there's no doubt the Cubs will leapfrog Philly in 2015 after their current television expires next year.

BTW, I hardly think the Trib mismanaged the team from a financial POV. They took a low-attendance team in the 70s and put the power of cable television, the real authentic experience that was Wrigley (Americana at its finest) and paired all that up with some iconic Mike Royko columns that increased the allure of the lovable losers. It's a great case study in successful marketing.
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  #262  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 3:54 PM
ehilton44 ehilton44 is offline
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I don't think the Ricketts's will totally destroy the Wrigley experience with the renovations. Tom grew up coming to Wrigley, met his wife in the bleachers, and still sits out there from time to time. One of the first things he talked about when he bought the team was a desire to preserve Wrigley.

I'm a huge Cubs fan and a huge fan of Wrigley but I can admit that it needs updating. The services aren't the best, the concourse is too narrow, and while I sometimes love the troughs, I suppose some people could go for nicer bathrooms. More importantly the clubhouse and facilities for the players are horrible by modern standards. Pinch hitters can't warm up anywhere because the batting cage is underneath the bleachers. There aren't modern training facilities. Certain players don't want to play for the Cubs because of this no matter how much money is spent.

Focusing on the jumobtron, I've read that it will generate $5 million/year in advertising. Over 20 years that alone will pay for 1/3 of the cost of renovations. If it creates a better Wrigley Field, I have no opposition to a Jumbotron. I hope they do it tastefully, as they did the video screen in right field last year.

This isn't just a cash grab by millionaire owners. Wrigley is great and they know it. They just want modern facilities in addition to the Wrigley experience.

Last edited by ehilton44; Apr 18, 2013 at 4:10 PM.
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  #263  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 6:26 PM
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^
Now just think how much richer they'd be if the Cubs were actually good. My God, just win a damn pennant this century. That's not too much to ask for, really
Well it could be counter productive to that goal if they throw the baby out with the bath water and don't get the delicate mix right of preserving why they and Wrigley are so popular and instead jump to maximize every dollar short term. I think they run risk of because just another large market team that has to win and charge insanely high ticket prices in order to contend. They risking a significant amount of a kind of unique aura and mystique (even if it is an aura sneered at by Sox fans and cynics) that I believe does translate into dollars even if they are dollars that are intangible.

Long term they may be seriously downgrading their brand with some of these moves and the fans will suffer as a result. And all for what. An extra 5 million per year of advertising? To their overall revenues and payroll this is a fraction of either that will not come near making the difference between being competitive or not.

Maybe I'm just a romantic or a naive. I just know I would so much prefer to look out at the view of the Lake View neighborhood on a beautiful summer day or night and look off at Lake Michigan between innings then being bombarded with a kiss cam and tacky 100 decibel beer commercials at my senses that make the ADD set happy. I'l be honest that I've been to a lot of stadiums with jumbo trons (pretty much every pro stadium other then Wrigley) and I can count on one hand the number of times video or information on the screen that I feel is the least bit compelling or information. I think if the Cubs really wanted to be at the forefront of technology they would instill free wi-fi in the stadium (with periodic adverts of some sort) given that people are looking at their smart phones and go them for instant information anyway these days.
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  #264  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 6:49 PM
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Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
Maybe I'm just a romantic or a naive. I just know I would so much prefer to look out at the view of the Lake View neighborhood on a beautiful summer day or night and look off at Lake Michigan between innings then being bombarded with a kiss cam and tacky 100 decibel beer commercials at my senses that make the ADD set happy. I'l be honest that I've been to a lot of stadiums with jumbo trons (pretty much every pro stadium other then Wrigley) and I can count on one hand the number of times video or information on the screen that I feel is the least bit compelling or information. I think if the Cubs really wanted to be at the forefront of technology they would instill free wi-fi in the stadium (with periodic adverts of some sort) given that people are looking at their smart phones and go them for instant information anyway these days.
The wi-fi idea is definitely a good idea. However, how much can be generated from that? It would probably be based on clicks which doesn't generate nearly as much revenue.

But I think people need to stop focusing as much on the jumbotron as an essential part of the plans as much as a means to an end. Have you seen pictures comparing the Cubs clubhouse to ANY other major league team? If I was a player I'd be livid that my buddies in Minnesota get a huge, gorgeous club house, with a whirlpool and training facilities while I'm stuck in what is essentially a glorified closet. But upgrading the clubhouse costs money.

As a fan, I think there are some great concessions at Wrigley Field, but there aren't enough stands. That's because the kitchens are at capacity right now. Increasing kitchen size would make sense, but that costs money.

It would be nice in the upper deck if there was more room. The aisle between the 400 and 500 sections gets very crowded and difficult to maneuver, especially between innings. It'd be really nice if they could building out some sort of larger upper deck concourse (part of the plans). But building that out costs money.

Guess what brings in that money. A jumbotron. The Cubs aren't asking for any money from the city or state to do these renovations that will increase the fan experience and increase the desire to play for the Cubs. It may not be perfect, but it needs to be done.
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  #265  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 6:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Neuman View Post
If you miss Tribune ownership their is something wrong with you Alexi. Ricketts is doing everything the Trib should have been doing themselve while they owned the team for almost 30 years. The Cubs have been leaving millions upon millions in revenue on the table for decades because of the Trib's lack of vision and incompetent management of the franchise. They even sold the team for far less than what it actually is worth, especially now that these regional sports network tv deals are adding $100 million plus annually to the revenues...
The Trib's biggest misstep was not spending as much as the big boys like the Red Sox or Yanks. Which they are arguably capable. Neither did they hire the right baseball people to run the on field operations. That isn't something I yet to see Ricketts carry out though either other then unfilled vague promises that every owner makes.

The Trib took a company they bought in 1982 for something like 25 million I think and sold it for +800 million. Like Alexi said they took a stadium that many summer days struggled to draw 10k and by the end they consistently drew +35k per game and over 3 million per year even charging the 3rd highest ticket prices in MLB. Their marketing success was so well regarded that the Blackhawks opened up a blank checkbook to the Cubs long time marketing director who has turned the Hawks around.

What have the Ricketts done other then given fans other then a noodle, Toyota sign, and hopes pinned on wonder boy Theo?
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  #266  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 7:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ehilton44 View Post
...Guess what brings in that money. A jumbotron. The Cubs aren't asking for any money from the city or state to do these renovations that will increase the fan experience and increase the desire to play for the Cubs. It may not be perfect, but it needs to be done.
Honest question. Do you really think the changes + hotel + offices can't be done without the jumbotron revenue?
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  #267  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 7:50 PM
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Honest question. Do you really think the changes + hotel + offices can't be done without the jumbotron revenue?
Of course they probably can be. But professional sports teams, whether we like it or not, are still businesses. I sort of feel like there was really no win-win situation and this is the closest we'll get. I feel like the jumbotron is the price we pay for the city/state not shelling out $100 million (the federal gov't will give tax breaks if Wrigley is placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Adler, Shedd, and Orchestra Hall all benefited from these tax breaks, as did Fenway.)

I think the hotel will be a fine addition to Wrigleyville, as will the Triangle building. I hate those parking lots along Clark. I'm not so thrilled about the pedestrian bridge, but who knows if that will actually happen. Overall, I think this is a pretty good deal for all parties (except maybe the rooftop owners).
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  #268  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2013, 7:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ehilton44 View Post
Of course they probably can be. But professional sports teams, whether we like it or not, are still businesses. I sort of feel like there was really no win-win situation and this is the closest we'll get. I feel like the jumbotron is the price we pay for the city/state not shelling out $100 million (the federal gov't will give tax breaks if Wrigley is placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Adler, Shedd, and Orchestra Hall all benefited from these tax breaks, as did Fenway.)

I think the hotel will be a fine addition to Wrigleyville, as will the Triangle building. I hate those parking lots along Clark. I'm not so thrilled about the pedestrian bridge, but who knows if that will actually happen. Overall, I think this is a pretty good deal for all parties (except maybe the rooftop owners).
This post encapsulates the problem with the profit motive IMO.

The Cubs could do a MUCH better job at the renovation game while still reaping millions more in not only revenue but in adding to the valuation of the club.

But hey, if these moves (which do lack a focus unlike the Soldier's Field renovation) are enough to overcome the loss in attendance and revenue from the likes of me and the people I drag to Cub games when I'm in Chicago (which is a lot due to business), all the best to the organization. I'm less sad for the Cubs than I am for the loss of a real, authentic baseball experience for the city of Chicago.
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  #269  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2013, 9:40 PM
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This post encapsulates the problem with the profit motive IMO.
^ Stand at the corner of State and Randolph one day and look all around you.

The profit motive built nearly everything in site.

Like it or hate it, that's what motivates people to build great cities.
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  #270  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2013, 8:59 AM
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Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
The Trib's biggest misstep was not spending as much as the big boys like the Red Sox or Yanks. Which they are arguably capable. Neither did they hire the right baseball people to run the on field operations. That isn't something I yet to see Ricketts carry out though either other then unfilled vague promises that every owner makes.

The Trib took a compa?
Tribune's biggest missteps:

-Not demanding to be at the table when the State created a downtown hotel tax to build, and fund all upgrades to comiskey cellular field. The irony is the cubs bring in more out of town hotel guest that pay for Sox Park than the Sox do.

-Unfortunately in baseball there is a 4 - 6 year lag time where if you have the right organization in your farm system that the results show up in the majors. Dallas Green built a solid farm system but got sacked when the corporate suits lost patience. So while Grace. Madux, Dunston, Palmero, Martinez where arriving, the smart baseball guys who drafted them were fired and the decline in talent development occurred.

Last edited by LaSalle.St.Station; Apr 21, 2013 at 9:12 AM. Reason: msp
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  #271  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2013, 10:32 PM
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Don't think it's been discussed much yet

But the developers of the other major Wrigley development have scrapped their hotel plans in favor of all apartments and retail.

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  #272  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2013, 11:58 PM
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But the developers of the other major Wrigley development have scrapped their hotel plans in favor of all apartments and retail.
I wish this project was just Addison and Sheffield frontage. Neutering Clark Street would be horrifying... but replacing those surface lots and the 711 with eight floors of residences would be amazing.
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  #273  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2013, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by untitledreality View Post
I wish this project was just Addison and Sheffield frontage. Neutering Clark Street would be horrifying... but replacing those surface lots and the 711 with eight floors of residences would be amazing.
is there more pics of this other project ?
I love the trees on the roof .......
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  #274  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2013, 12:43 PM
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Lakeview rents are certainly high enough to justify this project, so I wonder if they'll have better luck landing financing with this plan, especially since they won't be in direct competition with the Ricketts any more (ie hotel has been scrapped)
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  #275  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2013, 1:47 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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I can't help but think this new project should be another 5 stories taller with bleachers built into the roof. Maybe they could have skyboxes on the upper floors as well. Take the whole "Wrigley rooftops" thing to a new extreme. Then use landmarks to block the Rickets from doing anything about it.

Also, I don't see how this is "neutering Clark street". Most of the buildings that would come down are shit buildings and, well, let's just say I'm not all that impressed with the majority of the businesses operating in this area. In fact, most of these shitty bars are the kind of place that would have no qualms about moving into an enormous new storefront where they can cram in as many bros as possible.
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  #276  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2013, 5:54 PM
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Always thought that the project was too polished for the neighborhood. I've always loved the grit and visual noise associated with that part around the cubs stadium. I'd rather have seen this only on Addison. With maybe a couple additional floors
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  #277  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2013, 7:48 PM
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Originally Posted by the urban politician View Post
^ Stand at the corner of State and Randolph one day and look all around you.

The profit motive built nearly everything in site.

Like it or hate it, that's what motivates people to build great cities.
The profit motive motivates the building of great cities? That's news to me. This whole time I thought it dealt with a host of other factors, too. Things like efficiency, environment, resources, safety...

But hey, I don't decry the profit margin as much as point out that there are more important things in life than making an extra $5m in revenue (vs. say, making a more measly profit of $35m-$50m/y). Not to mention that they'll be making about $10m more per season in pure profit after the WGN deal expires at the end of next season and perhaps up to 10-15x that in revenues if they start their own station ala YES network.

And let's not forget that ownership can actually write off millions in taxes thanks to depreciation clauses. So if the Cubs make $45m in profits as they did in 2008, absolutely none of that profit is taxed. In fact, over the course of 15 years, Ricketts can deduct up to $105m of taxes thanks to this deal. Not so shabby, eh? But yeah, give the guy a jumbotron, please. Clearly the man needs it.
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Last edited by alex1; Apr 22, 2013 at 8:09 PM.
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  #278  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2013, 7:49 PM
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Notre Dame Architecture Professor on the JumboTron

Quote:
Why A Jumbotron At Wrigley Field Is A Super-Sized Mistake

by Philip Bess Apr 19, 2013
http://chicagosidesports.com

Bad generals plan for the last war. But good generals plan for the future with a sure grasp of the history of politics, warfare and human nature; and as with generals, so with baseball executives. There is reason to believe Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein are on course in terms of Cubs player personnel and development, but on the verge of a mistake with respect to Wrigley Field.

It is always good to understand the value of genuine assets. In light of the so-called “Fenway Plan”—a term floated a year ago by Mayor Emmanuel’s office—for Wrigley now being proposed by the Cubs and the city, all parties should recall the last major makeover of the ballpark three decades ago, as well as the recent history of Fenway Park.

The Cubs were dreadful in 1981, and sold mid-season by the Wrigley family to the Tribune Company. Dallas Green came to Chicago as the new general manager, one year removed from managing the Philadelphia Phillies to their first-ever world championship. Green almost got the Cubs to the World Series. Almost as significantly, he got lights in Wrigley Field and created the neighborhood phenomenon now known as Wrigleyville. Victory-starved Cubs fans had made Wrigley Field a hopping place in the late ’60s and early ’70s, but Wrigleyville is a child of the ’80s. What had been a working-class Lake View neighborhood—one with rental apartments regularly available in the three-flats and six-flats opposite Wrigley—became upscale Wrigleyville by virtue of Boomer demographics, and the neighborhood presence of the Cubs. Tensions arose between the Cubs’ desire to increase revenue and competitiveness by allowing night baseball at Wrigley, and their neighbors’ desire to protect their quality of life and property values. But in the end, a compromise allowed limited night baseball, property values continued to rise, and Green came to understand Wrigley’s value as a unique asset integral to the Cubs’ identity.
The rest of the article is available here, at Chicago Side Sports



Image - http://chicagosidesports.com
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  #279  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2013, 9:38 PM
PerryPendleton PerryPendleton is offline
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OMG. Is that jumbotron rendering legit? I think I'm gonna puke.

THAT IS HORRIBLE. AHHHHH
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  #280  
Old Posted Apr 22, 2013, 9:40 PM
PerryPendleton PerryPendleton is offline
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Food for thought.

A large jumbotron, creatively placed, behind/over the rooftops?
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