Unless you believe the value of the Chicago Cubs franchise is inextricably tied to the iconic status of Wrigley Field — and that’s not the craziest assumption given the on-field product most years — club chairman Tom Ricketts received something resembling a bargaining chip in his negotiations with the city Monday. Rosemount, IL Mayor Brad Stephens is offering the Cubs a 25 acre parcel of land and what sounds like zero restrictions on night games and ballpark signage ; presumably, Stephens will have few qualms, personal or political, with any future attempts by Ricketts to torpedo Rahm Emmanuel’s old boss. From CSN.com’s Dave Kaplan :
“The Chicago Cubs are being held hostage by the neighborhood as they look to run their business. We are willing to offer them a tremendous opportunity if they are interested. Bring the bricks and the ivy and we can get a deal done, ” Stephens told me this morning.
“Rosemont is very pro-development and we have a long history of experience dealing with big business. From my position, you have a wealthy family willing to pay all of the costs of a major renovation project, which will bring a tremendous number of jobs to the community,” Stephens said.
“However, they are not getting cooperation from the neighborhood,” Stephens added. “Even if the Cubs get a deal done now what will happen when they need something else a year or two years down the road? This will not be the last time the community or the alderman will be difficult to deal with. The Cubs will never have those kinds of problems if they move to Rosemont.”