Originally Posted by SI1020
Who says it has to be a generic cookie cutter stadium like those that used to be in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and St. Louis back in the day? I know this is a very city centric board, but trends come and go. The back to the city thing is much ballyhooed and very overrated. It is a sliver of high income people leading the charge. Those that marry and have kids are often off to Naperville or some such when it is time for the kiddies to start school. Not everyone gets to go to a choice magnet school. The vast majority of Chicago area residents live outside the city limits and that is unlikely to change any time soon. Anyway, even if it is a sin to consider a ball park that isn't Wrigley, the Cubs are a special case. I mean 1908 and 1945. Even I wasn't alive then. I'm surprised a hidebound old goat like me can see that radical changes are necessary. Cub fans aren't going to give up on their team. There will be weeping wailing and gnashing of teeth but the Cubs desperately need a different venue to play in. Even if they get a refurbished Wrigley where will they play while the rehabbing is going on? Then they will still be boxed in by the rules laid down by a very powerful alderman. Sometimes in life you have to consider the unthinkable.
I'm no pretentious city-dweller. I live in a suburb. It's not about city vs suburban living here, it's about a sports team whose identity is tied together with their stadium as much as any other sports team in the world. Tourists who came to Chicago are not going to go out to Rosemont to see a new ballpark in anywhere close to the same degree that they currently flock to Wrigley Field. 20-and-30-somethings with disposable incomes who love getting shvitzed at who knows how many games each summer are not going to go to Rosemont in the same numbers, either. Those families in the suburbs you refer to might go to a few games a year, but I don't see them being able to support the team in large numbers for every game to the same degree that tourists and young people currently do.
The economics of Wrigley Field and the Cubs are rather unique, and I don't see any way they can re-create that environment out in the suburbs, and especially not at the site being discussed here. The Cubs have not been a marketing and economic success for 30 years because their fans are any more loyal than anyone else, it's because of the ballpark itself and where that park is located. Doing away with those advantages would also do away with their prolonged attendance success.