Saturday, August 22, 2009

What does a new owner mean for Cubs Fans?

Pending major league baseball and court approval the Ricketts family will be the official new owners of the Chicago Cubs. This is welcome news to those who blame the Tribune ownership for past failures, and for those of us who were tired of reading about this story the past three years.

There won't be a ton of changes right away, nobody can save this season, but there have been some hints of changes by Bruce Levine. PSLs will probably be coming for season ticket holders, something that won't go over well at first, but will help generate money for the team. There will also be talks of getting a jumbotron, which could generate enough money to pay off the Ricketts' yearly loan. Wrigley Field will probably get redone in the coming years and naming rights to the stadium could be sold.

All those are very good things for the Cubs team on and off the field. The Wrigley clubhouses are in desperate need of remodeling, as is the rest of the stadium. It would be very possible to keep the field itself as is while fixing the structure around it. A new stadium structure would again generate more revenue for a team that hasn't given its best effort at doing so in a long time. There is so much potential for maximizing revenue and I would expect the Ricketts family to do so rather than cut payroll which would be the other option since there is a loan to be paid off.

Selling the naming rights to the field would cause the biggest uproar, like when the Broncos sold the naming rights to Mile High Stadium a while ago. I would imagine that Wrigley gum would get the first crack at buying the naming rights to begin with, and if they said yes the whole thing would be solved. Honestly though if it means the Cubs have extra money to spend on free agents each year does anybody really care if we play at Wrigley Field presented by McDonalds?

New ownership is an exciting time for the Cubs, it seems like the Ricketts have interest in maximizing revenue and improving facilities. That will have enormous benefit for players and fans, while helping field the best possible team each season. 

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