Landmarks, Jumbotrons, Naming Rights and Amusement Taxes, Cubs Have Interest in Them All

Theo Epstein has met with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and gave him a jacket and that was the extent of their meet and greet. I guess that is a good start. The next meeting needs to go in the direction of talking about landmark designations and unlimited night games.

The Cubs are so focused on getting 300 million dollars from the city, that they seem to forget that they could have so much more if they got rid of the landmark designations. Removing those designations gives the Chicago Cubs the opportunity to really rake in the cash to the tune of more than 300 million dollars.

The Cubs could remove the scoreboard and give it to the Smithsonian Museum if they have a place to display it. They could dismantle it and auction off pieces. Once that is done then the Cubs could bring in a jumbotron. With ads this could possibly bring in about 20 million dollars a year. Finally, when going to a Cubs game when there is a close play I can actually see a replay. The jumbotron is badly needed in Wrigley and is a source of income that will really help the Cubs.

The next thing the Cubs could look at is ads on the walls in the outfield. The source of advertising would really rankle the Wrigley faithful and the Cubs would have to do some public relations work in this area, but in the end the Cubs could probably get about 7.5-10 million a year for these advertisements.

Moving on to the next point. Rahm Emanuel can do the Cubs a big favor by giving the Cubs unlimited night games at Wrigley Field. Eliminating the 30 night games a season ordinance at Wrigley will give the Cubs more money in television advertising as more games will be shown in prime time. This will help the Cubs when they decide to start their own Cubs network. Once the network starts the Cubs can not continue to play over 50 games a year in non prime time viewing hours. This could probably bring in about 50 million or more a year.

These three things by my estimate which is probably low would bring in upwards of 80 million dollars a year. I did not even speak of relaxing the amusement tax for 5 years or lowering it from 12% to 6% which would give the Cubs about 8.5 million per year. If my numbers are even close to accurate there may not be a need for this or to rename Wrigley.

I, however, still say that the Cubs should look into naming rights just because they can. If the Wrigley Gum corporation would like for the name to remain, they can pay for the rights. The days of free advertising should be over. Wrigley was not the original name of the stadium anyway. This could probably bring the Cubs about 8 million a year.

If the Cubs look into these issues they will have more than enough resources to not have to ask the city for any tax dollars. This will give Rahm Emanuel a chance to say that even though he is a Cubs fan, he played hard ball and saved the taxpayers of Chicago 300 million dollars. I am sure in the next election this would be a great selling point.

The Cubs will win because they will get to keep all the revenue even after the rebuilding of Wrigley is done. They can sell the city on being the only major sports franchise in Chicago that has not used public funds to further their revenue streams.

This is an easy sell for both sides and gives both sides a chance to claim victory. Why are they making it so hard?

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