I’ve been avoiding saying much about the ongoing Wrigley Field renovation talks, because there really hasn’t been any official news. That doesn’t stop everybody, though, so we have Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business speculating that “a partial deal could be announced fairly soon that might well give the team enough to begin the reconstruction process.” Fairly soon. Might. Adds Hinz: “We’ll see.”
The main holdup at this point seems to be the fate of the rooftop owners across the street from Wrigley, who Cubs owner Tom Ricketts doesn’t think deserve any money from peeking in over the fence at his product, but who have become a major business force of their own and have alderman Tom Tunney on their side. You have to figure if that’s the only issue, some monetary compromise is possible, but this being Chicago politics there’ll no doubt be lots more drama before we get to that point.
In the meantime, we have the dulcet characters of ESPN’s Rick Reilly, arguing that the Cubs could be making an extra $73 million a year if they were playing somewhere other than Wrigley, which he calls “the old family dog that needs to be put down” and blames for the Cubs never having won a World Series during their time there. Except for that, you know, the Cubs are one of the most valuable teams in the league because people want to go Wrigley even when the team is terrible. And the Cubs had enough money to have the league’s third-highest payroll as recently as three years ago; the problem isn’t that Wrigley Field doesn’t generate revenues, it’s that the Cubs were spending it on Alfonso Soriano…
[UPDATE: Deadspin has happened upon an even better way of rebutting Rick Reilly.]