Wrigley Field opens its 100th anniversary season today (or, as it’s known to Associated Press URL writers, “Thursday“), and the forecast is for quarter-sized hailstones, no doubt in tribute to the announced retirement of David Letterman. Anyway, they think they’ll get the game in, but regardless of whether or not they do, it’s an excuse for every Chicago news outlet to be talking about what the heck is up with those stadium renovations that have been put off until 2015, oh come on, there’s got to be something to say here, or we’re going to have to write about the actual Cubs, seriously:
The Ricketts family is considering selling minority stakes in the Chicago Cubs to help finance its $500 million plan to renovate Wrigley Field and redevelop the surrounding area, according to a source close to the team.
Okay, I guess that qualifies as something, sort of. Nobody is saying how much of a stake the Rickettses are thinking of unloading, or how serious they are, but it’s one way of raising cash if they want to do it. Or they could just ask their dad for some money, or borrow it from a bank and then repay it from revenues from all the new ad signage they’re hoping to erect, but selling a small slice of equity is a time-honored way to raise capital and not at all something that anyone is likely to get alarmed—
Raising cash will invite comparisons to the New York Mets selling minority ownership stakes in wake of the Bernie Madoff scandal.
Ah, corporate web media, what would we do without you?
Meanwhile, across town, nobody is going to White Sox games because seriously, have you been outside in Chicago in April? Deadspin cracks a joke about how this doesn’t mean that the White Sox should be contracted, but it’s only a matter of time before somebody writes that they need to build a new stadium or move to Schaumburg or something. Probably the next time the Cubs have a hail-out and there are pageviews to fill.
And finally, on a happier note, here’s what Wrigley Field looked like in 1914, when it was home to the Chicago Whales of the Federal League. It’s pretty cool that you can still go to this place and watch baseball, even if it sadly no longer includes a detachable seating section 30 feet behind the first baseman: