Dear Mr. Ricketts,
As a lifelong Cubs fan I have spent thousands of hours wishing and hoping that I will someday live to see your team play in a World Series. It's hard to even imagine the joy and thrill of having that experience and wonder if this, this year of 2016, is truly THE YEAR. I'd love to think so as would thousands of other loyal fans.
I am 58 years old and have invested approximately 367,920 hours supporting the team. I've attended hundreds of games, purchased at least 1-2 hotdogs at each one and a myriad of other snacks. Safe to say, I've spent a few bucks.
However, the fact is that I am young compared to many Cubs fans out there. Many have been gracing the friendly confines of Wrigley since it's early years. I'm not sure how old the oldest fan is but who knows? Could be someone who was born when it was built just over 100 years ago.
Now these people are the real fans. Not the beer guzzling millennials that frequent the park for a fun night out or a drunken day party, but those who scraped pennies together as kids to see a game. Those who have spent their long lives holding out hope that they will live to see it happen. Live to see the team of their lifetime go all the way.
In the book "100 Things Cubs Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die", author Jimmy Greenfield had this to say:
"When Cubs fans dream about winning the World Series, they risk falling into a coma. It's that deep, that intense and unless you've spent your whole life being told it can never happen, will never happen, and won't happen, you can't possibly know the depths of a Cubs fan's hopes and dreams". I imagine you've read the book.
Imagine those fans that are well into their golden years that have had this pounded into their heads. Sure, last year we were close but that wasn't meant to be. We needed this year to show that we weren't just a fluke, that this young group of talented players were going to bring us that elusive prize. And this, I truly believe in my hope filled heart of hearts, is the year.
This hope brings me to my request, to you, the man who can make this decision, this dream I would love to see happen. That dream is that somehow, I call upon you to allow at least 10% of your daily world series seats (not to jinx anything!) to be free of entry to fans over the age of 80.
On the average if an 80 year old fan started their love affair with your team at the age of roughly 10, they have invested 39,420 days or 946,080 hours or 56,764,800 seconds hoping. That 56 million seconds is less that the average of $82 million dollars you will take in in ONE DAY for a world series game (tickets only, estimated at $2,000 per ticket).
You have a payroll of over $180 million this year. Perhaps some of the players could buy up some of the tickets for those fans? How about a lottery drawing for 4,126 seats per game? This isn't something that we may see happen again, of course that is if it does. I just want to throw the idea out at you to see if you could find it in you to thank your longest standing fans for their never-ending support.
I'm guessing many of these fans could not afford a ticket. And even if they could, perhaps the amount of time and money they have spent at Wrigley could be payment enough. In 2011 the average cost for a family to attend a game at Wrigley was $305. I myself have been to six games this year and spent well over $1k. I've been asked what I would spend on a World Series ticket and I can't say. I want to be in the position to really decide.
I have (hopefully) more years in me to either see another win (if they take it this year) or a chance at it. Since the average life expectancy of a person born here is 78 years, I'd say this could be a last chance for the demographic I speak of.
So I ask you to consider this. There is nothing in it for me - just knowing that all those people who have waited all their lives to see something so epic, so incredible, may just have a chance to be there. Think about it. And thanks for putting together this incredible team.
A lifelong hopeful