You’ve heard the expression “care to make it interesting?” Well, the 2021 Chicago Cubs could certainly use all the help they can get right now when it comes to generating entertainment value. Since Chairman Tom Ricketts sold off all the players of value a couple weeks ago, the current team inhabiting Wrigley Field is only a shell of a baseball team.
If you are taking analyzing Chicago Cubs futures & betting odds, you’re looking hard at a 90 loss team right now. Losers of six of their last seven, and eight of their last ten, the odds are going to be against the North-siders, almost all of the time, from here until the end of the season.
With that in mind, Ricketts and his ballclub (which looks a minor league AAA team now) are rapidly moving forward on developing their next revenue stream, a sports book at Wrigley Field. The team made their pitch to the Chicago City council, specifically the commission on landmarks, last Thursday.
The scheme revolves around a 22,350-square-foot structure that would be built at the corner of Sheffield Avenue and Addison, near the right field gate.
Crain’s Chicago Business points out that this endeavor still has some obstacles to overcome, writing “In addition to winning approval from the landmarks panel, the team needs the City Council to sign off not only on the development itself but also pass an ordinance that would allow sports betting inside the city’s major stadiums.”
Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) brought forth this kind of proposal a few weeks ago, but it was sent to the Rules Committee, where it’s going to stall for some time. It’s all complicated by the fact that some city leaders are hoping to one day build a Chicago casino, which would then be a direct competitor to the local sports teams that could by that time have their own sports books.
There is just a ton of balls in the air now on all of this. As for the Cubs, they have a deal with an angry fanbase that is totally justified in their vitriol for an ownership group that waved the white flag of surrender on the next few seasons. Ricketts is notorious for taking all the credit when things go right, and always blaming others for when things go wrong.
A Friendly Confines sports book development project would, naturally, not be any different.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune.
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