Naming Wrigley Field

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Top Properties

Yesterday, the Chicago Sun-Times ran a story about new Tribune majority-owner Sam Zell and his plan to sell naming rights to historic Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs. The newspaper's website is running a poll asking "Would you still attend Cubs games if Sam Zell changes the park's name?"

What do you think? Like 95% of people say Yeah. Sure. Duh. Why not?

Right???

Wrongo

As of 11:34 and 5,736 votes 66% say they WON'T attend again!?!?!

Rock and Roll!

You're stupid. You're a liar to boot.

Why would you care? Low end estimations are that they could get 5-6 million per season for naming rights with higher guesstimates at 20 million a year for 20 years. Did you know the Tribune is 13 million in the red and the company wa s purchased to make money. Naming rights could certainly help offset current debt.

I can gloss over the fact that Wrigley IS a corporate name and not by coincidence as the chewing gum king was the owner of the team in 'the day. Why wasn't the outrage this big when they put furniture ads in the dugouts that you see EVERY TIMEthey show the dugout? Why wasn't the outrage this big for the Under Armour ad in the left field ivy? Why didn't meat-head fans stop filling the bleachers in 2006 when they were renamed the Bud Light Bleachers?

 

Come on Cubs fans! You're making yourselves look foolish with this. For everyone that makes an argument that Wrigley Field is the world's largest beer garden- you're loading ammo for them!!! Who cares what the name is?? Maybe a little more outrage would keep your favorite club from selling tickets directly to scalpers and then making you buy them at inflated prices? Maybe some outrage should be rearing its head as to why they made no play for Johan Santana instead of heading into the season as division favorites with Jason Marquis or Ryan Dempster. Maybe getting swept by the team that got swept by the team that got swept in the World Series is close enough to count.... Again- do they care about baseball or drinking beer in whatever the stadium is named?

In 2005 when your cross-town rivals steamrolled their way to the World Series Championship- guess how many people thought or cared that they were going to U.S. Cellular Field instead of Comiskey Park to watch the World Series? Well, 2 games- 100,000 people through the gates....I didn't tally it officially- but I'd guess ZERO!!!!  The name of the park is merely a footnote in history, especially in this day and age. Try to find the U.S. Cellular logo in this picture....it's there, I promise! Don't let that giant World Series trophy and handsome devil smiling ear to ear in front of the sign- regardless of park name clog your view!

Wonder how many lids will flip when they play 2009 home games at US Cellular as their crumbling park (regardless of name) is renovated???
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Jim Ludes is a REALTOR with Century 21 Coleman-Hornsby in Grundy and Will County, IL. If you have a question about real estate that he might be able to help with, email him at Jim@JimLudes.com or call/text at 815-712-7786. If you'd rather observe from afar or become friends first, check him out at:

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Rainer
35,290
Rob Baldwin
US ECO-GREEN REAL ESTATE INC. - Santa Clarita, CA
REALTOR, Santa Clarita
Jim, I can see both points of view. However I would not go so far as to boycott a game just because they changed the name of the park. Heck look at the SF Giants there park opened in what 99 or so, and it has had 3 name changes since then. 1) Pac Bell 2) SBC Global and currently 3) AT&T. If the name were a problem with those fans how many games would they have not attended. Now if the McCourts want to change the name of "Dodger Stadium" to something like Friskies Park or Purina Field, well then we got problems. 8)
Mar 02, 2008 08:23 AM #7
Rainer
139,950
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

Here in Boston the famed Boston Garden was torn down and it has had 3 name changes in the past 10 years. The Fleet Center, Shawmut Center and now TD Bank North Garden.

Or traditionaly we cal it the Garden or just call it the ole Boston Garden.

Mar 02, 2008 10:34 AM #8
Rainer
122,409
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate
I'd hate to see Wrigley renamed only because I love the tradition of the game and let's face it, Wrigley Field is full of tradition and deeply ingrained in the history of the game. But that being said, in this day and age, money talks, and although we may not like these naming deals, it really doesn't affect the game on the field. Besides, they can name the venue anything they want, the fans will probably still call it Wrigley. BTW- I hope to get there one day for a game - no matter what it's called.
Mar 02, 2008 10:59 AM #9
Rainer
130,186
Rich Dansereau
Positive Real Estate Professionals - Knoxville, TN
I remember a couple of years ago all the controversy about putting advertising on the sides of the bases, now that was a bit much! I think that the name of the stadium can reflect the name of the major sponsor; wait, as you pointed out, it already does. I must say that the only one who may be truly upset at the renaming of the ballpark is those twins from the commercials <<<smile>>> In the age of big money sports, it would be unfair to not allow Wrigley to be changed to...what are the contenders again? I think it would be disingenuous for fans to allow a name change of the park to keep them away!
Mar 03, 2008 06:17 AM #10
Rainer
69,596
Jim Ludes
RE/MAX Top Properties - Coal City, IL
Grundy/Will County, IL REALTOR

I agree Rich...Spiderman logos on bases were NOT cool in my book- good thing they pulled the plug....that is above and beyond....things like that and selling ad spaces on jerseys are a no-go in my book and hopefully we don't come to that.

I'm not a fan of selling the names of parks BUT we have to remember it's a quick and easy way for owners to make revenue. I'd never stop cheering on my team at home because of it. I go to US Cellular to cheer on the White Sox, don't have a phone of theirs, possibly never will- got over the name change quickly.

Mar 03, 2008 10:59 AM #11
Rainer
213,625
Eddy Martinez
Nationwide Funding Group - Highland Park, CA

As far as my team the Los Angeles Dodgers they haven't renamed Dodger stadium yet. But inside the park their are advertisements EVERYWHERE. A couple years ago the owner decided to go without names on the back of the jerseys in order to cut costs. If Dodger Stadium and the dodgers front office decide to sell the naming rights to the stadium it wouldn't bother me a bit. Business is Business. Professionals sports is a business after all.

 

Eddy

Apr 07, 2008 08:27 AM #13
Rainer
69,596
Jim Ludes
RE/MAX Top Properties - Coal City, IL
Grundy/Will County, IL REALTOR
Did they REALLY take off the names on jerseys t save a buck? I thought that was for nostalgia? Come on- only two or three teams in ball spend more than the Dodgers!
Apr 07, 2008 04:01 PM #14
Rainer
213,625
Eddy Martinez
Nationwide Funding Group - Highland Park, CA

Jim ------ yes thats the explanation that the owners the McCourts gave. If it were for nostalgic reason they would of done it this year being the 50th anniversary that the Dodgers have been in Los Angeles.

On the field though our bats are off to a slow start hopefully we can pick it up , the NL West is a tough division.

Eddy

Apr 08, 2008 08:35 AM #15
Rainer
42,658
Joe Peffer
Delicious Real Estate - Columbus, OH
Columbus Homes Blog
Cubs fans and Wrigley, both unique to the game.  It's going to be a long time before I can call The Jake Progressive Field.  
Apr 09, 2008 04:01 AM #16
Rainer
69,596
Jim Ludes
RE/MAX Top Properties - Coal City, IL
Grundy/Will County, IL REALTOR
Joe- listening to opening day at the Jake shocked me a little when the White Sox announcers said Progressive Field.....there's not even a really good way to shorten that one up! "The Prog"???
Apr 11, 2008 01:13 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,387,237
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes
Wrigley is a great place to see a ball game...like Fenway I hope it never changes...I want to take my son and grand kids to both
Apr 12, 2008 03:06 AM #18
Ambassador
2,466,930
Steve Hoffacker
Steve Hoffacker LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor
Wrigley Field is already named after a product - so why the need to change? Would ruin an institution. Would you still watch the Cubs if they changed to the Wolves or something? It just wouldn't be the same.
Apr 23, 2008 02:58 PM #19
Rainer
69,596
Jim Ludes
RE/MAX Top Properties - Coal City, IL
Grundy/Will County, IL REALTOR

Steve, thanks for reading. Wrigley is named after the former owner that happened to be a chewing gum mogul....so they're not seeing any money from that name. NOW- they could (and to an extent have been)pressure Wrigley into purchasing the naming rights that they've had free for so many years.... My point is that it doesn't matter a lick what the stadium's called. The company is operating in the red and selling naming rights would help bring that up...

As far as changing the team name- I could care less......you generally only do that if there's a REAL reason to do so----like Tampa Bay changed from the Devil Rays to just the Rays this year. They've been horrible and in the cellar annually since their inception, they want a fancy pants new stadium and NEEDED to re-brand the operation. I'm certain Cubs paraphernalia/ product sells in the top 5 of the league and would bet that it's right behind the Yankees and very close to the Red Sox (if not beyond) in the top 3......so an identity change argument doesn't hold water.

Apr 24, 2008 03:49 AM #20
Anonymous
Paul

Wrigley Fields name has been in place since 1927, I would hate to see it renamed as something stupid like a superstore, or a airline company. Could you imagine a ESPN sports caster saying "were live from Wal-Mart Supercenter Park", or "were here to see the cubs at Southwest Airlines Field". Stick with Wrigley, it's a ledgion. Go Cubs!!!

Jun 20, 2008 05:35 PM #21
Rainer
56,130
-- Casey Brischle
Columbia Bank - Spokane, WA
Spokane Home Loan Mortgage Professional

Unfortunately it is part of sports these days...it is no longer the Boston Garden, or Tigers Stadium or Comisky or Candlestick Park and I am pretty sure it won't be Yankee Stadium next year, but could be wrong.  I am sorry it has come to this.

Jun 24, 2008 10:26 AM #22
Rainmaker
1,387,237
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I think if you asked Cubs fans...if the naming dollars brought in a big free agent who would bring the World Series to Chicago...would they want the name change...you would get some positive feedback.

Jun 26, 2008 02:11 PM #23
Rainer
69,596
Jim Ludes
RE/MAX Top Properties - Coal City, IL
Grundy/Will County, IL REALTOR

That's the trouble though...they DON'T want it....and they already spend enough money on free agents---

Jul 01, 2008 07:50 AM #24
Rainer
35,290
Rob Baldwin
US ECO-GREEN REAL ESTATE INC. - Santa Clarita, CA
REALTOR, Santa Clarita

Jim, you know people are saying one thing and they will do completely the opposite. Yeah I sure they are not happy with it, I know I would hate to see Dodger stadium named after a stupid phone company, or an outfit that sells pet products, or what ever. We both know that nothing will keep them from attending other than maybe not selling beer any more.

Jul 01, 2008 06:43 PM #25
Rainer
69,596
Jim Ludes
RE/MAX Top Properties - Coal City, IL
Grundy/Will County, IL REALTOR

Rob- I agree. I HATED Comiskey Park being changed to US Cellular.....and i LOVED the white sox winning the world series and would have called the field Tampax Field or whatever as a trade off.

Jul 02, 2008 08:27 AM #26
Rainer
89,833
Ted Komenda
Dunhill Group - Osterville, MA

I have to say I would not be thrilled if my beloved Fenway had its name changed, however I certainly would not stop going.  I suppose if selling the naming rights would increase the teams revenue and help ownership get out of the red so they could field a better team I would be fine with that.  Good luck Cubs fans this is a no brainer.

Jul 07, 2008 06:22 AM #27
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