It Won't Be Zellular Field
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 29, 2008 2:00PM
Maybe he hasn't made Keith Olbermann's nightly list yet, but Sam Zell is quickly cementing his place among the "Worst People in Chicago" as he continues to antagonize Chicagoans since his takeover of the Tribune Co.
Not content simply wanting to replace actual news with "profitable" features and celebrity news, Zell is working overtime to squeeze every last nickel out of the Cubs before he sells off the team.
This week, he reiterated on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that he intends to sell the naming rights to Wrigley Field to whomever is willing to bid the highest. Of course this news has the whole city in a tizzy. Rick Morrissey says it doesn't matter -- we'll all call it Wrigley anyway.
But when the park's no longer Wrigley Field, then what'll we call the neighborhood surrounding it? What about Bank of America? Like the ring of BOAville? While Chicagoist commenter Spook suggested Old Style Park, is there enough room in Chicago for both an Old Town and an Old Style Town? And what if John Canning -- the frontrunner to buy the Cubs -- pays for the right to put the name of Madison Dearborn-owned CDW on the park. Is there anything that works with that?
With fears of what call the neighborhood around the ballpark when it's rechristened on the minds of local residents, they can add another concern to their list. The Cubs are looking to add more evening events to the schedule. Not only do they want to increase the number of night game the Cubs will play, but they also want to add more concerts to the summer line-up. And we're willing to bet the neighbors won't be getting the same concessions that they got when previous shows were held at Wrigley.
But hey, Zell's gotta get top dollar from the state when he sells us his newly monetized ballpark.
Got an opinion on the Wrigley naming rights issue? You could win $1,000 from the Sun-Times by writing a song and uploading a video about it. But we'll mock you endlessly if you parody "We Didn't Start the Fire."
Wrigley Field photo by Benjy Lipsman