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This just in… Cubs say they’re moving forward

Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010 - Posted by Rich Miller

* 2:03 pm - House Speaker Michael Madigan just told reporters that it was his understanding that the Cubs have withdrawn their stadium proposal.

No word yet on whether we’ll see a new plan.

* 4:00 pm - From the Cubs: “Nothing has changed and we are hard at work.”

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  1. - MrJM - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:14 pm:

    Dear Joe Ricketts,


    – Steve Bartman

  2. - fed up - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:16 pm:

    It was also Madigans understanding that everyone should get their property tax bills after the election because you know we wouldn’t want you thinking about silly things like taxes during an election.

  3. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:16 pm:

    I think there will be a new plan, but it will be in January or the spring session — most likely after the Mayoral elections.

  4. - Jim - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:21 pm:

    Who cares, how about adressing the budget, pensions, etc?

  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:24 pm:

    The Rickett Kids …

    “Well, …that didn’t go very well …”

  6. - Mike Ins - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:25 pm:

    Expect lots of stories about crumbling Wrigley in the near future. Maybe on opening day insist patrons wear construction hard-hats for their own safety, etc.

  7. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:26 pm:

    Trial balloon bursts. Film at 10:00…

  8. - shore - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:27 pm:

    plan went as well as (fill in the blank bad signing/season/playoff debacle/manager/draft pick/prospect/idiot fan stunt/ (after 102 years of losing lots of options)) for the cubs.

    I’d go with the multi-billion dollar worth ricketts family’s plan went as well as the larry himes era.

    but that’s just me.

  9. - Just a Reader - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:30 pm:

    Larry Himes.
    I can feel the indigestion coming on. Thanks.

  10. - JFL - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:31 pm:

    “Now we won’t have the money to paint the marquee red again!!”

  11. - Mike Ins - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:38 pm:

    Living in Oklahoma only invests himself/herself in stories when the dollars at stake are at least $1 billion.
    In the $13 trillion federal debt area and $15 billion state debt and 33 % of Chicago homeowners underwater on the mortgage this minute, maybe that makes sense.

  12. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:43 pm:

    Lol shore. We still don’t have a lead-off hitter or a closer.

  13. - Upsate - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:47 pm:

    Rickets never effectively made the point that the amusement tax at Wrigley is a tax on his product and his fan base. So to that extent, he’s not asking for general revenues, which is what all the news stories implied.

    He’s asking to keep the future growth in a tax specifically on his team and it’s patrons in order to improve the place, and keep the Wrigleyville economic engine going, including its massive sales tax revenue from bars, restaurants, hotels, etc.

    If we end up with another stadium off Interstate 90, in a sea of asphalt, disconnected from a dense urban environment, it will have no positive economic impact for anybody.

    That probably won’t happen, since so much of Wrigley’s (and the Cubs) allure is the location,but at least it’s an argument–one that the Rickets family did not present very well.

  14. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:50 pm:

    Thanks Upsate, I wasted half a day on the other thread and you summed it up nicely in one quick post. Well said.

  15. - Ghost - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:52 pm:

    Upsate the Rickets bought a fixer upper at a bargain price and are asking somon else to cover the fix it cost. When its fixed the Ricketts can sell it for the now higher price and pocket the profit.

  16. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:53 pm:

    Any action on SB3970 yet? The ILGA site indicates no votes yet. Are they still in the Gaming Committee meeting?

  17. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:54 pm:

    It’s all Jack Lavin’s fault, fire him!

  18. - lakeview - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:54 pm:

    JFL wins.

  19. - Vote Quimby! - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:55 pm:

    Maybe “hope” IS a strategy now… just wait ’till next year!

  20. - Mike Ins - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:55 pm:

    Upsate -

    Agree that was and is the argument that needed to be presented…

    … that said, when it comes back in the January legislative session on one hand there will be arguments for a income tax increase (1% to 2% or whatever) to help dig the state out and on the other hand an argument to cap taxes and essentially return the money to those paying the taxes.

    Capping taxes in one spot to benefit the people paying the taxes… and in the other spot “shared sacrifice”.

    Of course, shared sacrifice is sacrifice only for those paying income taxes. It is the opposite of sacrifice, it is benefit, for those not paying.

    But again, the Rickett’s line of argument and PR campaign should be as stated above. 47th will love you.

  21. - Frank - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 2:56 pm:


    If Rickets is able to keep the future growth in a tax specifically on his team and it’s patrons in order to improve the place, what is to stop Reinsdorf, and Wirtz from doing the same thing at the United Center?

  22. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 3:05 pm:

    Yeesh. That didn’t go very well at all.

  23. - Stones - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 3:05 pm:

    Politics aside, would this proposal have received such a chilly reception if the Cubs had won their division? Just asking?

  24. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 3:11 pm:

    –Politics aside, would this proposal have received such a chilly reception if the Cubs had won their division? Just asking?–

    The Tribbies plan was to win the World Series then ride the euphoric wave through the GA for a plan for the ISFA to buy Wrigley Field and assume all liability for fixing and maintaining it. That way the team could be sold without the albatross of a stadium.

    That’s why Hendry made those ridiculous long-term deals for Soriano, Fukudome, Zambrano and Bradley. That’s why Zell was playing ball with Blago, and that’s why Blago was mad that the Trib was ripping him on the editorial page.

  25. - Boone Logan Square - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 3:25 pm:

    Think any reporters are going to get public comments by Joe Ricketts on the kerfuffle? This one’s tried:

  26. - AmPhotog - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 3:35 pm:

    Where did Madigan get his info, because Ricketts held his big WIN rally press conference today touting the bond plan. If the plan is DOA in Springfield, no one told Tommy boy.

  27. - S - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 3:46 pm:

    Put some slots in Wrigley. That’ll solve everything.

  28. - Niles Township - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 3:46 pm:

    Ricketts just learned some hard lessons. Wrigley will get renovated, but after this terrible effort, not for a couple of years. You need more than your local legislators (even if one is senate president) to sign-off before going public when it comes to something as big as this.

  29. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 3:51 pm:

    Trib has a write up with Culloton Strategies talking about bid for state bonds still in effect.

    Not that it matters because if Madigan says it’s over… it’s over.

  30. - Lincoln Parker - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 4:08 pm:

    Ricketts is going to be on Chicago Tonight tonight to talk about it. Be nice if they ask about his dads activities.

  31. - x ace - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 4:09 pm:

    Ricketts rich kids got millions gave to them by Daddy - now they want more million gave to them by the Taxpayers - Give what they deserve NOTHING

  32. - dc - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 4:11 pm:

    No cubs, no, no cubs nooo, Hey Chicago whaddya say, the Cubs blew another one today…..

  33. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 4:24 pm:

    ===“Nothing has changed and we are hard at work.”===

    Dudes, you don’t have a stronger supporter than me on this blog, but when the Speaker says he thinks you’ve withdrawn your proposal, you withdraw your proposal. Sheesh, read the tea leaves and move on.

  34. - Vote Quimby! - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 4:25 pm:

    Cubs hire Scott Lee Cohen to handle their lobbying work on this project…

  35. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 4:26 pm:

    It was a nice story for awhile.

  36. - Stones - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 4:30 pm:

    -The Tribbies plan was to win the World Series then ride the euphoric wave through the GA for a plan for the ISFA to buy Wrigley Field and assume all liability for fixing and maintaining it. That way the team could be sold without the albatross of a stadium.

    That’s why Hendry made those ridiculous long-term deals for Soriano, Fukudome, Zambrano and Bradley. That’s why Zell was playing ball with Blago, and that’s why Blago was mad that the Trib was ripping him on the editorial page.-

    Wordslinger, that’s pretty presumptuous for the Cubs to assume that they would win the WS. I certainly wouldn’t play those odds!

  37. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 4:32 pm:

    Hint to Ricketts, Madigan just told you, it’s over, nice try…

  38. - OneMan - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 4:46 pm:

    To the family, when Madigan says it’s over, it is like saying “Good day sir, I said good day”

  39. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 4:54 pm:

    Perhaps the new Headline should be TRIB’S PLAN TO WIN THE WORLD SERIES! Only GOD alone knows THAT plan, but maybe, just maybe, PART of that plan includes the Cubs winning that Series in a season played at Wrigley Field, however it’s improved/updated–after all, it was built on the site of a former Lutheran Seminary! But on a more serious note, my goodness, what an ill-conceived plan, considering the substance, timing, openly public, prior contradictory statements by Mr. Ricketts (well done on the history of the last point, Rich). I mean, my gosh, having almost a billion bucks to buy the team and field and then not take your own responsibility to renovate it? C’mon Tom and family! We, the citizens, owe people between 13 and 15 BILLION dollars ourselves–all 13 million of us, and you can actually with a straight face ask all of US to bail YOU out??? In the worst Recession since the GREAT DEPRESSION? I will always love and root for the Cubs, and this is only STRIKE 1, but it’s November, a lot of Illinois, Chicago, and fans of your team’s parents are actually hoping to find a way to scrounge together some savings in the next few weeks to help Santa bring some Holiday presents for their children. Let’s pretend you’re a Cub Pitcher who just had a bad outing for a moment, ok? Take a cold shower, try to put this bad outing behind you NOW, and wake up tommorow and smell the coffee already! Sheez!!!

  40. - Adam Smith - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 5:23 pm:

    A case study in awful public relations work.

    Botched messages, botched outreach, botched timing…

    Right up there with New Coke!

  41. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 5:26 pm:

    Any info on Senate Gaming Committee SB3970 this afternoon?

    No Committee Report was given when they reconvened session

  42. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 5:31 pm:

    From the Tribune:
    “Ricketts is open to discussions if other elected officials have different ideas.” — Culloton, the family’s spokesman.

  43. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 5:56 pm:

    Wensicia -

    You are right about that … Its like in Casino …”When the bosses say they ‘think’ you should go, you should RUN!”

    The Rickett kids versus the Governor, the Current Mayor and MJM … yeah, good luck with that.

  44. - Leroy - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 5:58 pm:

    When the old man says “you withdrew” that’s like a papal bull.

    Not only should you quit, you should run.

  45. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 6:02 pm:

    Was Albert Pujols in town to lobby against the Ricketty Wrigley Deal?

  46. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 6:42 pm:

    From the Sun-Times:

    But, to his credit, Ricketts is not playing the trump card once played by the Bears in threatening to leave Wrigley Field.

    “That’s not an option for the Ricketts family at this point. We’re staying in Wrigley Field. We’re doing everything we can to preserve it,” he said.,ricketts-wrigley-renovation-support-111610.article

    Worst negotiators ever. LOL.

  47. - colby - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 7:11 pm:

    Yeah, if even the Ricketts aren’t threatening to leave Wrigley, it’s not a credible threat.

    Best choice for the government is to keep the money and use it to prepare for a Wrigley-less future in a decade.

  48. - Boone Logan Square - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 7:20 pm:

    Elizabeth Brackett just showed a clip of Papa Ricketts…and his son differentiated between the horrible horrible earmarks his dad think are criminal and this very open discussion the Cubs are having here.

  49. - Amalia - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 7:43 pm:

    $200 million off the table in a time when the government needs the money. how much would come back with the jobs, etc.? seems
    like the equation is off, tilted in the Cubs favor. call this one the Amusement TIf…or is it just a tiff on the way to an actual money grab?

  50. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 7:48 pm:

    Mike McCaskey thinks Tom Ricketts is a poor manager of a franchise… in which his parent OWNS the pro sport team. Yikes!

  51. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 8:14 pm:

    I hope someone will explain to Lawrence Msall and Elizabeth Brackett what the acronym ISFA stands for. To hear Mr. Msall explain this today, it’s as if the state can save $300 million by killing this deal. Brackett sure seemed to have that idea in mind tonight with her line of questioning.

    “How can the state afford to borrow more money when we have a $15 billion deficit?”

    Good lord, do some homework people. ISFA was created for one purpose: to borrow money to finance sports facilities. Neither its bonds nor its revenue can be used for any other purpose. Can we at least agree on that? Can we agree that the Amusement tax is a key revenue source for the ISFA, and that Cubs ticket buyers are a significant source of Amusement tax proceeds?

    Because if these facts aren’t understood by all sides, it makes it really hard to talk about this proposal.

  52. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 9:39 pm:

    47th ward,

    How can you still be so gung ho on this deal when we don’t even know all the details yet? And when the Ricketts family themselves refuted your argument that if our political leaders don’t give in the team would move to the suburbs?

  53. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Nov 16, 10 @ 9:57 pm:

    47th ward,

    To be clear, the ISFA was created to “materially assist the development and redevelopment of government owned sports facilities” per (70 ILCS 3205/3) (from Ch. 85, par. 6003).

    The act throughout talks about financing involving “governmental owners” in addition to the authority itself, presumably having in mind the park district owning Soldier Field, but I can’t find in the act where there is any clear guidance or authorization for the ISFA to sell bonds for property that isn’t government-owned. Will the state of Illinois be getting a stake in Wrigley as part of this deal to make it work?

    And what about the FACT that the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority had its bonds downgraded in the last year making borrowing more expensive? Do you really think capping incoming revenue to the authority from the amusement tax to pay for the bonds for three decades will work when borrowing costs grow during each downgrade and when they could precipitously increase more when the fed’s interest rates stop being zero?

    And do you have no concern that the backstop for the amusement tax “growth” not being able to service the bonds is the city ponying up the additional money to service the bonds from the hotel tax (supposedly the Cubs will repay AFTER this happens, but who knows how long after if they are this hard up for cash that they are coming to the state with their hand out now)? Is it really safe assuming perpetual growth will take care of everything, especially when the Ricketts people have retained that worthless fool Jim Spendry to run this team into the ground even more and last year saw major fan discontent with fewer and fewer people coming out to games… not to mention uncertainty about where the economy will be five or ten years from now and if people will still be able to spend more and more each year on tickets?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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