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Added May 17 2012

In light of the scandalous intentions of the Cubs owners', let your aldermen know not to enter into any arrangement to improve the ballpark that includes any tax payer money. Make them use their own money to grow their business instead of using that money for divisive Superpac messages. I couldn't be more disenfranchised from this family...true colors shining through. What an eye opener!

  • painhertz butterknife ninja

    Did you miss the part where the family repudiated what the old man was doing? Joe Ricketts doesn't have anything to do with the Cubs. Too much hyperbole in your missive.

  • Joe in Andersonville Landlord and life-long northside Chicago resident

    No, I didn't miss it. I believe they ALL knew exactly what was being planned. It was too far along for me to believe they were unaware of what dad was planning. And when the NYTimes disclosed the plan, the money and the connections, the economic backlash required them to make a public statement. Joe Ricketts has as much to do with the Cubs as his kids - it's family money that bought them. There is no hyperbole but you might be a bit naive.

  • Pete F. Lifelong Chicagoan, Proud Democrat

    The way I see it, if Obama could be so heavily influenced by his former pastor, community leaders, and so-called terrorists -- as Joe Ricketts says -- then SURELY Tom Ricketts must be just as heavily influenced by his very own father.

    I mean, if Obama renouncing his association with Rev. Wright means nothing to Joe Ricketts, then Tom Ricketts repudiating his father means nothing as well, right?

    Sardonicism aside, the whole thing really is disgusting.

  • 1. It's not "scandalous"...it is the sad state of affairs of how politics works in this day and age. Don't take issue with Joe Ricketts, take issue with the law that allows such behavior from both sides.
    2. Not supporting the Cubs and Wrigley has a direct negative impact to our community. I encourage you to think through comments like that before you get so emotional.
    3. The Ricketts appear to be just like every other family - diverse in their opinions. Let's not forget that daughter Laura is a top fundraiser for Obama's re-election campaign.
    4. How about we keep the highly charged political comments/discussions off of Every Block? I for one am already tired of the banter and we still have a long 6 months to go until the election.

  • Joe in Andersonville Landlord and life-long northside Chicago resident

    Sorry 123, but my post is about tax dollars funding the Wrigley Field business development, not about public policy or who should be elected. While the law is one of the factors allowing for such planned vitriol, choices are still being made by real human beings, who happen to own the Cubs, that demonstrate huge dollars apparently available to influence the political discourse and to rag about government spending while simultaneously holding their hand out for the tax payers' dollars. I'm not encouraging folks to stay away from Wrigley Field or the Cubs. I am saying don't spend one dime of tax payer money to build their business. And if you're already tired of political comments and discussions that are highly charged, there's a blog for the apathetic somewhere out there. I encourage you to find one where the topics are more soothing.

  • I think 123abc has a good point. If our city does not work w/ the Cubs, we stand to lose a lot. They could easily move cities. And please don't say that can't happen b/c of the history of the Cubs and the city. The Cubs are first and foremost a business. The Colts left Baltimore. The Cardinals left St. Louis. The Senators left Washington DC. It's unlikely but that is the leverage the Cubs have in this.

    Leaving would be a huge loss of revenue for the city. So, Rahm has a delicate negotiation with Ricketts to ensure they stay here and keep generating tax dollars vs. giving them too much money.

  • Joe in Andersonville Landlord and life-long northside Chicago resident

    Hedley, I agree that the Cubs leaving Chicago would be a huge loss of revenue. There are many ways the City/Rahm can incent them to stay without giving them tax dollars. Tax cuts are the most obvious. To make their business more competitive, investments from venture capitalists and private equity are great sources of dollars. Even dad might consider investing further after recognizing the damage he's done to the business. But I still don't want one cent of tax dollars to support this enterprise, especially in light of the family funds that seem to be available to devolve the discouse instead of advancing it. I don't support hypocrites.

  • Pete F. Lifelong Chicagoan, Proud Democrat
  • Pete F. Lifelong Chicagoan, Proud Democrat
  • Jim, Lincoln Square GRO member

    So, you want to punish a guy who has nothing to do with the team by punishing his children who own it, because you're upset he was considering exercising his right to free speech? I disagree with his message, too (and think it would have blown up in his face), but it's knee-jerk reactions like this that cause people to ignore most protests.

  • Joe in Andersonville Landlord and life-long northside Chicago resident

    The devil's in the details, Jim/Lincoln Square. From the Chicago Tribune: "Two of Joe Ricketts' children, Pete and Todd Ricketts, both Cubs board members, were present for the meeting where the anti-Obama pitches occurred, according to a source close to the family." It's family money that bought the Cubs even though it's just the kids who now run the operation. But those same kids are still involved in how family funds are spent. I don't feel it's a knee-jerk reaction, but an informed "protest" based on the facts of the whole picture. I applaud free speech and when it discloses hypocrisy, I feel compelled to excersise mine. No tax dollars for Wrigley Field!

  • JoshT Parent, Neighbor, 2 flat owner/glorified janitor

    Really - whatever the families political bent - We don't need to be sending public funding to Wrigley. I'm perfectly happy going to games in a decrepit but charming stadium. If their is money to be had in a renovation then the owners and monetary benefactors can fund it themselves.

    Repeal the Citizens United decision - Go Cubs.

  • I don't understand why tax incentives are needed for this.

    You all wonder why the streets get so bad and how shootings happen during the day, but when the mayor openly talks about giving a billion dollar valued, very profitable team 100 million dollars in tax incentives, it is just mind boggling to me.

    This isn't a new team moving into the area to bring new revenue and this is not an area being revitalized by a new business. Imagine what you can do with 100 million dollars in tax incentives.

  • I was against a publicly funded stadium for the White Sox. I was against publicly funded renovation of Soldier Field for the Bears. I am against public funding of renovation of Wrigley Field. I am not a fan. Owning a sports team is a rich man's hobby. Let the rich man pay for his hobby. Every time the Cubs play, it screws up transportation for a major portion of the north side. It get's really old.

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • p

    i'm laughing that someone was offended enough by my simple observation that they felt the need to remove my comment.

  • Improving Wrigley should be at the bottom of Chicago's list of priorities. Chicago has so many more critical things to spend money on: infrastructure, schools, our massive budget hole, public transit, emergency services, parks, and so on.

    This doesn't have to be a question of politics or baseball. Wrigley is a privately owned building, so let its owners pay for upgrades. Individuals wanting to support Wrigley's improvement can buy paving stones, refreshments and souvenirs inside the stadium, etc.

  • Shawn Ritchie South Side transplant to North Center since 2007

    Not. One. Dime. For. The. Cubs.

    I fully believe the full Ricketts clan knew what was up with these proposed ads. And it's emblematic of most of the 1% class that they begrudge and fight with all of their might any dime going to the lower classes while also expecting us to let them slide on taxes and give away the farm for the privilege of keeping their precious businesses in town. They can go to hell. If they can keep their crappy, urine-scented dump of a ballpark profitable on their own, it can collapse into a pile of brick for all I care.

  • You do realize that if the Cubs actually follow through on some sort of a move to the suburbs or other area of the city that all of those bars and restaurants will likely close or at least consolidate. Also, property values will likely decrease and the rooftop buildings will all go into foreclosure.

    Not saying the Cubs deserve the money, but they have a valid point on leverage. They made that neighborhood and they could deal it a very severe blow if they were to move.

    Letting them keep some of the millions of dollars in tax revenue that they bring in isn't necessarily asking for the moon.

  • UrbanNana East Lake View 25-year resident

    My friend Joan says it best: "Our best sportswriter, Dave Zirin, wrote a book, Bad Sports, about greedy owners fleecing the taxpayers for new stadiums or improvements. Right now, the Ricketts family is working hard at this game. Since the proposed $10 million has brought on a flood of bad publicity, I say use the money for Wrigley Field, and leave us taxpayers alone"

  • UrbanNana East Lake View 25-year resident

    Our best sportswriter, Dave Zirin, wrote a book, Bad Sports, about greedy owners fleecing the taxpayers for new stadiums or improvements

  • lee in lakeview Retired; love lakeview

    Not giving the Cubs taxpayer money, or amusement tax money has nothing to do with Joe Rickets. The family knew the condition of Wriggle Field when they bought the Cubs. I'm sure, being the business people they were paid accordingly. The city needs the money the Rickets family doesn't.

    As far as the team moving, it will never happen. Where else could an owner consistently field a bad team and still sell as many seats as the Cubs.

    Let the Rickett's pay themselves if it is such a good investment. I hope the city inspectors go in and force some improvements, like where the cement fell from the bottom of the upper deck.

  • Inactive user

    Joe Ricketts makes me want to be a White Sox fan.

  • Hey guys. I see you're talking Wrigley, so I wanted to give you the latest update on the renovation plan + public funding talks. "New Wrigley Field Plans Include Hotel, Huge Courtyard" Link: http://patch.com/A-0Xpn

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