FanPost

Zell, the political solution

I'm surprised that for all the attention paid to Zell's comments about selling naming rights, there is very little discussion of the political leverage Cubs fans throughout Chicago and Illinois currently have.  

Its true, as Zell says, that Wrigley is "his asset" and without our own ownership interest we can't really stop him from selling the naming rights to it.  But our elected leaders in State and City government absolutely can do something about it.  Zell is practically begging them to purchase the stadium because the state can obtain tax-free financing, and can therefore afford to pay Zell a higher price.  His analysts tell him that if he sells the stadium to a private buyer he'll get a lower return.  Zell is also going to need City and State cooperation for any plan to remake or remodel Wrigley Field because of its historical landmark designation, a designation intended for just this sort of use.  The cooperation of City and State officials is necessary to either of those ends; if they withhold it, the value of Zell's "asset" falls.

With that in mind, its remarkable that at the same time Zell is courting the Governor, the Mayor and hundreds of legislators, he manages to upset an untold number of their constituents.  How many people would be sufficiently offended by the renaming of Wrigley Field to vote against the politicians who let it happen?  Thousands?  Certainly.  Tens of thousands?  Probably.  Zell  might not care what we think, but he should, because the politicians he needs to persuade will absolutely care if there are thousands of Cubs fans calling for their heads.  

So, instead of focusing energy on polls that ask whether Cubs fans would go to games at a re-named Wrigley Field (they will), like the Sun Times is asking, someone should be posing the question:  Would you vote to re-elect a politician who struck a deal with Sam Zell while turning a blind eye to his intention to re-name Wrigley Field?  The answer to THAT poll, I think, would be a resounding "no."  That's leverage, and its where we should focus our energies.  If you start a "Save Wrigley" petition, make sure it lands on the desk of every politician whose consent is necessary for Zell to maximize the price for his "asset."

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bleed Cubbie Blue

You must be a member of Bleed Cubbie Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bleed Cubbie Blue. You should read them.

Join Bleed Cubbie Blue

You must be a member of Bleed Cubbie Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bleed Cubbie Blue. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker