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NOT Yawn

Yesterday I wrote about the Cubs' plans for a rotating advertising sign behind the plate, and of their new 80-seat addition next to the first base dugout, both fairly minor money-making schemes, and in the grand scheme of things, insignificant.

Today it was revealed that the Cubs want to hold concerts at the Yard, maybe as soon as Labor Day weekend of 2005, with the first one possibly given by Jimmy Buffett, who is a big Cubs fan and also played one of the first concerts given at Fenway Park last year (the above-quoted Sun-Times article has a Bill Zwecker sidebar in which Buffett claims the Fenway shows helped break the Red Sox "curse". This is just plain silly.).

This is a really bad idea, everyone. Sure, the Cubs draw nearly 40,000 people 81 times a year, but concert crowds are way different from baseball crowds, and I am not saying this in a negative light, because I have been part of many concert crowds myself. It'd have to be at night, which would bring way more noise and traffic into the neighborhood.

And, concerts at baseball parks invariably destroy the grass. They were lucky at Fenway and at the Cell in the last year or two, because the times in and around the concerts did not include any rainy days.

But I remember back in the late 1970's when Bill Veeck, strapped for cash, scheduled concerts at the old Comiskey Park, and in 1978, after a Rolling Stones concert, there was a storm the next day which drenched the field before they could get the concert setup out of there, and the field was virtually unplayable for the rest of that season.

Finally, if the Cubs want to piss off the neighborhood groups who don't want any changes to the existing ballpark setup, or the city of Chicago, they sure have picked a really good way to do it.

It's not worth the money, Mr. MacPhail. I think this idea ought to crawl back into its cave.