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Cubs Neighborhood Report Gives Revenue Hints

How much money did the Cubs take in last year? This report gives some clues.

Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

The Cubs posted the annual report they make for the Lakeview neighborhood on their website recently. It’s linked in the previous sentence — it’ll open a PDF.

There’s lots of interesting information here, from the number of fans who used their remote parking lot (an estimated 90,500) and those who used the bike check (5,500) to various contributions the team made:

  • $4 million via Cubs Charities to various organizations around the neighborhood and city
  • Other donations to neighborhood organizations including Blaine Elementary School, Center on Halsted, Lakeview Pantry and the House of Good Shepherd.
  • The Cubs enrolled two Lake View High School students into their Cubs Scholars program.

The report also details programs on traffic management, litter and trash removal, details on the seven concerts, and community management programs.

What interested me most were the numbers in the report regarding the amusement taxes paid by the Cubs. The report says the Cubs paid “over $20 million” in amusement taxes overall in 2016, with $1.89 million of that being from concerts.

Amusement taxes amount to nine percent of the ticket price to the city of Chicago, and three percent to Cook County, a total of 12 percent.

If $1.89 million is 12 percent of total concert revenue, then total ticket revenue must have been $15.75 million. Now, of course we don’t know how much of that gross revenue went to the bands who played Wrigley, how much the Cubs spent on gameday employees, security, etc. But that gives us at least an idea of how much these shows generate.

The total of “over $20 million” paid in amusement taxes implies a gross ticket revenue dollar amount of somewhere north of $167 million. Again, we don’t know some things: whether that includes the concert revenue, whether it includes postseason tickets, and the total is only listed as “over $20 million,” so we don’t know how much over $20 million that is.

But this does give some insight into what the Cubs are making from ticket sales. For that, and the rest of the information in the report, it’s worth reading.