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Cubs concert revenue declined in 2019, per their neighborhood report

The team hosted just two concerts at Wrigley Field this past summer.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Cubs released their annual neighborhood report last week and, as is my custom, I went right to the section noting how much amusement tax had gone to the city of Chicago and Cook County from concerts.

The team reported $1 million in amusement tax. Since the tax is 12.5 percent of gross revenues, that means gross revenues from concerts was (approximately) $8 million.

This is a big drop from the $27 million I noted in last year’s article about the neighborhood report. There were 10 concerts at Wrigley Field in 2018, just two in 2019. My estimate last year was that perhaps half of the gross revenue goes to paying the performers, stadium workers, etc., so the Cubs likely netted only about $4 million from concerts this past summer. There are three concerts scheduled for 2020, so far (Maroon 5, a bill with Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer, and another multi-act show with Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Poison and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts). The report noted that there have been 52 concerts at Wrigley Field since the first one featuring Jimmy Buffett in 2005.

The report also noted fans’ use of the remote parking lot at 3900 N. Rockwell:

During the 2019 regular season, which included 56 regular season night and weekend games and 2 concert dates, nearly 30,000 cars parked at the lot and nearly 54,000 fans rode the free shuttle bus to and from Wrigley Field.

The average of about 1,000 fans and 524 cars per date is down slightly from the figures of 1,250 fans and 570 cars per game reported in 2018. The bike check next to the Addison L stop reported about 4,000 bikes checked in 2019, again down slightly from the 4,400 noted in 2018.

The Cubs also reported the following charitable giving and other initiatives in the Lakeview community surrounding the ballpark:

Our 2019 School All-Star Grants supported local schools to help cultivate the All-Star potential of Chicago’s children. We granted $25,000 matching donations to every Lakeview-area preschool and elementary school to better their educational environments. Our School All-Star Grants total $1,500,000 since 2017.

The 14th annual Race to Wrigley 5K Charity Run hosted more than 6,500 runners and raised more than $460,000 for Cubs Charities.

Throughout the year, Cubs associates, players and coaches engaged in the “Let’s Give” initiative, community outreach and service across the city, including service projects at Hawthorne Academy, Lakeview Pantry, Lakeview Boys and Girls Club, House of the Good Shepherd and 19th District Police Station.

The Cubs participated in the 2019 Pride Parade, Chicago’s Bud Billiken Parade and several Lakeview neighborhood festivals and events.

Hosted our annual free Cubs Charities Youth Baseball and Softball Festival at Gallagher Way where more than 2,000 attendees learned baseball skills and met Cubs players.

Donated baseball equipment to more than 100 local schools.

Supported six Lakeview students in our Cubs Scholars program.

Granted $25,000 to GROWCommunity to operate a student ambassador program.

The Cubs also funded street lighting and other infrastructure improvements in the area around Wrigley Field.

You can read the entire report here (link opens .pdf).