BY T. NOONAN - AVID WHITES SOX FAN
If you have been following the news in Chicago lately you are probably more than aware of the thought of Sam Zell, who recently purchased the Tribune and thus the Cubs, on selling the naming rights to Wrigley Field. For some entertainment I read the comments on one of the newspaper websites which further enhanced my belief that people and in this particular instance, Cubs fans, are clueless. Here are some of the inane comments made (paraphrased) and my reaction.
“If you sell the naming rights, millions will boycott the product of the purchaser so no one would dare buy the rights” – Really, millions of people are going to stop buying products at Home Depot, from Procter and Gamble, or stop eating McDonald’s? Good luck with that, it would last about 4 seconds. Besides any sustained boycott would be a drop in the bucket for the companies who would have the wear-with-all to shell out the report $400 million it would take to buy the rights. Not to mention Zell wouldn’t care because he would already have the money.
“Don’t do it, you don’t need anymore money” – Uh, really, so what is it about capitalism and its ability to support democracy do you not understand. Besides that the money generated more than likely goes back into the product on the field or to more business ventures which means more jobs and more prosperity for others.
“It’s a landmark, you can’t it” – No official landmark status as far as I know
“Fans won’t stand for it and won’t show up at the ticket window or buy season tickets” – You have got to be kidding me….these idiot fans have been showing up in record numbers for a losing franchise that hasn’t won a WS in 100 years…case and point in 2002 they had one of the worst records in baseball and set an all time attendance record…so changing the name is going to stop people from coming???? I don’t think so.
“How can you replace Wrigley Field with a corporate name” – Wrigley Field is the original corporate name…they just haven’t been paying for it for 20 years. Not only that but who says you can’t leave the Wrigley Field name and have it be something like Wrigley Field at Home Depot Stadium….still has the Wrigley name. On top that no one can force you to call it the new name. Sox fans don’t really call US Cellular Field, US Cellular field, they still call it Comiskey or Sox Park…Cubs fans can do the same.
“Some things are bigger than greed and making money” – this is true, social justice issues, sweat-shop labor, genocide by dictators, the Iraq war, and other real meaningful matters of society are bigger than making money….the changing of the name of a baseball stadium is not one of them
My advice…Get over yourselves, take an economics course and realize that this is not an issue in the greater scheme of life. You will be much happier if you do.