Cubs Call ‘Mousetrap’ and Jealousy Accusation ‘Laughable’

The alderman says the Cubs’ new plaza at Wrigley Field is just a way to steal money away from local businesses, but now team representatives say that’s not true, and they’re only looking to strengthen the bonds with Lake View bars and restaurants.

Credit: Chicago Cubs
Credit: Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs say accusations that the proposed Triangle Plaza on the west side of Wrigley Field is a “mousetrap” to steal from local businesses is untrue, and they think it will only add to business in Lake View.

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) spoke recently to neighbors after the Cubs gave a presentation on their new $500 million development plan for Wrigley Field and the surrounding neighborhood. He said their plan to add a new entrance on the west side of Wrigley to the plaza and include multiple food and beverage kiosks is their way of taking customers away from neighborhood bars and restaurants.

“What their opinion has been is, ‘We’ve got to build a bigger mousetrap so everyone will spend their money at Wrigley Field, but not necessarily on the Clark Street corridor,” Tunney said. “They want to build a lot of food and beverage opportunities in addition to the hotel and everything else, because they’re jealous of all the things that are happening and they’re not getting the dollars for. I’ve only heard this about 20 times.”

But now the Cubs are saying they think the new plaza will only bring more customers to local businesses.

Cubs Vice President of Communications Julian Green said their plan to host events like farmers markets, movies and an ice rink in the plaza on non-game days will drive more business than ever to the bars and restaurants in Wrigleyville. And as for being jealous, Green says the Cubs are business partners with many of those bars.

“The first thing I want to say is to suggest that we’re jealous of bars and restaurants on Clark Street is laughable,” Green said. “We’re partners with a number of them on Clark. … We’re an important engine for these bars and restaurants. What some people fail to mention is that there are more than 81 bars that certainly benefit from the economic engine that is Wrigley Field. We’re not only hoping (this renovation) will benefit these businesses in Lake View, but across the city.”

Tunney said the reason for his remarks is, as a representative of Lake View, he has to speak out for both small businesses and large ones like the Cubs.

In the past, in regards to allowing open alcohol on Sheffield Street during block parties, Green said alcohol sales might not come from local businesses because every dollar counts. While he says the new Triangle Plaza isn’t looking to steal local business, he also stuck to the same adage about generating revenue.

“While we’d like to obviously increase our revenues because, like I said, every dollar in revenue that we generate is important, we know that there are fans that desire other opportunities to be in a community with diverse options,” Green said. “It’s all about choice, and we know those choices also include those on Clark Street."
Aaron June 01, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Why is Tunney such an idiot? ==I’ve only heard this about 20 times== From who, your paranoid friends? ==Do they think the economics of the area would be depressed if they were not there== Ask the restaurant and bar owners who are able to break even or make a profit just from the Cubs if Lakeview would be depressed without the Cubs.
Joe Schmo June 02, 2013 at 01:56 AM
Tunney sounds really immature. "I've only heard this about 20 times." Let the Cubs invest money in the neighborhood. Personally I don't go to any of the tourist bars but go for it, Cubs.
Steve McKenzie June 02, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Tunney doesn't sound immature or like an idiot: he (occasionally) sounds like someone more interested in residents than billionaires.
Victor Salvo June 03, 2013 at 06:39 AM
I'm sick of this debate and sick of the CUBS. Ald. Tunney is 100% spot on in his assessment of the Ricketts family's priorities. Their unabashed drive to find ways to keep CUBS fans massive spending power corralled inside their new secured plaza perimeter - instead of allowing it to flow into the surrounding neighborhood businesses - is a money-grab. Period. Yes the development will look nice. But that is about it. We will be bombarded with garish advertising, and every dollar spent will go into the pockets of the Ricketts Cartel and not a Lakeview business. Why the revenue generated INSIDE the park - which has already helped make the CUBS the most profitable team in the MLB - isn't enough is a mindset only an oligarch could comprehend. Our role is to bend over and submit. AND say "thank you!"
Cubbie Flip June 03, 2013 at 06:09 PM
I couldn't agree more with many of the posts here challenging the Ricketts' claim to supremacy of the area. They have also not proven themselves consistent in their statements, you can read the "greatest hits" at cubbieflipflop.blogspot.com .


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