Cubs pushing to host 2020 All-Star Game at Wrigley Field

Cubs pushing to host 2020 All-Star Game at Wrigley Field

The Cubs are lobbying Major League Baseball to host the All-Star Game, targeting 2020 as the ideal time to showcase a fully renovated Wrigley Field.
If that All-Star question seems to come up at Cubs Convention on an almost annual basis, there are reasons to think it's becoming less of a hypothetical: The pace of construction and progress with the $600 million Wrigleyville development combined with Commissioner Rob Manfred's leadership style and sense of urgency to grow the game.  
Still buzzing from their champagne-fueled celebrations, the Cubs have been working with City Hall on their sales pitch to a commissioner's office that no longer believes in simply alternating the marquee event between the American and National leagues each year, hoping to make it more like the bidding for a Super Bowl.   
"I'm optimistic," business operations president Crane Kenney said Saturday at the downtown Sheraton Grand hotel. "No question, Chicago would be an incredible venue. We saw it during the World Series and the playoffs. We saw it with the TV ratings that were generated.
"We think an All-Star Game here would be hugely popular and do great things for our city and great television ratings for the league."
The Cubs need Mayor Rahm Emanuel – who delivered the NFL draft the last two years after a long run at New York's Radio City Music Hall – to help with an economic message and an increased security plan around an urban neighborhood ballpark that hasn't hosted the Midsummer Classic since 1990.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]
"We should get the All-Star Game," Kenney said. "In 2020, our building's complete, and what (better) way to celebrate the completion of our building than host the All-Star Game?
"If you think about the economic impact of the World Series, the All-Star Game is another World Series, right? So the city wants it. We want it. But we got to convince Manfred that we've earned it. It's a little bit of politics. He has a very open mind to Wrigley getting the All-Star Game at some point.
"We're working closely with the city. We've got a great partnership with Mayor Emanuel, and he understands the value of this team in this market. He would like to see nothing more than an All-Star Game."
One potential roadblock: After striking out on other proposals, the Ricketts family used private mechanisms to bankroll the Wrigleyville project at a time when All-Star Games have been used as bargaining chips in public negotiations in cities like Miami and Washington. Marlins Park (2017) and Nationals Park (2018) will make it four straight All-Star Games for NL stadiums.  
"We still think we're deserving," Kenney said. "There's a reality to the All-Star Game, though. The All-Star Game gets held based on the commissioner's discretion and typically awarded to cities that have supported the clubs through public financing. 
"So if you just look at the slate of cities that are going to get it – from the last couple years going forward – they are generally cities that have new ballparks that were financed with some city support. That obviously didn't happen here. 
"It is a little bit of a hurdle for the league to suggest you should reward the city of Chicago – and us with an All-Star Game – when we didn't get the kind of support the other cities got."

Cubs Talk Podcast: Covering the MLB All-Star Game from the media’s perspective


Cubs Talk Podcast: Covering the MLB All-Star Game from the media’s perspective

NBC Sports Chicago’s own Kelly Crull and videographer Scott Changnon recalled what All-Star week in the nations capitol was like from their point of view.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:


Cubs, Bears, Bulls among the top 25 wealthiest sports teams in the world


Cubs, Bears, Bulls among the top 25 wealthiest sports teams in the world

What Chicago sports team is worth the most money in 2018?

As reported by Kurt Badenhausen in a Forbes article about the 50 richest teams around the globe, the Cubs are the most valuable organization in the Windy City.

Chicago’s North Side baseball team ranks as the 16th wealthiest team in the world, valued at $2.9 billion, an 8 percent increase from 2017. The Cubs are the third-most affluent franchise in Major League Baseball, behind the New York Yankees ($4 billion) and the Los Angeles Dodgers ($3 billion).

This year, the baseball club owned by the Ricketts family surpassed the wealth of the Boston Red Sox ($2.8 billion), who the Cubs were ranked behind last season at $2.68 billion. In the span of a year, the North Siders gained two spots in the top 50 from 18 to 16 on the list.

What could be the reason for this increase?

Could it be that the Cubs are in first place in the NL Central? Or could it be the incredible performances from players like Jon Lester and Javy Baez?

Whatever the reason is for the Cubs’ prosperity, the team is doing something right.

The club also surpassed the Bears on the list this year. In 2017 the Bears (worth $2.7 billion last year) were tied with the Red Sox as the 16th most valuable sports team on Earth. The McCaskey-owned football team has fallen to a tie at 17 with the San Francisco Giants, both valued at $2.85 billion in 2018. The Bears even increased by 6 percent in the last year, making the Cubs’ jump seem greater.

The Bulls, owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, are the last team from Chicago to make the cut. They stand at 23 in the top 50, tied with the Denver Broncos. Both franchises are worth $2.6 billion. Chicago’s NBA team even fell a spot from 2017, but they still increased their value by 4 percent (worth $2.5 billion last year).

The Bears are the seventh richest team in the NFL, while the Bulls are fourth wealthiest in the NBA.