Over the past few days around Chicago, there has been talk of naming rights changes coming on the South Side with U.S. Cellular selling their wireless interests to Sprint and how that could impact U.S. Cellular Field and its name. It started me thinking about the possibility that the Chicago Cubs may one day think about putting naming rights on Wrigley Field.
There are a lot of people out there who would love the Cubs to just build a new ballpark and leave Wrigley behind before the ballpark falls down around them. This is a valid argument but while Wrigley is still standing, there is no way the Cubs should get a corporate sponsor for the park. The number of fans who show up at Wrigley just for the experience is unreal and it seems a lot of those fans really don’t care if the Cubs win or lose on the daily basis. It has been Wrigley Field forever and why change it now? There are great businesses based in Chicago who would make sense if this discussion ever came up but I don’t see Walgreens jumping all over the chance of Walgreens Park at Wrigley Field or something like that.
Yes, it could make the team another $15-20 million a season to have a corporate sponsor at the corner of Clark & Addison but that time isn’t coming anytime soon and shouldn’t come anytime soon if Cubs management doesn’t want a public outrage. Those fans from Keokuk or Peoria aren’t going to show up without the charm of saying that they are going to Wrigley Field.