During an interview with CNBC, the new CEO of the Tribune Company, Sam Zell, mentioned that he would be open to selling the naming rights to Wrigley Field.
“I plan to sell the team and stadium seperately, and in my own time frame,” Zell said. “And I won’t hesitate to sell the naming rights for the field.”
Baseball purists and idiots everywhere are up in arms over this possible development. ‘How dare he do what he wants with his own assets!’, they yell. ‘Its blasphemous to name it something other than Wrigley!’, others scream. Hey morons…..Zell bought the Tribune Company and its related entities for billions of dollars. He can do whatever he wants with the assets. He can tear down Wrigley and build an exact replica of his dog’s house in its place, if he wants. Stop whining.
“But how can you be fine with renaming Wrigley something like ‘Bank of America Field’ or ‘United Park’?” people say. If you feel that way, I have something to tell you………Wrigley Field is a corporate name. Get it? Wrigley Chewing Gum? Yeah. Its always been named after a corportate sponsor or owner. Where was this uproar over US Cellular buying naming rights to Comiskey Park? There may have been some rumblings in the beginning, but White Sox fans got over it.
And don’t you dare tell me that its not the same thing because Wrigley is a ‘special place’ and comparing it to Comiskey is like comparing apples and oranges. Did you know that Comiskey Park I was built 7 years before Wrigley? Did you know that Wrigley Field was known under a different name until 1927? Which means the name Comiskey Park was around 17 years longer than Wrigley Field. Also take into account that until some years in the late 1980s and the mid 1990s, Comiskey Park regularly outdrew Wrigley Field? This Wrigley phenomenon is a new thing. So its not as if Cubs fans have the market cornered on having their dear old ballpark submit to corporate sponsorship.
Get over it, Cubs fans. Spend your time focusing on the team, and their legitimate chance to win the World Series for the first time in 100 years and spend a little less time worrying about your precious Wrigley Field. Be a fan of the team, not a fan of some bricks and a neighborhood.