Brad Stephens is the mayor of Rosemont, a village less than 20 miles outside Chicago, and he's making a run at the Cubs. While the Cubs continue to fight with the city of Chicago over various restrictions in place, preventing the team from optimizing its cashflow, Mayor Stephens has said the Rickets family is welcome to a 25-acre parcel of land in Rosemont to build a stadium, parking lot and, literally, "anything else the Ricketts family would desire to have as a part of the new complex."
Wrigley Field is a mess. I mean, I'm pretty sure they still have people pissing in troughs in there and if they don't it's a recent development. The stadium needs serious renovations and the city, neighborhood and team can't seem to get on the same page. Night game and signage restrictions are a sticking point as is a city amusement tax that costs the Cubs $17 million a year. It's gotten contentious but no one is ready to take Stephens seriously.
"Since Day 1, the Ricketts family has been working tirelessly to develop a championship organization and to come up with a plan to preserve Wrigley Field and invest in the neighborhood. The family appreciates the expressions of interest from Rosemont and others, however the current focus is to work toward an agreement with the City of Chicago."
An aide for Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel could barely stifle a laugh when asked about Stephens donation, noting “[t]he idea that the Cubs would leave Wrigley Field is not something to be taken seriously."
The aide is right, of course, but that doesn't mean the Ricketts won't eventually get tired of the hassle and just take the gift. Stephens has said he's a deal maker. That's what Rosemont is known for: "Bring the bricks and the ivy and we can get a deal done," he said. Maybe he'd be willing to chip in on the new stadium, too, while he's just giving away real estate. At a certain point the Ricketts will listen because what they really want is a new stadium where they can charge people for new-stadium things, an improved game day experience. They' prefer to do a new-ish version in Wrigley, obviously, but for how long?
Rosemont Cubs? Suburban mayor makes his pitch [CSN Chicago]