Tuesday, June 25, 2013

EXTRA: Will the Chicago Cubs be the suburban dream of towns that consider themselves too upscale for a casino?

How long will it be before the Chicago Cubs have a list of municipalities desiring their presence within their boundaries that is so long that it might as well be all 250-plus communities in the Chicago area?
A suburban replica anytime soon?

For the Chicago Tribune is reporting about yet another suburb that thinks it has a plot of land perfect for erecting a 40,000-seat stadium and handling the kind of traffic that comes from crowds that large.

SUBURBAN TINLEY PARK now needs to be added to the list that now includes Rosemont and DuPage County – all of which have expressed some interest in being considered if the political egos become so bloated that an overhaul of Wrigley Field becomes impractical.

Perhaps municipalities that think they’re too elite to have a casino would think they could have the Cubs. Although I’d wonder which would be the bigger gamble?

Specifically, village President Ed Zabrocki (one of those long-time mayors – 32 years, and counting – who makes the stints of the Daleys, J. and M., seem miniscule by comparison) said he could see the former Tinley Park Mental Health Center becoming the site of a new stadium.

That facility was closed by Illinois state officials amidst great controversy. Something has to be done with the site – which, by the way, sits right on the Cook/Will County border.

THE CUBS LITERALLY would be right across the street from Will County. Maybe somebody could erect one of those tacky tobacco-retail businesses (that operate under names like “Smokes” or “Cheap Cigs”) right across the street from the ballpark?

If the Cubs were to wind up in Tinley Park, I would see a little bit of irony not so much in that it’s a suburb to the south of Chicago (which makes me wonder if the Chicago White Sox would pull a San Francisco Giants-style move and refuse to let them “invade” their territory just like the Oakland Athletics can’t consider a move to San Jose, Calif.), but in its former purpose.

The site on 183rd Street west of Harlem Avenue once housed people who were considered to be too mentally unstable to be amongst us. Now, we may have people going there and becoming mentally unstable after having watched yet more bad Chicago Cubs-style baseball.
A future Cubs ballpark site?

Or maybe it’s somewhat appropriate that the one-time West Side Grounds ballpark (at Taylor, Wood, Polk and Lincoln streets where the Cubs used to play at the beginning of the 20th Century) is now the site of the University of Illinois Medical Center.

PERHAPS IF CLARK and Addison streets were once a medical facility, the Cubs would have been more successful (never won a World Series in the 99-plus seasons they’ve played there) than they have been.

Not that any of this should be taken too seriously. I don’t expect to see the Cubs play in Tinley Park, or any suburban park, any time soon.

If they tried, I suspect they’d find out how quickly they’d alienate the portion of the Chicago metro area for whom any particular suburb isn’t all that convenient!


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