Friday, October 28, 2016

Matter of ethics? Or ugly aldermen taking space from Hollywood glitter

The World Series returns to Wrigley Field on Friday, and there won’t be any aldermen in attendance. That is, unless the aldermen are willing to dip into their own pockets and pay the ridiculous fees that are being sought by ticket scalpers.
Not like World Series of days of old at Wrigley
Much indignation has been spewed in recent weeks about the fact that the Chicago Cubs included City Council members on the list of people who would get the chance to purchase tickets for the World Series games to be held at home this weekend.

THE PERK IS that even before the limited number of tickets that went on sale to the general public were put up for grabs, the aldermen were among a class of so-called important people who could have the chance to buy some seats.

Note I’m saying “buy.” Nobody was talking about giving aldermen the tickets for the ball games. Which is a concept I suspect offended at least some of the aldermen – who probably think they’re important enough to warrant freebies.

Also keep in mind that the official prices charged for World Series tickets are not the same as those charged for Cubs games during the regular season. They’re higher – a few hundred dollars per seat.

Which is cheap only when compared to the scalper prices – I have heard figures ranging from just under $1 million per seat if you want to sit in one of those prime seats up close to the action and where everyone watching the games on television will be capable of seeing you, to as low as about $5,500 per seat if all you want to do is stand in the upper deck in spare space and be able to say you were inside the building when the World Series returned to Wrigley Field for the first time in 71 years.

PERSONALLY, I DON’T think that kind of money is worth the experience. I think it borders on criminal that anybody thinks they can charge it. But then again, I have never thought Cubs fans had all that much sense, so perhaps they’re willing to give up a chance at retirement and can reminisce about the games they see this weekend when, in future years, they’re reduced to eating cans of cat food.
Won't be able to ignore Murray

But back to the aldermen, who had their perk taken away when the public got outraged – seemingly out of the belief that aldermen were getting free tickets from the ball club. Then, the council’s ethics board declared that accepting the ticket perk was something that bordered on unethical.

I can already hear the snide comments made about the absurdity of ethics from the Chicago City Council. But the bottom line is that someone decided to take the high road when it comes to political perks.

Although there are bound to be complaints. Take 31st Ward Alderman Milly Santiago, who may well have created her moment of political infamy when she complained about losing the perk.

FIRST, SHE POINTED out that the seats she was being offered were those cheap ones in the upper-most rows of the top deck. Then, she said, “I’m a poor alderman. I cannot even afford to buy a $1,000 ticket.”

You just know she’s never going to live that line down.

Personally, I don’t think it’s a loss if there aren’t so many political people on hand. You know Fox television is going to be more interested in Hollywood celebrities who bother to show up at games.

Chances are, we’re going to be sick of seeing Bill Murray by the time Sunday rolls around. And if by chance Jim Belushi is among the Wrigley scene, you just know nausea will predominate among the television viewing public.
SANTIAGO: Poor alderman

THE KEY TO comprehending the crowds that show up at Clark and Addison this weekend is that they’re not going to be hard-core fans. Heck, even regular season Cubs games are more about the glitz, but this will be even moreso.

It may well be Chicago trying to put on a show of the kind of city that certain people wish it was, instead of what it really is.

If anything, the real reason to keep aldermen out of the ballpark is that it means there will be fewer ugly people taking up space that could better be used by whichever gorgeous starlet actor John Cusack decides to have as his date Friday Night for Game 3.


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