While City Hall in Chicago tries to turn up the screws on the negotiations between the Cubs and the rooftop owners regarding the advertising offer and contract between team and neighbors, the North Siders wrapped up another avenue in which to gain extra revenue. Big Ten Conference fans of Northwestern and Illinois football will recall that the Wildcats from nearby Evanston hosted the Illini at Wrigley Field in 2010.
Northwestern and the Cubs have an agreement in place to renew that partnership, starting as early as this spring when Wildcats baseball will call the Friendly Confines home for one game. The arrangement is to have college football return to the North Side starting in 2014, working around the pending renovation schedule of course. The current deal includes five football games to be played in November over the next few years. Other collegiate sports such as women’s lacrosse will also get a chance to play games on the historic baseball field.
The opponents that the Wildcats will face on the gridiron edition of Wrigley have yet to be determined. Playing in state rival Illinois would make sense like it did back in 2010, but scheduling match ups with powerhouses like Ohio State and Michigan would also figure to create a boost in revenue, considering the strong Big Ten alumni presence in the Chicagoland area. All it takes is a stroll through all the bars in Wrigleyville to figure that out.
The only potential downside would be the potential beating and damage to the grass that graces the grounds of Wrigley, a common sight seen from the aftermaths of the annual concerts that are held at Wrigley in the summer. This concern has been lessened in recent years since the renovation of the field surface that use to be a crowned, the old fashioned method of draining a playing surface before the implementation of advanced drainage systems.
Regardless, Cubs fans near and far should be glad that the North Siders are exhausting all avenues and ideas possible to bring in an extra dollar. The additional revenue will only further arm Theo Epstein and Company with the promise from the Ricketts family to invest in the product on the field.