Sometimes the Cubs can be as sanctimonious off the field as they are inept on it.
Take, for instance, this week’s news that the Cubs are cracking down on people who purchase season tickets solely to resell them.
In a non-renewal notice sent to about 40 accounts this week, the Cubs wrote they “are dedicated to ensuring Cubs games and other events at Wrigley Field remain available to as many fans as possible who are interested in enjoyable and memorable experiences.’’
Sanctimonious tripe right there, if not a flat lie. Look, a scalper loses money if a seat stays unscalped. A scalper’s livelihood depends on “ensuring Cubs games and other events at Wrigley Field remain available to as many fans as possible.’’
So, a scalper’s mission statement mirrors the Cubs’ mission statement. In fact, scalpers are such a great example of carrying out the team’s message that the Cubs should hire scalpers to teach plate discipline.
But, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, this selective yanking of season tickets doesn’t include buyers who resell some or all of their stash on StubHub. Of course not. Because StubHub is a business partner of the Cubs.
Said Cubs wonk Julian Green: “This is about making sure as many season tickets get in the hands of fans interested in enjoying baseball.’’
Oh, please. This move doesn’t benefit fans. This move benefits the Cubs’ bottom line. Look, the No. 1 rule in life is follow the money, so the Cubs aren’t trying to be Boy Scouts here. There’s nothing altruistic about their actions. They’re all about making money, demanding government handouts, and bad baserunning.
The Cubs’ statement never said a thing about reasonable pricing. The Cubs’ statement never said a thing about affordability. Know why? Here’s why:
Because this isn’t about getting season tickets into the hands of fans interested in baseball. This is about the Cubs getting season tickets in the hands of fans interested in baseball and this is about the Cubs and their business partners reselling tickets at jacked-up prices.
This is about competition. The Cubs want to be their own scalper without competition. Here comes another lousy season, and if there’s any scalping to be done with Cubs tickets, then the Cubs will do it themselves through Wrigley Field Premium Ticket Services, the only scalper licensed by the Cubs because it is owned by the same company that owns the Cubs.
Last season, Cubs tickets on StubHub were going for a dollar or even pennies by the end, so how big of a problem is scalping? I mean, scalpers deserve what they get -- or don’t get -- with the resale of Cubs tickets.
Tom Ricketts should be happy that someone, anyone, wants to buy tickets at any point for any price during the season. Get bodies in the joint, sell bison dogs.
Last season was a predictable nightmare. Next year figures to be nearly as bad. The 2013 season might not be the Son of 100 Losses, but it’ll be the Cousin Of for sure. So, with another lousy season coming up, you could argue the Cubs are scalping tickets just by charging face value.
This is how the Cubs are doing some of their business. This is where their credibility sits. Remember this when Cubs wonks stand up there with Mayor Emanuel and unveil some magical plan that hijacks city money to fix up Wrigley.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun