Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cubs Packing 'em In

The Cubs Convention starts tomorrow and I'll be one of the thousands of people packing into a facility that, in my opinion, has become too small to hold an event of this popularity.

Cubs Convention passes sell so quickly that the Committee of Similes and Metaphors is currently debating a motion to change the phrase, "selling like hotcakes" to "selling like Cubs Convention passes."  The passes may be the only things that sell faster than bleacher seats to the Saturday afternoon Cubs/Sox game each season.  In other words, demand is really high for these things.

In the current location at the Hilton downtown, the Grand Ballroom has become too small for the Opening Ceremonies and they have to have overflow in the outside hallways with TVs set up to see what is going on inside.  The side rooms are always packed for the various question and answer sessions, and the lines for autographs are so monstrous that they have to designate an entire half of the basement square footage to nothing but rope line mazes that would make Walt Disney proud.  As a result, the vendors they bring in have tiny booths where it is virtually impossible to have more than one normal sized customer at a time looking at their merchandise.

As ccd surmises at wpbc, it is growing more and more apparent that the Cubs are all but officially members of the Grapefruit League in Florida. All that is missing is an official announcement that will undoubtedly come as soon as the throng of fans in blue have dissipated and become less likely to morph into a mob with flaming torches upon hearing the news.  Clearly, nothing is sacred if the Ricketts think they can increase the revenue streams.

I'm guessing that the Cubs could find a spot at least twice the size of the Hilton either at McCormick Place or out in Rosemont to spread out the displays and the interactive lessons with former coaches and players could take place in a space larger than my closet.  I really don't know why they haven't already done it.  Maybe they think cramming people in like sardines makes the cramped walkways of Wrigley roomy by comparison.

But at the end of the day, the Ricketts are going to want to take as much money from this fanbase as humanly possible so I have to think the days of being pinned against the back of a crowded hotel elevator by Tim Stoddard have to be nearing their end.  I know.  It's sad to even think about.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me remember why I don't like going.

Have fun.

duey23 said...

I think the last year I went was early 90's.

I'm fine with them moving to FLA. I know so many people love them in Mesa but there are likely more Chicago snowbirds on the west side of FLA than in AZ. That's what made the Sox threat to go to Tampa/St. Pete so realistic.

But since I don't go to Spring Training, my opinion is worthless.

Uncle Dave said...

Sounds like a fire marshall problem. Maybe that would make them move or have fewer tickets.

Aisle 424 said...

I'm personally disappointed that they are probably moving to Florida (heard on WGN this morning that the decision could be made today with an announcement after the Convention - which indicates to me the decision will not be to stay in AZ), but if they can get more money in FL, then I don't have a problem with the move. Florida in the Spring is a logistical nightmare, so my desire to go will decline exponentially, but I'm sure there will be thousands of people who do not agree with me and will show up with cash in hand and ready to spend.

Aisle 424 said...

Uncle Dave, I'm sure they don't violate maximum occupancy, but stuffing enough people to reach maximum occupancy of a facility for 3 days is quite crowded, and in my opinion, unnecessary.

They will never sell fewer passes. I will be the Cubs new Opening Day starter before that happens. I bet they move. Maybe even as soon as next year.

Seat 106 said...

This just in from David Kaplan on the Trib's Breaking Sports New site: Cubs won't make an announcement this weekend on Spring Training site decision. This just in about 3 hours ago in every other newspaper on Earth: Cubs won't make an announcement this weekend on Spring Training site decision. Kap says that he sticks by his prediction that the Cubs will get a deal done to stay in Mesa. Accordingly, I am officially rooting for Naples. If the Cubs move there it will be. Flat. Out. Phenomenal.

Aisle 424 said...

I'd rather they stay in AZ, but they have to go where the money is. I hope that Kaplan is right on this one. I'm not going to hold my breath though.

Seat 106 said...

All jokes aside, I really do hope they stay in Arizona too.

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