Cubs Could Do Better Than Being in Chicago

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Cubs Could Do Better Than Being in Chicago
Southwest News-Herald Thursday, May 09, 2013

I’m not much of a baseball fan, unlike like my son, Aaron. For that matter, I really don’t like sports at all.

Aaron can tell you the names of all the major players, explain whose autographs are the most valuable and recite statistics for the top players. He learned that from hanging out with the fine folks at the Baseball Card King in Oak Lawn.

He actually spends a lot of time watching MLB highlights every day while I watch reruns of “King of Queens” and even “Leave it to Beaver,” the operating manual for Baby Boomer families.

But I do know one thing. Going to a Cubs game sucks. It takes forever to drive there. There’s barely enough parking. The ballpark is squeezed in. The food is just OK, and the team is always dependent on taxpayer subsidies and incentives.

In the end, as a taxpayer, I pay too much for a ticket to sit too far from the action, and some of my tax dollars end up covering sports events in this city.

I don’t like it. But then, like most smart people, I don’t live in Chicago anymore, bailing out long ago for a better life in the suburbs.

The problem is, while most fled Chicago, the sports teams are still stuck there.

Bridgeview made a fantastic move to build a sports stadium for soccer that features the Chicago Fire. Forget about the naysayers in the news media. In a good economy that stadium will be a gold mine for taxpayers and is a boon for the Southwest Suburbs, which have long been ignored.

So what’s keeping the Cubs in Chicago?

They haven’t won a World Series in more than 104 years. You don’t have to know anything about baseball to know the Cubs have a major problem.

I think it’s their stadium.

One of my clients, the Town of Cicero, and another suburb I have nothing to do with, Rosemont, have both suggested the Cubs move by them. I’m partial to Cicero, of course. But the whole thing got me thinking.

A new stadium in the suburbs would break the headlock that prevents the Cubs from generating more advertising revenue, and allow the team to focus more on improving the performance of the players than constantly haggling every season with the rooftop owners and Chicago politicians.

They could have more night games in the suburbs. There would be more parking. There would be more seating. And that would mean more attendance and greater revenues for the team.

The ballplayers could focus on being better players rather than politicians. And it’s true, a World Series victory would do wonders not just for the suburb that hosts the Cubs but for the entire region.

In other words, being in Wrigley Field is a downer. The Cubs losing every year drags everyone down, including me in my little suburban hamlet in Orland Park.

Everyone says the Ricketts family would never relocate the Cubs. If this were 1909, I wouldn’t blame them. But it’s 104 years later.

Maybe relocating the Cubs to a new modernized stadium that puts the fans and the players as the top of the priority list might be exactly what they need to change their luck.

As for the goat? Well, order some rice, some spices and we can enjoy a nice Middle Eastern meal.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist and media consultant. You may reach him at and follow him on Twitter at

This post has already been read 172 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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