Thursday, May 2, 2013

Independent baseball team offers home to Cubs if renovation plans falter

On Wednesday, Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts threatened to find a new home for the team if renovations plans for Wrigley Field were denied.

On Thursday, the Schaumburg Boomers, an independent league baseball club who play their home games 25 miles west of Chicago, decided to strike while the iron was hot. The Boomers offered the Cubs a chance to play games at their home stadium should in fact those renovations plans fall through.

However, the offer came with one stipulation and it was that the Boomers get priority on scheduling dates and times.

"We'll propose a fair and honest rent, no question about that, but we have one tenant that's committed to winning a championship in 2013 so the Boomers would get first priority on dates," said Boomers president Andy Viano.

Viano said his team is even willing to grow ivy on the outfield walls in hopes of making their offer to the Cubs more alluring.

"We did this to have some good-natured fun," said Viano. "It's a good way to tell people what we have to offer."

The Boomers are set to open their regular season in two weeks. They averaged roughly 2,500 fans per game in 2012 in a stadium which capacity tops out at around 7,300, which is a far cry from the massive capacity (41,000) Wrigley Field has to offer.

Regardless, the situation provided a window of opportunity for the Boomers to get their name out there. And for an independent league baseball club, a little exposure can go a long way.


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