By Dave Wischnowsky-
(CBS) Anyone who’s ever been to Wrigley Field knows you can’t buy anything inside the Friendly Confines for $2.(Can’t buy much outside the place for that price, either.)
But, oddly enough, you can now buy Cubs tickets for two bucks.
As of Friday afternoon, tickets for the afternoon home games between the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, April 11, and Thursday, April 12, were being offered on StubHub.com for a mere $2.
Heck, the Cubs Koozies being given out on April 11 might be worth nearly that much.
If you’re a big spender, though, you can instead splurge and buy $3 tickets for April 10 or $3.99 tickets (why not $4?) for April 9. However, hold on to your wallets if you want to attend the Friday, April 20, game against the Cincinnati Reds.
It’s going to set you back at least $6.
Yes, that’s what’s going on with Cubs tickets at StubHub. Perhaps even more shocking, though, is the current state of affairs at cubs.com, where you can still buy a whopping 19 bleacher tickets – the maximum single purchase allowed – for the Cubs-Nationals game that will be played on Thursday, April 5.
That’s, um, Opening Day.
Last March, when single-game tickets were selling slower than Aramis Ramirez runs a week after they had gone on sale, I wrote in a column how it appeared that the Cubs were less popular in 2011 than they had been in at least a decade – if not longer.
Now that we’re in 2012, it looks as if the team’s popularity has only atrophied even further, with fans adopting a widespread wait-and-see mentality as Theo Epstein & Co. completely overhauls the franchise.
For many years, of course, tickets for summertime weekend games at Wrigley sold out in a New York-minute. In fact, according to bleedcubbieblue.com, in past years, Opening Day bleacher tickets have sold out within an hour of going on sale (I don’t even think it took that long). And, in 2008 – with the Cubs coming off a division title – 23 dates sold out completely on the first day of sale, while an additional 16 sold out of bleacher tickets.
But as of this weekend – just days before the start of the season – you can still buy tickets for every game on the schedule, including those against the White Sox in May, the Red Sox in June and the Cardinals in July.
In Theo We Trust … in 2013. Maybe, 2014.
On Thursday evening, I went for a jog past Wrigley Field and stopped at the corner of Clark & Addison to admire the big photo banners that the Cubs now slap up on either side of the marquee to celebrate Opening Day.
The team only needs 12 men from a 25-man roster (and a coaching staff) to fill out the banner spots. But so slim are the pickings for this season that a giant image of pitcher Paul Maholm – he of the 53-73 career record – is now gracing the exterior of Wrigley Field.
And when Paul Maholm gets a banner, you know your team is in for a long season. After all, just ask the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Just in case you need another reminder, though, ponder this: The White Sox aren’t supposed to tear up the American League and at StubHub.com, tickets for April games at U.S. Cellular Field are selling for as low as $4.
But that’s still twice as much as the Cubs.
If nothing else, Dave Wischnowsky is an Illinois boy. Raised in Bourbonnais, educated at the University of Illinois and bred on sports in the Land of Lincoln, he now resides on Chicago’s North Side, just blocks from Wrigley Field. Formerly a reporter and blogger for the Chicago Tribune, Dave currently writes a syndicated column, The Wisch List, which you can check out via his blog at http://www.wischlist.com. Follow him on Twitter @wischlist and read more of his CBS Chicago blog entries here.