(670 The Score) The Cubs have made it clear they want to host an All-Star Game soon, preferably in 2020, the first season in which Wrigley Field renovations are scheduled to be completely done.
So what are the chances of that actually happening? President of business operations Crane Kenney is hopeful, though he’s plenty cognizant of the red tape that accompanies the selection process.
“There isn’t anybody who wants it more than we do,” Kenney said on Inside the Clubhouse on 670 The Score on Saturday. “And we’re deserving of it. If you think about it, 1990 was the last All-Star Game at Wrigley Field. Our ballpark will be finished for the 2020 season with all the renovations. So 30 ball clubs, 30 years, you would think that just logic tells you that we should get it for 2020.
“The mayor and the city have been really supportive. They obviously would love to see an All-Star Game come to Chicago. The problem with the All-Star Game, to be honest, is it’s a reward. The commissioner hands out the All-Star Games typically to cities that have done something extraordinary for their club. So if you look at the sequence here, new ballparks that have come online with substantial public funding get the All-Star Game. It’s a little like what Roger Goodell does with the Super Bowl. The reason there’s a Super Bowl in Minnesota is this year is because they just built a new stadium there. So for the commissioner, there’s some political issues.”
The Cubs are renovating Wrigley Field with private financing from the Ricketts family that owns the team and outside investors. Kenney credited mayor Rahm Emanuel for his push to bring the All-Star Game to Wrigley Field as part of his vision to keep attracting big events to the city. Kenney then didn’t hold back in criticizing Tom Tunney, alderman of the 44th Ward that Wrigley Field sits in.
“Rahm has done an amazing job trying to help us,” Kenney said. “You know we have issues with our alderman. The issues are not with our mayor. The issues are with our local alderman who has been far less helpful. So this is in no way a knock on (Emanuel). So we do have a tougher putt, for both the mayor and for the Cubs to make the case to the commissioner that we should get the All-Star Game despite having a local alderman that really is not supportive of the team.”
The Washington Nationals will host the 2018 All-Star Game, while the event shifts to Cleveland in 2019.