Cubs Face Uphill Financial Battle With Or Without MLB Season
The coronavirus pandemic has put the Cubs and their owners in a "most untenable position," according to Paul Sullivan of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The MLB season is "entering the third month of a shutdown, which coincided with the debut of their long-awaited TV channel, Marquee Sports Network." The Hotel Zachary, a "few restaurants and another building built by their real estate arm, Hickory Street Capital, are either empty or only in partial use because of the state's shutdown order." Gallagher Way, their "profitable gathering spot next to Wrigley, is closed, as are the 11 rooftop clubs the Cubs bought to gain a stranglehold on the rooftop business." The Cubs are "likely to lose a ton of money even if the season begins in empty ballparks in July, as MLB has proposed." A report from the AP had the Cubs' losses at as much as $199M. One source said that the club "would be better off financially, at least in the short term, if the season was canceled than if their players received pro-rated salaries combining for more than $100 million -- or about half of the 2020 payroll." Around the league, some "believe the Cubs’ owners face a more dire forecast than most of their peers because of their investments in Wrigleyville, the Marquee Sports Network and the rooftops." The Cubs say 70% of their revenue "stems from ticket sales, concessions, parking, in-house corporate partnerships and the like" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/24).