Wrigley Renovation Would Generate More Revenue, Jobs for Chicago
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With Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Cubs-owning Ricketts family working to come to an agreement on a way to bring in revenue to modernize the 98-year-old Wrigley Field, the Chicago Tribune featured an opinion column by Chamber President and CEO Jerry Roper today urging the two sides to continue to work toward an agreement.
The Chicago Cubs are one of Chicago’s largest tourist attractions that brings in millions in revenue for local restaurants and businesses, which support thousands of jobs. If Mayor Emanuel, the Ricketts family, and Ald. Tom Tunney are able agree on a funding method for the project, it could deliver almost a half billion dollars in new tax revenue for the city, county and state, and more than 2,000 new jobs.
From Roper’s Chicago Tribune column:
Given the stadium's integration into the Wrigleyville community, local businesses have benefited for years. According to a 2011 study by Conventions Sports & Leisure International, the Cubs account for $638 million annually in impact to the local economy. This revenue supports nearly 7,000 jobs and $244 million in annual personal earnings.
The Cubs bring much of this business from outside Chicago and Illinois. Another study found more than 73 percent of fans who travel to Wrigley Field are non-Chicago residents, and 30 percent or more for some popular games come from outside the state. Cubs fans spend $76 million annually on lodging, $110 million on restaurants, $48 million on retail and merchandise, and $48 million on non-Cubs entertainment.
The Chicagoland Chamber supports innovative efforts to create new jobs and revenues and trigger economic development in the region.
Click here to read the full Chicago Tribune column.