Just 12.7 miles west of Chicago’s beloved Wrigley Field lies a 25-acre plot that could become a new home for the Cubs. That is, if Rosemont mayor Brad Stephens has his way.
Stephens told CSNChicago’s David Kaplan on Monday morning that he is willing to donate the parcel of land to the Ricketts family so they can build a new ballpark for the Cubs from scratch, along with a parking complex and any other gameday amenities they might need.
[Related: Rosemont Cubs? Suburban mayor makes his pitch]
The Cubs have hit multiple snags with the city of Chicago in their efforts to renovate and modernize Wrigley Field, but is it worth a move to the suburbs?
And if so, how will a day at the ballpark in Rosemont differ from one in Wrigleyville?
For starters, gameday commuters leaving from the Loop will either have to drive 16.9 miles on I-90W or ride for a little over an hour on the Blue Line from Monroe to Rosemont. From Rosemont they are welcome to walk to the site (a little over a mile from Rosemont station) or take a ten minute bus ride. Of course, this requires most commuters to get the Loop in the first place. Slightly more complicated than hopping on the Red Line to Addison.
Once they arrive in Rosemont, Cubs fans will likely find a very different gameday scene – starting with some simple demographics. Whereas the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, containing Wrigleyville and Wrigley Field is 4.2 square miles, Rosemont is a neat 2.5 square miles. The total population of Rosemont is reported at just 4,000 residents – far below 94,369 residents of Lakeview. Median household income in Rosemont is a reported $41,596, as compared to Lakeview’s $70,746 (according to Rob Paral’s Chicago Census Data).
On the social front, whereas Wrigleyville is known for its lively bar scene -- for better or for worse, depending on the crowd -- Rosemont’s tailgating options appear slightly more limited; though, obviously, that could change with construction of a ballpark. The village does, however, boast of variety of top-notch restaurant options; from fancier spots like The Capital Grille, Morton’s The Steakhouse and Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse to more casual options like Hofbrauhaus Chicago and Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill. For the college set, don’t worry, there’s a Chipotle.
Other notable attributes of the village of Rosemont include: the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center; Allstate Arena -- home to the Chicago Wolves, DePaul University Men’s Basketball, Chicago Rush Arena Football and the Chicago Sky; the Dome at the Ballpark (an indoor recreational facility for baseball and softball); and the Ballpark at Rosemont -- home of the National Pro Fastpitch’s Chicago Bandits.
In sum, Rosemont is a far cry from the historic streets, rooftops and ivy that Cubs fans have grown accustomed to in Wrigleyville. But without a little more flexibility from the city of Chicago in regards to renovations, those 12.7 miles to Rosemont may be closer to the Cubs than they appear.