For 150 years, American sports franchises have spent billions solely in effort to win a championship. Although, some may see the economic return, and social stature as motivation enough to own and spend money on a sports franchise, the majority of owners and front office decision makers yearn for championships above anything. Teams have won by spending much money, and by spending little money. Among several expenditures of materialistic value, owners can spend money to improve their teams on free agents, better coaching, smarter management, and new facilities.
However, are new facilities, or a new stadium, or a $500 million overhaul providing any winning value to the franchise?
According to Tom Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, his personal $500 million renovation project for Wrigley Field, will not only advance the ballpark out of the Stone Age, but also create an environment more conducive to short term winning. With over 100 years of futility, Ricketts pleads for support for the project, and support for the franchise.
The big question here is will it work? Will improving the clubhouses and the fan experience draw better players to play for the Cubs eventually leading to the elusive prize? In order to simplify those questions, The Cleat Sheet is going to examine the relationship between a franchise and its stadium. Or rather, attempt to answer this question: Does a new stadium improve the success of a team? Continue reading $500,000,000 for a New Stadium. Is It Worth It?