We here at Ivy Envy make an effort to associate with the Cubs fans outside of Chicago. It’s nothing against the Chicago-area fans, but we are three hours from Wrigley. I think because of the hint of being “outsiders”, it’s allowed Cubs fans from around the country, and the world to relate to us.
Something came across the Twitter feed today that made me feel offended for not just myself, but all the “regional” Cubs fans.
According to the written rules of official Cubs Twitter contests, if you live more than 100 miles from Wrigley Field, you are not eligible to win tickets to a Cubs game. Please, Chicago-dwellers, don’t take anything I say here personally. I love the city and the people in the city. However, I’m not sure people in Chicago understand distance when measured by miles.
From my house to Wrigley Field is exactly 180 miles. A Cubs game is a day trip and does not require me to stay overnight. 100 miles, if obeying the speed limit, is about an hour and a half drive. LaSalle-Peru is 104 miles from Wrigley Field. So apparently, the Cubs feel that not only is someone from the Quad Cities too far away to win a few free tickets, but someone from LaSalle-Peru is, as well. Our area, and many other areas of the Midwest bleed Cubby blue.
Do I make it to as many Cubs games living in the Quad Cities as I would if I lived in Chicago, probably not. But I go to 2-5 Cubs games a year. Many times, it’s because someone has said “I have an extra ticket, do you want to go to the Cubs game?” I usually don’t get much notice, and it’s about the same as if I “won” a ticket from the Cubs.
Now, I don’t believe I’ve ever entered a contest to win Cubs tickets. But the fact that the Cubs feel I’m too far away to win their tickets is actually somewhat offensive. Perhaps they feel that nobody that lives more than 100 miles would want to drive to see the product they currently have. And they might be correct in that assumption.
If the Cubs would like to put a limit on the distance of a winner, that’s fine. I can understand why the Cubs wouldn’t want someone in Europe to win tickets to a game that is a few days away. But 100 miles? A cut-off distance of 250 or 300 miles might make more sense.
Because of our distance from Wrigley Field, I would guess that folks in this part of Illinois/Iowa would be MORE likely to go if they won tickets than someone in Chicago that can go see the Cubs whenever they want and sitting out a game with Rodrigo Lopez on the mound is no big deal when the tickets were free.
When traveling from the Quad Cities, you’re paying gas (at $4/gallon, that’s not an insignificant expense), tolls on I-88, parking, at least 2 meals out and whatever you decide to consume at the game. Toss on a few tickets that are at least $50 a piece and it makes for an expensive day. However, throw a few tickets my way and I might be willing to shell out the money for the rest of the expenses on an unexpected trip. A fan could be convinced to go from “The Cubs suck, I’ll sit out this year” to “Why not, I got free tickets.”
I think most people in Chicago wouldn’t notice this rule and the Cubs probably didn’t give it much thought. Apparently, they feel 100 miles is a great distance. But it’s things like this that make those of us that are “downstate” see Chicago in a somewhat negative light. Again, I love the city and the people, but it’d be nice to be appreciated and understood. As a Cubs fan that purchased 60 tickets this season, I think the Cubs should consider the fact that if I’m willing to travel that distance for tickets I’ve purchased, I’d probably be willing to travel that distance for tickets I would win.