Lack of Fans Gives Cubs Chance to Sell Ads in Wrigley Field Bleachers

The Cubs might not be offering the opportunity to purchase cardboard cutouts, but they are raising money by filling the stands with something other than fans. As seen in a pair of photos from NBC Sports Chicago’s Gordon Wittenmyer, the bleachers are now festooned with advertising from the Cubs’ various premier sponsors.

Though it’d be naive to think the organization wouldn’t have been looking for any possible way to recoup revenue lost to the truncated season, this feels a little gross. Fans can’t pay to get their faces on cutouts in order to raise money for charity, but Nuveen and Toyota — which also has a pair of SUVs parked on the deck out in right-center — can see themselves represented for what is certainly a pretty penny. And it’s in the bleachers, of all places.

I’ll leave it to someone else to make jokes about Marquee having an advertisement when most of the Chicagoland market isn’t able to see it. Of course, the people who can see the games are doing so on Marquee already, so do they really need an advertisement at all? And since the Cubs own the network, are they simply paying themselves with their own money like Mike McDermott did Teddy KGB?

Oh well, this is all to be expected and shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. If there’s a bright side to the ads, it’s that perhaps they’ll bounce a few opponents’ home runs back out into the field of play. If the Cubs were really thinking ahead, they’d have someone place auxiliary balls out there so they could better mimic bleacher denizens who keep the real home run balls and throw back beaters they brought from home.

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