A report surfaced over the weekend that sent Chicago Cubs fans into a bit of a frenzy. Per Meghan Montemurro, the Cubs are moving Ron Santo's and Billy Williams' statues into storage.
As noted above, the storage is temporary. However, it feels like Ron and Billy won't be back at Wrigley Field before Opening Day, assuming the season starts on time. Naturally, the reason for their temporary absence seems to be the major issue. The Cubs plan to build a two-story sportsbook adjacent to Wrigley Field, which is right in the area where the statues stood.
Here is the real issue: where will the statues stand once the sportsbook is done? Will it be in a similar spot, now gracing the new sportsbook with their presence? Or, will they be moved entirely to a different area around Wrigley Field? Cubs fans have been vocal about the Cubs turning Wrigleyville into Disney Land, so this will surely make those voices louder.
In this unpopular move (quite literally) by the Cubs, the best-case scenario is the statues returning immediately following the completion of the anticipated sportsbook. Those statues are iconic at Wrigley Field. In addition, they stand for the incredible past that makes the Cubs' tradition so rich. It makes sense to move them to prevent damage during construction. That said, if they don't return soon after, there will be plenty of outrage within the fan base.
Now, if they move the statues a little to give them their room to breathe and be a special piece of Wrigley Field, then that's fine. However, if that isn't the plan, then they should return to their original places outside Wrigley Field.
The worst-case scenario is pretty simple, Ron and Billy never return to Wrigley, or are moved offsite from Wrigley Field's property. If this happens, the reaction is simple. This move would be outrageous and unacceptable. Santo and Williams are pillars in the history of the Chicago Cubs. Without them at Wrigley Field, the display of tradition feels empty and lost.
With that said, I want to give the Ricketts family the benefit of the doubt. They have to know, especially Tom as a diehard fan, that these two legends need to be at Wrigley Field.
What's On Tap Next?
With the statues moving for now, attention turns to the sportsbook's construction. There could be even further concerns as this construction will almost certainly overlap with the beginning of the season. Fans might think back to 2015 when the team was updating the bleachers. That construction was a pain and something that was necessary to take into account when attending games.
Now, it feels like that will once again happen until the sportsbook is completed, whenever that might be.