Three straight seasons near the bottom of the National League Central standings, and the Chicago Cubs are starting to think of new ways to reel in fans on Clark Street.
The Cubs are reportedly looking for ways to draw younger fans to the game, and hoping to make Wrigley Field more “kid-friendly”, according to the Chicago Tribune.
As part of the reported $300 million renovation of Wrigley, officials are working with the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management to conduct a survey of ways to make the stadium more appealing to younger audiences.
The team is considering adding batting cages, radar-gun zones, and even a live mascot, something the Cubs have never had in their 110-year history.
"What would it be?" second baseman Darwin Barney asked the Tribune. "A Cub? A Bear? I think it could go either way. There's something fun about having that at the ballpark during the game. Especially with just organ music, there's not much to keep fans into the games at time.”
The Philadelphia Phillies “Phanatic” and the New York Mets “Mr. Met” are two examples of mascots around the NL, with both recognized by fans all over the country.
However it remains to be seen if Chicago will go forward with plans for a mascot, or even thinks Cub fans would respond in a positive way.
The obvious reason for fans to come to the stadium, especially young ones, would be for the Cubs get back into the mix of their division. Chicago finished last season with a 61-101 record, and were 28th in the majors in runs scored.
The Cubs will open Wrigley for the first time in the 2013 season against the rival Milwaukee Brewers on April 8.