Cubs Convention Casualty of Covid Era, Perhaps Permanently?


The annual Cubs Convention is almost always held on the third weekend in January, but that won’t be the case, again, in 2022. Cancelled in back to back years, due to the club taking caution amid the COVID-19 pandemic, one has to wonder when the event will come back, if ever.

With omicron showing a lot of resistance to the vaccine (although presenting itself as not very lethal, and typically not too serious) it may be a few years until the Sheraton Grand Chicago sees itself filled up again with those who bleed Cubbie blue.

This is probably also a good year not to have it, as Betway is not bullish on how the Cubs will do this upcoming season. They are backed at 51.0 to win the National League pennant, and only four teams have longer odds. That’s justified, as the Cubs fire sale this past July will render them rather irrelevant (at least from a W-L perspective) for quite some time.

Cubs Con is all about good vibes and warm feelings in the middle of winter’s most bitter cold, and NO ONE is feeling optimistic about the red, white and blue right now.

And really, an indoor crowd is NOT where you want to be given the latest covid case numbers in Illinois, and most specifically, Chicago.

“We didn’t think it was prudent to have 10,000 people in a convention hall in the middle of the winter, when the event isn’t critical or material to the baseball season,” Cubs senior vice president of communications Julian Green said back in early November.

The Cubs also said they hope to hold a “virtual event” at some point this winter (like they did in 2021) that will involve the players. However, one has to realize that as soon as you put the word “virtual” into something that automatically disqualifies it from being an “event.”

If there is one thing 2020 and 2021 taught us, virtual anything kind of sucks, and all that is a Zoom call. An “event” is when you actually leave the house and go somewhere, and don’t let any Media Relations person or Marketing guru tell you otherwise.

So maybe Cubs Convention is going away for good?

It depends on whether we’re having an endemic, instead of a pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci indicated, in recent weeks that this could be true.

While most of what has been lost in the covid year(s) has come back, at least in some form, other stuff never will. In the world of sports, one such example might be soccer’s International Champions Cup. That event has been off the past two summers, and given the current community health situation in the world, it is hard to imagine that returning this summer.

Logistically, it just doesn’t seem plausible. The same could be said for Cubs Convention. We won’t have it this upcoming weekend, and that is a reality we might need to get used to.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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