As a devout White Sox fan, Nick Rodriguez’s soul is occasionally unsettled by the fact that he’s a Cubs season ticket-holder.
But as the father of two kids who could always use a little extra cash, his conscience is clear about investing in Cubs season tickets solely to make a profit. And now that the Cubs have made it to the National League championship series, he’s rooting for the team to get to the World Series — where he figures his two upper-deck seats could fetch more than $2,000 apiece.
“I get a lot of hell for it,” Rodriguez, who lives in Des Plaines, says of being a Sox fan with Cubs season tickets, especially from his best friend, who’s a Cubs fan.
Having grown up on the far North Side, Rodriguez says he can’t fully explain why he’s a Sox fan. He just is.
“You can’t help who you fall in love with,” he says.
Rodriguez stumbled onto the investment opportunity by chance. A friend with season tickets wasn’t getting to games often enough and having only middling results reselling them when he couldn’t go. So, before this season began, he offered to split the tickets with Rodriguez if he’d oversee the resale efforts.
The two tickets cost $7,200 for the regular season, with Rodriguez paying half of that — $3,600.
He hasn’t gone to even a single Cubs game, instead selling the tickets. He isn’t cutthroat about it, often selling them at face value to friends and co-workers at the Chicago Transit Authority, where he’s a supervisor. He figures he’s up only about $400 for the entire regular season.
But then came the playoffs. Rodriguez and his friend split the $3,500 tab for tickets to all home playoff games. He says he made several hundred dollars by selling his tickets to the first two postseason home games, games 1 and 2 against the San Francisco Giants.
“Part of me doesn’t want them to win it all,” Rodriguez says. “But there’s a compassionate part of me that knows what it’s like to win the World Series and how that was the greatest sporting event of my life. And that part wants the Cubs to make the World Series for the benefit of my friends and family, so they can have that.”
His friends are skeptical of his motives. A recent text-message exchange with one of them, a Cubs fan, went like this:
Rodriguez: good luck to you I hope you make the world series
Pal: so you want us to make it and not win so you can get your blood money right?
Rodriguez: my words speak for themselves
Rodriguez has another reason for rooting for the Cubs’ playoff run to continue: On game days, when Cubs fans clog the Red Line at Addison, the CTA puts on extra staff on overtime.
“I get a lot of overtime when the Cubs do well,” he says. “So I guess I thank them on two fronts.”