Cubs-themed license plates spike in popularity after World Series

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Cubs-themed license plates have seen an increase since the team won the World Series in November. | Illinois Secretary of State

When the Cubs won the World Series, a lot of people rallied behind the team.

While some fans purchased T-shirts, hats and $250 ivy leaves, others decided to take their Cubs’ pride to the streets.

Since the North Siders won the World Series back in November, Cubs-themed license plate sales have increased by nearly 65 percent, and there are more than 10,000 registered Cubs tags statewide, according to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

This was the largest jump by any of the five professional sports-themed plates during that eight-month span.

Despite the surge in popularity, the Cubs tags are only the third most popular sports-themed plates, overtaking the Bears’ spot. The Cubs tags still trail the Blackhawks and White Sox.

The Blackhawks plates are by far the most common themed plates in Illinois. They were the first sports-themed plates unveiled shortly after the team won its first of three Stanley Cups in six years. Nearly 22,000 tags are registered as of June 30.

The White Sox have the second most tags, which is surprising given the fact the team’s recent lackluster seasons and dropping ticket sales. The White Sox tags still lag behind the Blackhawks by a little less than 10,000 plates.

The Bulls and Bears are the two least popular sports-themed plates and are the only sports plates that saw a decrease in registration since October. Their low numbers could be a reflection of the team’s poor performances the last few seasons. The Bulls remained painfully mediocre this season, seeing a first-round playoff exit to the Celtics in April. While the Bears won a measly three games and were out of playoff contention for the sixth-straight season.

The cost to purchase random number plates for a currently titled vehicle with valid Illinois registration is $69, but the pricing varies for personalized license plates and the sports-themed plates, depending on a driver’s current plate expiration date, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Twenty-five dollars of every sports-themed plate goes to the Professional Sports Team Education Fund, which supports Illinois public schools. The plates have generated more than $5.8 million for public education in Illinois and the Cubs plates alone have raised more than $700,000, according to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

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