South Bend Cubs owner discusses team's economic impact

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) South Bend Cubs officials say having the city affiliated with a major league baseball team that's so popular with Michiana fans has certainly had economic advantages here at home.

Owner Andrew Berlin discussed what's changed in the past few years, including how, in 2011, before the team was sold to him, there were little-to-no private investments in South Bend, and the unemployment rate was 10 percent.

Since then, Berlin has invested $35 million in the city, and unemployment rates have been cut in half.

His investments include renovations to Four Winds Field, new luxury apartments and a multi-million dollar performance center.

"It's really a gift to South Bend because when my lease is up, I can't take the brick off the walls, I can't take the seats out where there used to be aluminum benches, I can't take any of the grass -- this $7,000 grass field with state-of-the-art irrigation - I can't take that with me when I leave. It's a gift to South Bend," Berlin explains.

The city has also earned millions of dollars from the team through a special tax diversion program.