Friday, October 28, 2016

The Strange Story of Why Belize is Full of Chicago Cubs Fans

The story began, appropriately enough, with a pirated Chicago television station.

In the early ‘80s, there were no television stations in Belize, the only country in Central America whose official language is English. 

In 1981, however, Belize City business couple Arthur and Marie Hoare began transmitting the famous Chicago television channel WGN-TV via satellite, bringing programming to Belize. Channel 9, the Hoares' bootlegged Belize affiliate of WGN, brought Cubs and Bulls games into living rooms and bars throughout the country, sparking an interest in Chicago sports that has continued—with varying levels of enthusiasm—to this day.

Other factors helped solidify the connection. There was (and still is) a large community of Belizeans in Chicago. [They] started going to Cubs games and holding up signs like 'Hello, Belize!

Belize City, Cubs fan base in far away Central America.

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