Looks like Wrigley Field will finally get its facelift after all! Today the team announced they have reached a deal with the city of Chicago on a $500 million renovation plan for Wrigley.
The deal has been in the works for several months now, with the team working closely with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Alderman Tom Tunney.
A major sticking point of the deal was how the renovations and changes involved would affect Lakeview residents and the owners of the rooftop buildings surrounding Wrigley. The proposed new video board in the ballpark has rooftop owners worried that they’ll be driven out of business due to the views from the rooftops being blocked by the proposed massive 6,000 sq. ft new video screen that would greatly boost advertising revenues.
Though the deal was approved by the city, there’s still a chance the rooftop owners will file suit if they think their 2004 contract is being violated. The Wrigley Rooftops Association issued a statement today addressing their position.
“Rooftop owners reserve the right to use any and all means necessary to enforce the remaining 11 years of our 20-year contract. We, as well as every interested party in the Lakeview neighborhood, will study the plans submitted to the City of Chicago and play a constructive role in moving forward.”
Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts says the deal will be great economically for the city and will generate 2,100 jobs (1,300 permanent jobs and 800 construction jobs). Private investments will fund the project, no tax payer money will be needed.
Upcoming renovations won’t just benefit fans and local residents, but more importantly the players.
“Our players need major league facilities where they don’t have to warm up to pinch hit on a tee in the club house,” said Ricketts. “Our players need better locker room facilities to work out, to have their injuries treated, to watch game film and to prepare for games.” He also said that new facilities will lead to the one thing Cubs fans want most.
“If this plan is approved, we will win the World Series for our fans and our city.” It’s certainly been long enough for us Cubs fans. Maybe renovations are all we need?
What The Proposed Renovations/Deal Include:
- 6,000 sq. ft. video screen in left field (3x the size of the current hand-operated scoreboard in center field)
- 1,000 sq. ft. sign in right field- ad revenue would help pay for renovations
- Open-air plaza
- 175 room premium hotel, office building
- Around 10 additional night games each season (up to 40)
- 4 Wrigley Concerts
- New two-story Captain Morgan Club (will include retail space)
- 1,000 spots at a remote parking lot with free shuttle service
For a more detailed look at the renovation plan, check out MLB’s Carrie Muskats’ blog. What do you think, ladies? Is this makeover worth changing the character of the historic Friendly Confines in order to benefit the Cubs’ performance and prosperity or is Wrigley just too precious of a shrine to touch?