Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts offered his thoughts this weekend about plans for Wrigley Field, the surrounding area, and 2010 ticket prices.
“We intend to preserve the ballpark and improve it,” Ricketts said. “It’s a special place, and hopefully, when we all bring our kids or grandkids here, they are going to have that same experience when they walk up the stairs as people have today and have had for many years.
“Away from the bowl or away from the seating, you step back, go down the stairs and go, ‘Wow, this could get better.’ There are a lot of things that we can address in the offseason. We can look at more washrooms, we can look at some of the congestion on the concourses, we can look at a few other things that will make it a little easier for fans in the short run.
“But in the long run, what we have to do — and that’s a big part of next year — is just sitting down and putting together a five- to seven-year plan on what we are going to do each and every offseason to improve the stadium.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
Wrigley Field is a wonderful place, but it is, of course, far from pristine. Improvements that do not detract from the experience will be welcome. Ricketts says he’s not taking the idea of a Jumbotron off the table, though.
A big part of the upgrade will involve the surrounding area, where Ricketts hopes to open restaurants, retail shops and a Cubs hall of fame that would be open year-round.
“Area-wise, you will have more options and more flexibility of things to do once you get here,” Ricketts said. “We also want people to drop by on a non-game day and have something for them to do. We’ve talked about the triangle building; it’s not just that. There are other buildings in the area we would like to take a look at using more effectively. When you build in something like a Cubs hall of fame, something for kids in the triangle building, you just bring in more value to the whole experience of coming here.”
Wrigleyville is already a pretty fun area, so add more Cubs should only serve to make it better. So, improved Wrigley, improved surrounding area. Sounds all good. Ah, but the rub:
All of this, of course, means higher ticket prices.
“Ticket prices, nothing’s really been determined for next year, but I think it’s safe to say they will go up some,” Ricketts said.