Although the Chicago Cubs petitioned MLB to have the All-Star Game at Wrigley Field in 2014 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Wrigley, MLB doesn’t believe the old girl can take it.
According to a report from ESPN Chicago, MLB feels Wrigley Field, in its current condition, could not handle all the festivities that accompany the All-Star Game. Further, there apparently isn’t a reasonable expectation that the Wrigley Field renovations could be completed (if at all) in the next three years, so MLB can’t count on the Cubs making Wrigley more accommodating in time for the 2014 All-Star Game.
But, sources say, the renovations are expected to be in place within five years. That means Wrigley Field, freshly renovated, could be an ideal site for the All-Star Game come 2016.
The All-Star news, while exciting, is probably secondary to the Wrigley renovation news. Consider this: short of playing a season or two in another ballpark, the renovation is likely to take more than a few years. As far as we know, public funding has not officially been secured. So does this mean the Cubs are planning on moving forward with the renovation soon, with or without the city/state?
The report also says that the Ricketts family has been buying up property around Wrigley Field, presumably in advance of renovations that would turn the area into an expanded Wrigley experience. Another sign that the project is going to be proceeding soon?
Seems likely to me. And, if I were guessing, I think we might get an announcement soon about the same. Whether the public funding aspect will be in place by then, or will ever be forthcoming, remains to be seen.
If you still want to be sentimental about the possible All-Star date? 1916 was the first year the Cubs played at Wrigley Field.