Yesterday, the Chicago Cubs sought approval from the Landmarks Commission – to whom the Cubs are subject to approval on certain changes to Wrigley Field thanks to Wrigley’s landmark status – on a variety of things. First, there was the plan to move the backstop forward three feet in order to add about 56 additional premium seats. Second, there was a plan to make a section of the wall near the Cubs’ dugout movable to accommodate future college football games (so the teams don’t have to go in only one direction on offense, as they did – hilariously – back in 2010 when Northwestern and Illinois played at Wrigley Field). Finally, there was a plan to add two electrical vaults at the roof level, to increase electrical capacity for the stadium (something that obviously falls under the very large umbrella of “things that need to be done to improve/upkeep Wrigley”).

All three plans were approved by the commission, so you can expect to see additional seats behind home plate, additional efforts to have a college football game or two at Wrigley Field in the future (sweet!), and additional … um … lights? Or something.

That is all newsworthy stuff, particularly the first two, which could generate not-insignificant additional revenue for the Cubs. But what really caught my eye in the Tribune’s report were a handful of statements from the Landmark Commission about the greater Wrigley Field renovation plans – or, more accurately, the lack thereof. From the Tribune:

Few commissioners disapproved of the changes, but they once again pressed Chicago Cubs owners to come up with a long-term plan for renovations at the stadium.

Commissioner Mary Ann Smith said there could be a time when the Commission says they don’t want to see any more proposals until such a plan is produced.

“I mean that could happen…(but) because the Cubs are so beloved we really want to work with you,” Smith said.

Michael Lufrano, executive vice president of community affairs and general counsel said the team would like to create a big-picture plan for renovations at the stadium, but said the necessary changes were often hard to predict.

“I’d love to come back to you (and) say this is how it’s gonna come together,” he said. “They need to change. They need to evolve.”

“Preserving Wrigley Field is important to us.”

This is notable because, in the past, the Commission has been viewed as a potential hurdle to a comprehensive renovation at Wrigley Field – something of a wild card. That may yet prove to be the case, but Smith’s statement suggests that the Commission is not only standing ready to approve reasonable renovation plans, but is eager to get things moving. I don’t know whether they have the kind of political clout to knock any heads (or if they actually have that level of eagerness), but it can’t hurt to have them on board.

  • Rizzo 44

    I’m ready to hear about trade talk and who you guys think the Cubs mght target. I have some ideas. Chase Headley, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Justin Masterson, and Tim Lincecum. Thats just @ the MLB level. I also think they wil make some moves to help the Minor league pitching for the Future. Just some names I’m throwing out there.

    • Rizzo 44


    • Chris

      Are you starting a list of guys that they won’t trade for? That’s what this feels like to me.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Lincecum is trending in the wrong direction. Per Fangraphs, since 2009 each year his fastball has decrease in velocity , his BB/9 has gone up, K/9 down and xFIP up and HR/FB has gone up. All bad signs.

  • Cubbie Blues

    It’s a bit ridiculous that the Cubs have to get permission to install electrical vaults on the roof. Who exactly is going to be seeing them?

  • ssckelley

    I wonder what the commission would do if the Cubs decided to pull out of Wrigley Field? They need to understand Wrigley Field has historical value because of the Cubs, not because it is an old stadium. But then again I am probably one of the few Cub fans that wish they would bulldoze the place down and build a new “Wrigley Field” at the same location.

    • stillmisskennyhubbs

      and they would go……where?

      • fearbobafett

        If the Cubs were serious about actually moving they would have tons of counties, cities all over them.

        Pleny of land in the burbs.

        I don’t buy that several fans just goto a game becuase of Wrigley. Sure maybe out of towners, but the locals can’t be going just because of that.

        All the drunks at Wrigley we get labeled with will be drunks no matter the venue.

    • fearbobafett

      I am right there with you

  • Eric S

    The additional electrical vaults will actually help with concerts that use additional lighting sound etc. So in other words that will help Wrigley bring more concerts to the park, that they can tap into.

  • vh4bvu

    I see a very real possibility of Darwin Barney being in Philly next year. I think that Sandberg has a man crush on Barney and vice versa. Now that Sandberg is with the big team, and that it seems that Philly may move Utley to 3rd that they may want a real good defensive player to go along with an aging starting staff that has just a small window of greatness remaining, and Jimmy Rollins is no spring chicken either. I am wondering what does Philly have that we could make a realistic trade for?

  • bbrave307

    What is bad about Wrigley?
    – Day games
    -Historical district limits advertising and tjhus revenue
    -smaller, older park
    -player ammenities such as batting cages and exercise equipment
    -lack of suites

    What is good?
    -it is paid for
    -Maybe some people come to games just because of the park. Maybe.

    If the city and the historical commission drives too hard of a bargain it wouldn’t hurt too bad to check our options.

    • Corey

      Pretty much all of those “bad things” you listed are actually good. Except the day games part.

      • Corey

        and player ammenities, but with the renovation those will come. I also think they should put the bullpens underground, or under the bleachers. It would be so cool to cut windows in to the ivy. You could put them in the wells at each side of the outfield, and have them connect via the dugout. You could have a hidden door in the ivy for the players that get called in, and if you did it right, it wouldn’t even look bad, it woud look awesome.

  • rycott

    Could the extra electric also be used for a future Jumbotron?

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