Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: Surprisingly Quiet After the Election, Ricketts Shares Small Update

Aside from the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority fight between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn that touched on the possibility of State funding (not going to happen), the Wrigley Field renovation story has been surprisingly quiet in these post-election weeks. It was a fair guess that things would be quiet in the months leading up to the election, when political attentions were focused elsewhere.

But, I mean, let’s get this ball rolling again. I remain of the mind that the Wrigley renovation – and the eventual attendant revenue increases (to say nothing of the improved fan experience and improved player facilities) – is one of the biggest stories in the Cubs’ world right now. The fact that it presently lays fallow is deeply frustrating to me. I’m hopeful that the “fallow-ness” is simply a product of a lack of public information, rather than a lack of private action.

At this week’s Owners Meetings, the media did its best to shed some light on the story and get an update, but they were mostly unsuccessful.

“Right now, we’re just working through our plans and then we’ll just start the process,” team owner and chairman Tom Ricketts told Patrick Mooney. “Hopefully, sometime soon we’ll have it all figured out, but that’s really all we can do.”

When asked if, now that the election was over, it was time to restart talks with the Mayor, Ricketts demurred.

“Like I said, it’s just one step at a time, working on a plan and see what we can come up with.”

Sadly, there just isn’t much there. Obviously the wheels are turning, but how quickly? At what level? Who is involved? We just don’t know. Grumble.

For his part, the Commissioner stands ready to help with the process however he can.

“I’ve talked a lot to Tom,” Bud Selig said, according to Mooney. “I certainly want to be involved and helpful, to help them get done what they want to get done.”

There were previous suggestions that Selig could hold the All-Star game out as a carrot to the city of Chicago in order to help spur things along. The Game brings along with it a significant positive economic impact to the city in which it’s held, so it’s something.

The most interest bit from that Mooney article, by the way, was the lack of something – the lack of a flat-out denial that the Cubs would play a season out of Wrigley Field in order to get the renovations done in a single year.

“We’ve said this before: The goal is to play at Wrigley, and that’s what we’re focused on,” Ricketts said. The goal. Given that the schedule has now been delayed by a year, is it possible that the whole play-a-season-away-from-Wrigley, which previously seemed like a non-starter, is back on the table?

That would quickly make this story much, much more loud.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

75 responses to “Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: Surprisingly Quiet After the Election, Ricketts Shares Small Update”

  1. Dr. Percival Cox

    Bruce Levine said the other day the problem is the mayor still refuses to talk with them. As sick as it sounds, the Cubs should start looking at building a stadium in one of the Northern or Western suburbs. I can’t think of anything that would get Rahm back to the table faster than the threat of losing the Cubs revenue altogether.

    1. cheryl

      I agree. Rahm would be up to his eyeballs in negative publicity if the Cubs moved. Although the Cubs are identified with Chicago, the Dodgers were once identified with Brooklyn so it isn’t an impossible for them to move.

      1. Toby

        On another site I suggest a land swap of Wrigley field for a large northside park like Portage. I imaging the real estate price might be approximately the same. The new site might allow large parking garages, and even an underground garage. The city would get stuck with either maintaining Wrigley for high school or college sports events or tearing it down.A complete rebuild might be cheaper in the long run than constant band aid solutions.

      2. Wilbur

        I agree with your agreement ,,,

  2. Mike Taylor (no relation)

    The Home Run Derby would be ridiculous if held at Wrigley.

    1. Rice Cube

      Think of the extra revenue they could generate by charging admission for the ball hawks.

    2. Chris84

      If the wind is blowing out or not blowing at all. If it’s blowing in and it’s strong enough, it would be a very uneventful home run derby.

    3. EQ76

      especially if they bring back one of Sosa’s old “batting practice” bats.

    4. Toby

      I think Sandburg won the 1990 derby at Wrigly with 3 HRs. Wind or not, Wrigley has the longest foul lines in the majors.

  3. Norm

    Brett, off-topic, do you recall Theo or Jed stating, last year, basically that roster decisions wouldn’t take place in Spring Training? (something to that effect). I can’t seem to find that quote anywhere.

    1. MightyBear

      That was the organizational meetings would take place in February before spring training. They’re usually in November/December before the winter meetings but because the management team was still getting their bearings, they had them in February right before spring training.

  4. MightyBear

    If they’re going to play a season out of Wrigley, make it this one.

    1. EQ76

      no doubt… especially if we win that year.. it would be cheapened if it happened away from Wrigley.

  5. Fastball

    I do not believe Ricketts is going to get a dime from the Mayor or the State of Illinois. He may as well go it alone. Times are tough and I doubt this ever happens with any kind of government participation. If Ricketts wants to continue do the path of public funding have him put a Levy on the ballot for next election. Let the tax payers decide whether it should be funded with tax payer money. I know the Whitesox got a deal but times have changed and I don’t believe it’s going to happen. Plus the Ricketts might as well be the Haffields and the Mayor the McCoys. We know how that turned out. The Mayor swings a bigger stick.

    1. Scotti

      Let the tax payers decide whether it should be funded with tax payer money.

      Exactly!!! And in this case, the payers of said Amusement Tax are, TaDa!, Cub fans who buy tickets to Cub games at Wrigley. Let THEM decide whether Wrigley reconstruction should be funded with THEIR money. GREAT IDEA!

  6. Fastball

    Ricketts has the money to pay for this himself so he should just get it done. Get a loan do the project or stop talking about it.

    1. cheryl

      Or just move.

      1. Mick

        Or just don’t do anything at all. Wrigley’s been around for almost 100 years. Just like Soldier Field, a time will come when the people get fed up with their landmark’s facilities and choose to renovate. Until then, let’s just keep funneling the money into ways to increase revenue and improve the on-field product.

        P.S. The last thing Ricketts should EVER do is even threaten to move the Cubs out of Wrigley. That is no way to ever gain the trust and respect of Cubs fans.

        1. John

          He’s also gone on record saying that will never happen. If he ever did want to consider it he’d have to start planting seeds years in advance. It might take a decade to get people (even a small number) on board to even make it a viable threat.

          1. cheryl

            I’d be interested in knowing if there are any parallels to what happened with the Dodgers. The ta situation is probably completely different but the most I know about that was the Dodgers owneshipasked for hep for years and then pulled the plug. Can anyone provide some answers along that line?

        2. Kevin

          That’s assuming the Cub fans are actually more attached to Wrigley Field than their on field success.

    2. John

      There are serious tax implications why the Ricketts don’t just pony up the money themselves. Basically because of their arrangement with the Tribune if they put much more of their own money into the mix they would likely be on the hook for a $300 million dollar tax bill (since in the eyes of the IRS the Cubs were never sold – the Ricketts just entered into a partnership with the Tribune). I think that if any action were to dilute the Tribune’s equity further (they currently own 5%) the IRS may step in and claim that the team was in fact sold and capital gain taxes would be owed. It is a tricky and delicate deal which continues to hamper the Cubs efforts. Incidently this is also why you read about how much in debt he team is in. They aren’t really, the Ricketts have all the cash they’d need, but by financing the deal with debt is one of the ways Sam Zell avoided paying those taxes at a time when he didn’t have the cash.

      1. TonyP

        Well that is a nice tax loophole for Corporate America to exploit.

      2. Kevin

        This is another problem most of us haven’t even considered. Are the Cubs restricted by the 5% Tribune ownership?

    3. Bob

      It’s not that simple. Because of the landmark status of the park, you can’t just go ahead and hire an architect and redesign or renovate the park. Since it does have landmark status some public funding should be included.

      I’ve been to Wrigley dozens of times and I love the place, but I think you could “rebuild” Wrigley out in the burbs. Have some of the old touches like the ivy and scoreboard while making the rest of it state of the art.

      1. Mick

        Yea, sort of like when Waynes World sold out and they built a set to look just like Wayne’s Mom’s basement.

        Garth Algar: We’re looking down on Wayne’s basement. Only that’s not Wayne’s basement. Isn’t that weird?
        Wayne Campbell: Yeah, that’s weird, man, that’s weird. Garth! That was a haiku!

        Moral of the story, it would never, ever be the same.

  7. Brian

    The announcement of the Bulls building a new training facility next to the UC, with the mayor on board, makes me wonder how much the city is involved? If, so wouldn’t this play into the Cubs hand?

    1. King Jeff

      They are building it themselves with promises of extended tax breaks on the United Center, practice facility, and a new retail facility going up in the area. Sounds like a familiar idea doesn’t it?

      1. Hee Seop Chode

        That sounds like a more palatable way of getting the Wrigley renovation done. The team (Rickets family) pays 100% of the expense up front, and receives tax incentives for the next 30 or whatever years. Deals like that are done at all levels of government in nearly every jurisdiction. That’s how Boeing moved to Chicago from Seattle, and why many large corp headquarters are in the burbs.

        1. Scotti

          That was the original Cub proposal that was shot down. Cubs do a bond that is secured, in part, with tax breaks from the amusement tax that Cub fans pay.

  8. Danny Wetherington

    This is my first official comment, but not my last. This is an issue that really bothers me. The city of Chicago has burnded Cubs fans with a high amusement tax on Cubs tickets for many years. They have collected a ton of money, and have benefited greatly from the CUBS. The compromise should be for “X” amount of years that all revenue collected from the amusement tax would go back to the Cubs. Not sure how much this would generate, but that’s seems like the first step. Is this something that has been brought up? Also doesn’t the city realize that a better facility would bring in higher priced free agents, in turn would generate more income tax revenue for the city? Also the fact that the “if you build it, they will come” statement would hold true for millions of new fans over the next decade. Also charge a little more for the tour of the NEW Wrigley field. The money is there, you just have to go get it.
    Brett great site, please don’t every get a real day job. I would have to find something else to occupy about 2 hours of my work day on something else.

    1. King Jeff

      Welcome Danny, hope you like it and stick around.

      One of the problem’s here is the mess that previous regimes left the organization in. There have been promises made by past ownership that they never made good on which is going to make anyone dealing with Ricketts a little skittish. I think the best hope is a simple tax break, similar to what the Bulls and Blackhawks get, that frees up enough money that they can get started on renovation and facility improvement/overhaul.

    2. hansman1982

      From what I understand the public financing portion is basically the city allowing the cubs to keep a portion of the amusement tax AND nothing gets taken from the city.

      From what I understand the city would borrow the money and the “cubs” (really the fans) would pay it back through amusement taxes collected above and beyond what is beig collected presently.

      The reason the city would borrow the money is because they would be able to get a much lower interest rate than the Ricketts. This money would also then immediately flow into the city through the construction project.

  9. Mrcub1958

    Hmmm. I offer he would gain the trust and respect of Cub fans if he started to look elsewhere for the freedom to provide a facility worthy of a ML franchise and one which aids the pursuit of a WS.
    I agree he would lose the trust and respect of Wrigley Field fans by looking elsewhere. The prominence of the latter contributes to our woes.

    1. jayrig5

      And I offer that there is a much greater crossover of those two groups than you seem to allow yourself to realize.

  10. MaxM1908

    I think I’m starting to come around to the move the Cubs to the burbs THREAT. I emphasize threat, because I don’t think it will ever seriously be considered. But, I’d at least like the conversation to start gaining some steam to light a fire under the politicians’ butts. It would be great to just get a picture of how much better a facility the Cubs would have outside the city limits. Artist renditions, proposed financing deals, etc. would really cause a stir in city hall. Right now the city has a good thing going with the Cubs, and you know the old saying, “You never know what you have, until it is gone.”

  11. mr.mac

    The Romeoville Cubs has a nice ring to it.

    1. D.G.Lang

      I lived in Bolingbrook (town next to Romeoville for those who don’t know) for 16 years before moving down to Florida. I have been a life long Cubs fan but even if I was still living up north Romeoville would not have as much attraction for me despite it being located next door to Bolingbrook.

  12. TonyP

    I have no issues with a move to the Burbs, if it is best for the team. I love Wrigley but bottom line is I want a winner. If moving to the burbs puts the organization on better footing to build a lasting productive team then by all means more tomorrow.

  13. daveyrosello

    I’ve said it before, build a nice modern stadium on the lakeshore in Evanston, or Waukegan, or wherever, and the fans will love it. They can carry over some things from Wrigley to provide the link to the past–the brick and ivy outfield wall, the scoreboard, outfield bleacher seats. What’s the big deal? Wrigley itself is an ancient, inconvenient, urine-soaked craphole, and we pay megabucks for the “privilege” of watching a junk team play there year in and year out.

    Build a new stadium, just keep it in Chicagoland. No problem.

  14. cRAaZYHORSE

    SORRY – The Mayor OF Chicago just stated that the City is in rebuild mode ,and The city
    Can not afford high end renovations for a triple A team that plays at Wrigley Field. The Mayor takes the same stance as the Cubs . When the Cubs contend the City will listen.

    1. King Jeff

      I think your caps lock button might be broke.

  15. Tom

    If the Cubs move from the city, those of us without cars would no longer pay for season tickets. Chicago is a very special sports cit,y as you can attend games for all of our teams using convenient mass transit. I hope they don’t gve up that true Chicago sports blessing !

    1. Byron Browne

      It would be a bad move to turn Chicago over the the White Sox, and allow them to claim to be “Chicago’s only baseball team.”

  16. Frank

    Good God, not Waukegan. Anything but Waukegan. Nobody should ever go to Waukegan for anything, unless they’re driving a bulldozer. Besides, all we have is being able to make fun of the White Sox, Cardinals, and Brewers for their ghetto and white trash surroundings. Moving the Cubs to Waukegan would take that away from us.

    1. daveyrosello

      I don’t care what north shore city, I just want a ballpark on the lake similar to what the Giants have. That’s a very cool ballpark. If they build the park in a north-south orientation, the wind ought to be a howling gale out to RF all summer long. Stock up on the LH power bats and ground ball pitchers……

  17. die hard

    Mitt Romney is looking for a new challenge…Maybe he can turn them around like the Olympics?….First he would let them go bankrupt before investing and then would buy them out of bankruptcy…

    1. DarthHater

      Chongqing Cubs, anyone?

      1. die hard

        Seriously instead of bidding on overseas players he could outsource the team…..Baseball due for expansion anyway…. White Sox are the premier team in Chicago now…City not big enough for both…Wrigley is falling apart like great wall of China…why not expand overseas to get first dibs on all of those players?…think outside the box…besides, taxpayers would not allow one dime of their money to be spent bailing out the team….time to move on..

  18. gutshot5820

    The decision by the Ricketts to move the Cubs to the suburbs is all about money. Do not think for a second that they would not move. They have to weigh negative public perception and how it will effect their fan base against lost public dollars, landmark restrictions, plus the additional loss of revenue and the total cost of upgrading and maintaining Wrigley Field. The total amount lost/cost without help from the city or state may exceed half a billion dollars. Ever year that goes by with the Mayor playing hardball plus the landmark restrictions, wins Cubs fans to their side of the argument. I think we can see that already happening.

    The Cubs are a billion dollar business and believe it or not, they are in it for profit and not nostalgia. In my opinion, if the mayor does not offer any help by the end of next year, the Ricketts can start telling the fans that they have tried and the cost of Wrigley upkeep with the restrictions is so great that it restricts them from putting the best product on the field. Then they can take offers from the suburbs cities, that would do almost do anything to get their business, including building a stadium for them with no restrictions, as the Cubs did with their spring training facilities. I would be absolutely be surprised if they did not even consider it because at worst case, you change the conversation by the city from, “we can’t afford it” to “can we afford to lose the Cubs.”

    1. beerhelps

      That’s why one of Rickett’s biggest mistakes imo was saying he would never move the Cubs out of Wrigley. If he ever threatens to I for one would not believe him, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. And btw, i could care less if they move out of Wrigley or not. Just please win a damn world series sometime!

      1. gutshot5820

        I agree, I’m a cubs fan, not a Wrigley Field fan. If Yankee Stadium can be torn down, Wrigley Field should be nothing in comparison. People who cling to the Wrigley at the expense of winning are outdated and need to move on.

        1. Spriggs

          But for Yankee Stadium, they tore it down and put nearly an exact replica right next door. Literally, right across the street. The same option doesn’t exist for the Cubs.

          In a perfect world, me and most Cubs want them to win a WS in Wrigley (and remember – that has never happened before – ever) more than anything else. I am to the point in my life now, where I think Wrigely is more of hindrance and a new stadium would probably expedite their chances. So I am for that, if they cannot get anything done in the very near term with the f’n Mayor.

          1. gutshot5820

            I agree with you, best case would be for the Cubs to win a World Series in Wrigley Field. Having said that, I don’t think it matters that the new Yankee stadium was rebuilt right next to the original. What was important was that they tore down the most historic stadium in all of sports in order to increase profits and build a sustainable profit center to be dominant in the new era. Yankees are all about winning and profits.

            The lovable losers Cubs fans are so nostalgic about their stadium that the only thing they are known for is being the worst franchise in the history of sports. That kind of nostalgia belongs in the horse and buggy era. The people who are so against public financing for the Cubs will realize, the city will not only lose FOREVER the amusement tax money the Cubs are asking from the sale of their own tickets, but all the business and residual revenue the city enjoys on top of it. Even while putting landmark restrictions on the stadium to hinder new revenue streams that the rest of MLB are enjoying. As of the moment, the only leverage the city has is the belief that the Cubs would never move. However, that may soon change because the Cubs are not a corporation but a family run business run for profits. Beerhelps, you are right, the dumbest thing the Ricketts did was to say from the beginning they would never consider moving.

  19. Mike F

    Danny you are correct, they could do both an amusement tax rebate and sales tax rebate for the city purchase tax portion, not the 6.25 of Il tax. All of that would help, but would have to be accompanied by special financing and likely some direct aid in other economic development form.

    But all of that is moot. Joe Ricketts did shoot them in the foot, but if and I know its a big if Tom Ricketts is shrewd, he will be a heavy political supporter financially of Emanuel and the candidates which he supports. Sounds terrible but that is the way it will work and Ricketts has a lot of support to demonstrate and help to give if he wants anything now. Their handling of the entire matter, with former Clinton people in house is surprisingly inept. I’ve yet to see anything that Kenney touches not turn to sh t……

  20. cheryl

    Most everybody seems to think Ricketts won’t move the Cubs elsewhere, that he won’t change his mind about staying in Chicago, but if he feels boxed in by Rahm Emmanuel and Chicago he could change his mind. A politician and an investor have one thing in common – they change when it suits them. Those businesses that are leaving Illinoisdo so because they can’t afford to stay here. I doubt that Ricketts is looking at Wrigley short term. He wants to make a profit without being caught in the middle. I think within a year or two the decision will be made to leave Wrigley and its headaches behind.

    1. Eric

      If anyone seriously thinks moving out of Chicago and Wrigley would be a positive in any way for the franchise they should seek help. Like it or not, Wrigley and the surrounding neighborhood is a huge draw and moving the team to some suburb with less public transit options and none of the nightlife would be a disaster.

      1. gutshot5820

        Blah, blah, blah… keep your Wrigley and its 104 yr symbolism of losing. I’m a Cub fan and would gladly sacrifice Wrigley Field for a World Series. To assume that any new ballpark would not be a huge draw and would not have public transportation and night life integrated into the new ballpark area is short-sighted. The only reason the city has any leverage at all with the Cubs is the perception they would never leave Wrigley. If the cubs ever decided to leave, it would be a huge financial loss for the city of Chicago, considering the only thing the Ricketts are asking for is the amusement tax the city is leveraging on the cubs tickets anyways.

        A case could be made that Wrigley is actually a hindrance to the Cubs from winning and not a home field advantage. Between all the day games, landmark restrictions, antiquated practice facilities, practically the only team with no financial help from the city or state, it is actually a wonder they haven’t moved yet. That being said, it would be awesome if the Cubs and the city could come to agreement in a win/win situation that benefits the city and the team and would advance the Cubs ability to win the World Series someday in Wrigley.

        1. Eric

          Let’s hear some options of this mystical suburban location that would accomplish all of this. I think everyone here would prefer the Cubs stay at Wrigley and hopefully we’ll start seeing some progress. The reason the Cubs have not won a World Series is not day games, Wrigley, antiquated facilities, etc. It’s been the failure to build a foundation and sticking to a consistent philosophy, which we are starting to see now. Unfortunately we need to be patient.

          Do you honestly think the Cubs would have drawn anywhere near 2.8 million this year with a 100 loss team if they played in the ‘burbs somewhere? No way…..

          1. gutshot5820

            You are implying that Cub fans buy tickets to see Wrigley Field and not the team. That statement by itself is so sad and embodies why the Cubs have been losing for so many years. What makes you think they cannot survive and thrive outside of Wrigley? To tell you the truth, except for the Ivy and sunny days in the bleachers, Wrigley Field is an old, smelly piece of junk. I’ve been there many times myself and the bathrooms stink, the seats are uncomfortable, pieces of concrete are falling…the list goes on. What exactly is it about Wrigley that you are so attached to, besides nostalgia and clinging to old ideas?

            My opinion is that people get attached to Wrigley like an old girlfriend. They get comfortable with the idea, even though the relationship has no future and is falling apart (pun intended). They get sentimental and fear change and the longer you wait the worse it gets. But when you look back, you met someone better, that has a better future and is more suited to your needs. And you find that you can love someone else even more if you give it a chance. Anyone who cares more about Wrigley Field than the success of the team has their priorities backwards.

            1. Eric

              Again, I’d love to hear what suburb the new Wrigley could be built in where you could replicate the neighborhood and atmosphere. Like it or not, a good number of people go to games for the experience and not the team. The fact that you use the bathrooms and pieces of concrete falling as reasons to move to the suburbs is laughable.

              The Cubs have not been losing for so many years because of statements like that or playing in an antiquated stadium, etc. They have lost because they simply have not been good enough and ownership has never had a consistent philosophy of building the team. To imply anything else is a cop out.

              Wrigley is part of the fabric of the team. I live a block away and I see the impact everyday firsthand. The number of games I have gone to and amount of money I’ve spent on the team over the last 13-14 years gives me a much different perspective than those who live out of state or don’t have the luxury to attend more than a game or two a season.

              I’m sure the people running the business have a much better idea of what the potential revenue streams and attendance will be building a cookie cutter stadium in a cookie cutter suburb as opposed to renovating and improving Wrigley and my guess is there is no comparison.

          2. The Dude

            I don’t think the Cubs would’ve drawn 2.8M fans last season if they weren’t in Wrigley, but I don’t think they would have been in that situation if they had a state-of-the-art stadium.

            No pun intended but Wrigley field is a bit of a curse on the Cubs, as it stands. It’s part of the team’s identity and draws fans in and of itself, but diminishes returns on those fans. No luxury suites, relatively small capacity (a team as popular as the Cubs *should* have a stadium with about 7-8k more seats), high maintenance costs, limited flexibility for future revenue streams. That doesn’t include the lack of facilities today’s athletes have come to expect, which can be argued, limits free agent’s willingness to sign.

            I don’t think the Cubs will ever leave Wrigley, and deep down I don’t want them too, but I’m really excited to see what a renovated Wrigley field looks like!

    2. Can't think of a cool name

      Agree, explore all options to make the Cubs better.

      1. cheryl

        Please note that I said if the Ricketts feel boxed in. I don’t necessarily come down on the side that the Cubs will leave Wrigley. But if the situation doesn’t move past what it is now Ricketts could very well make the decision to move and that decision may be two years away.

  21. jayrig5

    I’m not a fan of any publically financed stadium deal, or renovation, anywhere. It’s always a much better deal for the owner than the city (which is, you know, the reason Ricketts wants to do it.) I know as a Cubs fan, and a non-Chicago resident, I should be all for the Cubs having whatever extra revenue they can generate, since it wouldn’t impact me at all financially. But this continued insistence on revenue maximization just doesn’t mean anything to me. They already have obscenely high revenue, especially relative to the rest of baseball, and especially relative to the rest of the division. I guess I still just don’t believe that “more Cubs generated revenue” is directly related to “more money spent on the on-field product”. So far, it’s been much more “more Cubs generated revenue” equating to “more projects to further raise money for the owners”. I’m fully open to having my mind changed, and I couldn’t be happier with the people they have running baseball operations. But I do absolutely worry that the ownership isn’t willing to exercise the massive revenue advantage they currently maintain. I’ve not exactly seen any evidence as to why I shouldn’t be worried about that.

    Finally, in a semi-related point, if you want city assistance on your renovation project, you have to be willing to play politics. And if you have to play politics, the head of your family fortune can’t be dumping tens of millions into a SuperPAC that is aiming to defeat an extraordinarily close political ally of the mayor. I’m offering no political judgment on either side of that fight. Just stating facts. That’s how the system works. If it’s going to happen you have to be way out in front on damage control, and I think it’s obvious Tom wasn’t exactly prepared for that at the time.

  22. Can't think of a cool name

    Actually, I think you just offered politcal judgment.

    1. jayrig5

      I fail to see how. I’m not saying it should be illegal, or that his cause was right or wrong, or that it matters. Just that it was obvious it would make the mayor angry.

  23. Huey Lewis

    Couple of things here folks. The mayor has far bigger issues he dealing with. A city budget (just passed), new police and fire contracts, a massive looming fight over pensions (next year), the murder rate, his almost zany attempt to get new jobs to the city (all good), and many other looming issues (infrastructure, transportation issues, privatization fights). There is resolution to the new Bulls practice facility and DePaul is looking back in the city. There is a big fight for legalized gambling. Another time bomb is the fight again with teachers and families over school closings. These all arguably except DePaul and Bulls are far more pressing to All citizens.

    The point? The mayor knows where Wrigley stands in importance. He knows as tourist attraction it’s huge. He also knows when he has to pay teachers and other public servants bailing out rich guys doesn’t go over well. He is also not one to do his negotiations in public of if he can help it. According to what the Cubs say, they have been talking with the city all along and quietly. Now, why believe me? My source? Well, you don’t have to but I have no doubt they are talking quietly with the city. You have an alderman for the area that is all about free PR. I think something creative comes out as fully done. As city hall reporters say, this mayor likes to introduce ideas that are fully formed. It will happen. Ricketts is being exceedingly smart here. Keeping mum. The mayor would have it no other way.

    No embarrassment and a fair deal for all will happen.

    One scenario quietly batted around by the cubs? So renovations over 3 years not 5. The last year they play home games in Miller park and even provide transport of some kind. They would only play April and May. Home opener in June. The idea of the Cell did not seem to up for diacussion. This same Cubs source floated it as an idea. Interesting for sure.

    1. jayrig5

      Playing a partial season away from Wrigley, as opposed to a full one, would make more sense, in terms of getting people on board. I’m sure MLB could maybe throw a few of the Cubs longer roadtrips at the start of the year as well, under such a plan. (I don’t think they’d admit it, necessarily, it would just be a fortuitous result of the scheduling system…)

  24. Believe in 2015

    Anyone else get an inappropriate pop up?

  25. 2nd City Taxpayer

    Well as a Taxpayer of the city of Chicago I would favor a 2% Interest loan by the city to the cubs and they can pay it back over 10yrs to fund wrigley……Now if the cubs want to sell Wrigley to us for a $1 and we will pay 100% for the rebuild and we keep the profits then we would be in favor………Just right now the City of Chi towns schools need the money more………This is what the People who live in the are saying about the matter……..but to just give them the money and get no payback isn’t a smart buisness deal………

  26. 2nd City Taxpayer

    Not to mention the Ricketts Family has the money to do it all themselves right now,they are just being the typical rich thing and wanting something for free,like they are intitled…….

  27. Jerry

    I recently had a chance to take a tour of Wrigley Field. It was one of the coolest things I have done in a long time. That being said the place needs a lot of work. I don’t want to call the insides a dump but essentially it is. The structure needs to to be torn down from foul pole to foul pole and rebuilt. If the city and/or state is not will to assist, the team needs to look to moving to the suburbs. The amount of revenue the city would lose from the Wrigleyville area would be significant. I don’t believe that the city could afford to lose the Cubs.

    It’s time to play the help or we are going to move card.