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As expected, today’s Wrigley Field “Restoration” presentation was a whopper. We’ll be discussing this in depth for quite some time, but I wanted to at least get you the high points right away, as well as pictures of the plans (courteously provided by Cubs VP of Communications Julian Green, by way of Sahadev Sharma).

The renovation is expected to cost $300 million (this is just the Wrigley piece), and will be completed over the course of five offseasons. I say “will be,” as opposed to “is proposed to be” or other flabby language like that, because the tenor of the presentation was very much “this is happening.” So, I take them at face, and look forward to things getting underway in earnest next offseason, starting with a renovated Cubs clubhouse and player facilities.

As for the funding aspect, Cubs Business President Crane Kenney was emphatic: the Ricketts family will be paying for the renovation. But he added a caveat: because of the restrictions placed on the Cubs’ ability to advertise, have more night games, have neighborhood events, etc. – in other words, the ways in which the city restricts the Cubs’ ability to maximize revenue at Wrigley Field – the Ricketts’ position is, we’ll fund this thing ourselves so long as you let us run our business unrestricted. Otherwise, if the city is going to tell them what they can and cannot do with Wrigley, then the city should chip in for the renovation. That strikes me as a reasonable dichotomy.

But, on to what you want to see: what are the renovations going to look like? Obviously, the essential elements of Wrigley – the Marquee, the ivy, the Old Scoreboard, will remain. In short, there will be structural upgrades, improved player facilities, improved luxury suites, and increased restrooms and concessions, and more “club” areas together with a restaurant and a new patio area that will serve the upper deck. The Cubs are considering adding a second LED board in left field, much like the one they added to right field last year. Further, they are considering adding an additional patio section just left of the left field bleachers. Lastly, the Cubs are considering the possibility of a JumboTron, but nothing has been decided on that front just yet.

I’ll add a full set of pictures over at the BN Facebook page, which are a bit larger than the versions below, as soon as Facebook/the wi-fi start cooperating here at the hotel. There will also be additional pictures there, for those who just can’t get enough, and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s up. (UPDATE: Here it is.)

For now, these are the most salient ones (and obviously they aren’t final schematics, just renderings of the plans) …

With a facelift, the front of Wrigley will have a polished, classic look:

The concession areas will be improved and expanded:

The improved Cubs player facilities, which will be underneath the ballpark:

The massively upgraded Cubs’ clubhouse:

A cross-section of the Cubs’ clubhouse and batting area:

A cross-section of the grandstand, with added amenities:

Another cross-section of additional amenities:

The proposed additional patio area in left field:

And the proposed second LED board in left (which is so seamless, it’s hard to see):

All in all, it’s very tasteful, but significant. I look forward to discussing this a whole lot more in the near future.

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    Looks good now we will just see how the city responds, I get the feeling that this will be all Ricketts and a battle over him getting to remove the restrictions.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      The City is going to have a tough time fighting against this. The Cubs aren’t being at all unreasonable here: “Let us use our private property that we paid for without your assistance how we want, and we’ll upgrade it while investing a ton of cash in the surrounding community. Oh, and the City will make a ton of money from extra tax revenues as well.”

      What exactly can the City counter with?

      I suspect this deal goes through. Some politicians will scream bloody murder over it, but I’m not sure the Cubs have left the City any grounds for rejection.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        I hope so but the fight is far from over, I agree they have little leverage but don’t laws/regulations still need to change for Ricketts to use Wrigley as they desire?

        • Crazyhorse

          Yes and trust me when i say the landmark protection will be protected as if it was the second amendment.to the alderman in that district. The proposal as it stands will only involve Chicago and Cook County.for approval but any kind of building permits to build is up to that district (i think) and that will be tough sell but not immpossible.

          If the Cubs dont ask for bonds or a percentage in tax revenue then the Governor and Springfield can be frozen out of the vote.

      • http://Isa Voice of reason

        If the cubs get any city opposition at all I would move.

        Then what would happen to that neighborhood?

        All the people around wrigley fighting the cubs over having more night games.

        If I’m rickets I tell them what is going to happen and approve it or I’m moving the team.

        Then all the values of those homes and businesses go down…. Down…. Down….

        • http://Isa Voice of reason

          And if cubs move city loses all revenue from cubs and the fans going to businesses around the park before and after the games.

          • Crazyhorse

            The team would have to move out of state – any movement within the state would be horrible for the team .Ricketts has no leverage unless he pays for the whole thing and that is his smartest move.and then sue,

            • http://Isa Voice of reason

              Building a new stadium would be horrible for the team?

              With all the new amenities and a larger ball park with all the added conveniences I mentioned?

              Attendance would go no where but up! Why would that be a bad thing?

              • Kygavin

                And everyone gets a free unicorn and Manti Te’o’s GF!!!

                • Crazyhorse

                  Unicorns only belong in the minds of people that think the Little Theo can do no wrong -

                  • DarthHater

                    People that think Theo can do no wrong only exist in the minds of crazyhorses.

              • Crazyhorse

                The dream would be nice but a hard fought battle . Ricketts can take his team anywhere he wants with MLB approval and MLb can award the City of Chicago a second team – this line arguments can go on and on …….what if – what if …..

              • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                How about this: Ricketts builds a massive island in Lake Michigan his own Xanadu. The entire place is Cubtopia, a 80K seat stadium, an amusement park for kids, a pleasure done for the adults, the world largest beer garden for us goats, a jumbotron that can be seen from space. The Cub version of DisneyLand – a self sustaining, autonomous entity, with secret tunnels and a monorail to get inside. That would increase revenue. Reasonable right?

                • Kygavin

                  you had me at beer garden <3

                  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                    The worlds largest beer garden, 30K seats 10K beer on tap :)

                • DarthHater

                  And a missile defense system to keep away the tax collectors.

                  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                    See wouldn’t that be amazing, Cardinal fans executed during 7th inning stretch. Can you say REVENUE?

                    • bluekoolaidaholic

                      How about just executing just the obnoxious ones?? Ummmm, come to think of it, that pretty much includes all of them.

                    • DarthHater

                      No, executing them goes too far, my friend. We should settle for a 7th-inning chariot race – with the chariots drawn by Cards fans.

                • Crazyhorse

                  Dont for get The Ricketts bridge that will connect Michigan and Chicago with inlet fishing resort and underwater bubble towns …..

                  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                    Now we are getting the picture add a underground/water bullet train from all major cities in the world and mandate that every man women and child attend 5 games a year and we will sell out every game.

                    Oh and CASINOS – Vegas will be obsolete in a matter of two years.

                    • Kygavin

                      this is what i envision heaven to be

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              Could we have100K seats if we moved out if town?

              • Spriggs

                The GARY Cubs.

  • Pingback: World Series Dreaming » Wrigley Renovation Plans From the Cubs Convention()

  • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

    I enjoyed this quite a bit. How many people fainted or started throwing rocks when they mentioned the Jumbotron?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      At least 33%.

      • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

        Pansies.

        Oops, noticed that we pinged back to you there, I’ve never seen pingbacks stick around in your comments before.

    • http://worldseriesdreaming.com/ Rice Cube

      I guess the underground facilities means they already did the surveying and discovered they could drill a certain distance without reaching the water, so that helps a bunch.

    • Jeremy

      I have no problem with adding a Jumbotron. Wrigley need to move into the 21st century. I do love the old scoreboard but they can find a way to add a JT and keep the scoreboard.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      The Jumbotron is the one piece I’m not 100% agreeable with right now but I also think it got to be there at some point but I hope it’s not part of this five year plan.

  • jayrig5

    The only thing that strikes me in a weird way is Ricketts talking about how the Cubs work under such tax restrictions and other things as if he didn’t know it when he bought the team.

  • Crazyhorse

    looks nice but somehow,some of those pictures look a tower of cards ready to fall. I am sure that the structure would be safe.

  • http://ehanauer.com clark addison

    You scooped the world. You were the first to post pictures of the renovation plans.

    Is this a great place or what?

    • FFP

      Great place.

  • http://Isa Voice of reason

    Why not leave and build a brand new park in the burbs?

    I’m so over wrigley field. Give me a new park that holds 80,000 so I can always walk up and get a ticket on game day. Give me a ton of parking that’s attached to the park so I don’t have to walk forever. Give me plenty of restrooms so I don’t have to wait and miss some of the game cause I have to go to the bathroom. Get seats that are close to the field just as they are now at wrigley, but don’t have poles in the way like they are now at wrigley.

    The ballpark really is a dump and its old. Just take the 300million and add to it and build a brand new facility.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Because keep the tradition of Wrigley while updating it into a modern stadium is great for baseball… See Fenway. A burb stadium would be great and modern but just so cookie cutter and lack all the things that make Wrigley great.

      • http://Isa Voice of reason

        Doesn’t have to be cookie cutter at all!

        Take a look at the new parks in cincy and Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

        They can build a big park with manual scoreboard and brick walls with ivy and make it everything that wrigley is and more because of the amenities I mentioned.

        • Behind enemy lines (south side cub fan)

          Funny you pick those three — they’re all downtown!

      • http://Isa Voice of reason

        What if the cubs sold 60,000 to every game? Think of the revenue so we could spend a bunch on players and money not be an object?

        The owners have to find so many different unique ways to generate revenue cause wrigley too small!

        80,000 seats would eliminate that problem!

        • Kygavin

          Im ok with adding seats but 80,00 is insane. Plus who says they would make more revenue? Ticket prices would go down quite a bit because the supply would be so much greater than the demand, especially with 20,000 empty seats if they sell 60,000

          • http://Isa Voice of reason

            Revenue would totally go up.

            • DarthHater

              Yea, that’s why there are so many teams building 80,000-seat ballparks.

            • Kygavin

              Also you realize there are only 3 NFL stadiums that hold 80,000 and the NFL is much more popular than MLB. And how can you say it would go up? Who is going to pay full price for a ticket when there are 20,000 still unsold? at 40,000 they can basically charge what they want and people will come. Thats the beauty of supply and demand

            • Cub Style

              I can see you didn’t pass high school economics.

              • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                Or the class that taught him the meaning of “reason”

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          We’d only sell 60,000 for playoff game and even then the weekday games might not sell out. On a Tuesday night game against a team we’d barely fill 15K plus season tickets would have zero value since there would always be a glutton of seats available plus the Stubhub market would be pathetically cheap and take away from direct sales. Add to that every game would look empty and give the national picture that the Cubs can’t sell out a game. Seriously how can you be the “Voice of Reason” with this plan. I can see (but don’t agree) the arguement for moving to the burbs but 80K even 60K seats is beyond reason.

          • DarthHater

            I don’t think there has ever been a baseball stadium anywhere with seating capacity even close to 80,000 (Houston Astrodome was mid to high 60s). But I’m sure that every ball club ever had no idea they were missing out on such a colossal revenue stream.

            • daveyrosello

              When the Indians played in the old Municipal Stadium, and the Senators played in RFK–seating in both places was well over 80,000. Never filled of course, but still….

              • DarthHater

                According to Wikipedia, RFK never had a seating capacity close to 80,000 even for football. Cleveland Municipal was slightly under 80,000. No idea whether Wikipedia is right on these numbers.

                In any event, I was really only intending to refer to stadiums designed for baseball (the Astrodome reference was misleading in that respect). Obviously, it is possible to play baseball in a humongous football stadium, but I don’t think anybody would recommend that today.

                • hansman1982

                  The number I’ve seen for a baseball max is 46-48,000

                  Football stadiums can go much larger because you are talking about 8 games a year vs. 81.

        • Can’t think of a cool name

          The question is would the Cubs draw the same number of fans in the suburbs? I’d love a new stadium but I live in the far south suburbs and would make fewer games if the stadium is in the north suburbs. In the city, Wrigley Field is easily accessible by all suburbs.

        • Martin

          Without the thousands of tourists who come to Chicago for the “Wrigley Experience,” you wouldn’t get 35,000 per game in the suburbs, let alone 60,000. The city has leverage here in terms of the percentage of the Cubs’ ticket-buying base that are casual fans and/or tourists.

          If the Cubs built a suburban stadium, no matter how many amenities, within 5-10 years they’d have the same problem the White Sox have in terms of drawing fans to games.

          • bluekoolaidaholic

            IMHO tourists don’t come to see Wrigley, they come to see the Cubs. They aren’t Wrigley fans, they are Cubs fans and if there are more and cheaper seats available there will be more of them. You build the fan base by winning more games, not by renovating the building.

            • http://Isa Voice of reason

              BINGO bluekoolaidaholic…. You are correct!!!!!!!!!

    • guy

      This has to be a troll, right? An 80,000 seat stadium in which seats are somehow as close to the field as they are in a stadium with half as many seats? Surrounded by a parking lot? Out in the burbs? It’s like this was written by a highway planner in 1968.

      …although I admit, I’m in total agreement with the bathroom thing. There should be many of them and they should be clean, too. And they shouldn’t have troughs, either.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        What what will become of the urinal slide, what will our kids do? TRADITION!

      • Kygavin

        80,000? The biggest stadium now holds 56,000… but ya Im sure the Cubs could sell 80,000 for every game……..

        • cubfanincardinalland

          The Rockies played the first season and a half at Mile High Stadium in Denver. Opening day they drew over 80,000 fans, and 4.4 million for the season. While playing there, they had 21 games where they drew more than 70,000 fans for a game. It has been done. Many games in 2008 on the weekends, the Cubs could have sold 100,000 tickets for games.

          • DarthHater

            Mile High Stadium seating capacity is about 76,000. During the Rockies’ first two seasons, they drew an average of 55-56,000 per game, which is great, but still not close to filling an 80,000-seat stadium. Since 1995, the Rockies have played in Coors Field, which has a capacity of approximately 50,000, and have averaged 33-34,000 per game. Again, that’s great for a MLB team, but still nowhere near 80,000.

            There is simply no factual basis at all for suggesting that a baseball team could do a reasonable job of filling an 80,000 seat stadium over 81 home games per year. Which perhaps explains why the trend for decades has been for teams to move to smaller parks.

  • hardtop

    Brett. Johnny on the spot. Are the images photos of the presentation? I couldn’t be happier with plans and response to questions. Preserving history and tradition are job one it seems and thats exactly how it should be. I was so glad to hear improved player facilities were at the top of the list.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      “pictures of the plans (courteously provided by Cubs VP of Communications Julian Green, by way of Sahadev Sharma).”

  • Crazyhorse

    Actually i think the Jumbotron should be where the old scoreboard is now. Yes i would hate to see the old scoreboard go but …….. times change and its okay to let some things go with a sentimental goodbye for modern technology . losing the old scoreboard will let the Cubs recoup mush need dollars to finance this project and money for the Cubs to spend whichever way they want.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      The Jumbotron would be similar to the new Seattle one that was proposed this offseason, Brett had a post on it, above left field I believe

  • guy

    Wow, this is so much better than I thought it would be. I’m always anti-public funding for ballpark construction/renovation, so obviously I’m delighted that the Cubs will pay for this themselves. As for the restrictions the city puts on the Cubs, those are precisely the kinds of things that should be hashed out in the political arena. The Cubs, the city council, the mayor, and the public SHOULD have a frank discussion about what kinds of restrictions are put in place and whether they are appropriate. I honestly don’t know enough about the currently existing restrictions to have a strong say one way or the other, and I suspect most people are in the same position. Which is why I’m happy for the Cubs and the city to have this discussion.

    As to the specific renovations, they all seem perfectly fine and unoffensive to me. I hope they do their best to make the renovated areas and new patios less bland – these conceptual drawings make them seem sort of suburban shopping mall Cheesecake Factory-esque, which is my opinion is probably the ugliest and least interesting possible route to take. We have more than enough beige, bland, boring locations in every suburb in America (and, over the last 15 years, in Wrigleyville). Let’s not put the big box store look into Wrigley, please!

    Lastly, and I know this is going to be the most boring part of the discussion where everyone takes sides and is impossible to resolve, but I vote a strong NO to a JumboTron. I hate them, I hate them in every ballpark and it would be extra-horrific in Wrigley. I’d gladly miss out on having a few replays of only uncontroversial plays (they never display close calls) if it means I get to avoid the onslaught of seizure-inducing graphics, insipid little games, kiss cams, and endless ads.

  • Njriv

    So no more triangle building ?

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      I think that is all part if this five year plan, the hotel on the McD lot is the start, the underground facilities would be connected. The first thing is to modernize Wrigley itself.

  • Die hard

    $300 m not enuf. More like double that will be needed at least—city to issue bonds in exchange for part of ownership in team

  • ruby2626

    I know the renovation is a hot topic but I was curious if tickets are available for the Cub convention. I would love to take my young sons tomorrow A.M. sounds like that wouldn’t be as popular a ticket as the Friday and Saturday events. If I was to show without tickets are people selling? My email is ruby2626@sbcglobal.net if anyone has any reasonably priced ones they are trying to get rid of.

  • DarthHater

    Where will they put the altar for pre-game sacrifices and the goat-slaughtering pens?

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Precisely now when I take my bothers to a game… I have to bring them back?

      • DarthHater

        I’m confused. Are you talking about leaving your bothers behind? Or leaving your brothers behind? ;-)

  • Leroy

    Love it!

  • BWA

    I really like most of the renovations except for the Jumbotron. You just can’t do that to wrigley. I could also do without another screen in left field, though I don’t mind the one in right. I was expecting to hate that thing haha.

  • http://Isa Voice of reason

    A jumbotron gives the owners another revenue stream.

    I’d rather have a jumbotron with commercials running than ticket prices continually skyrocketing.

    They have to squeeze every dime they can out of the little space they have there. A jumbotron helps the cause.

    • BWA

      And I’d rather pay an extra $2 and not have a jumbotron. I understand its personal opinion, but when I go to a ball game I prefer to watch the ballgame not Pizza’s racing and Which hat is the Ball under on the Jumbotron. I also love the classic organ rather than all the crap music that they play way to loud like you get at the Cell. Avoiding these things makes my baseball viewing experience much more enjoyable at Wrigley then most other stadiums. And I’ve been to quite a few.

      • BWA

        Oh and the $2 is probably excessive, as I doubt the jumbotron would get $80,000 in Advertising each game.

        • hansman1982

          It’s interesting that on one day we can have half the site complaining that ticket prices are too dang high and then on the next day complain that the Cubs shouldn’t sell ads in stadium.

          These two things are interlocked.

  • #1lahairfan

    No thanks on the Jumbotron. It would be nice, but there’s always tradition.

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      Tradition? Other than the fact that the cubs haven’t won a world series in over a hundred years what tradition do the cubs have?

      They are the lovable losers. That’s our “tradition”!

      • BWA

        You are probably the worst Cubs fan in the world if you don’t think we have any tradition other than losing. The Cubs have way more tradition than most teams.

        • Crazyhorse

          DId you know that Cubs have never won a world series at Wrigley Field – maybe the Stadium is the thing that CUrsed.

          • DarthHater

            There’s definitely merit to the notion that Wrigley is part of the reason for the Cubs long futility. But the proposed upgrades could go a long way toward reducing, if not eliminating, the qualities of Wrigley that hurt the team.

            Personally, I would rather see the Cubs build themselves a state-of-the-art modern facility, but that isn’t in the cards so I’m not wasting my breath bitching about it.

        • http://Isa Voice of reason

          Ask baseball fans across the country what baseball teams have the most tradition and what the tradition is.

          If anyone says the cubs they will say it’s because we haven’t won in over one hundred years. That’s our tradition. Odds are, however, that they won’t mention the cubs!

          I’m a big cub fan and go to my share of games each year, but I’m also realistic and call it like I see it.

          • BWA

            Cubs Traditions.

            1) Seventh Inning Stretch, Nobody does it like we do
            2) Go Cubs Go after a Win, Everyone Singing all the way out the stadium
            3) Throwing the ball back after an opposing teams home run
            3) W flag in Center Field, and out front after a win
            5) Day Games
            6) Ronnie Woo Woo
            7) Getting really drunk in the bleachers and Heckling the outfielders more than any other teams fans
            8) That little Brass Band that walks around the stadium playing music
            9) Wrigleyville Bars and Nightlife after a game

            I have been to 15 other baseball stadiums and I have never been to a field with more unique traditions than us. Boston was pretty close. I personally love the old time feel to the park and I love going to watch baseball, not to be distracted by electronics and bad music.

            Yes, non Cubs fans will instantly say losing is our tradition, but it is not tradition on purpose, and it is a tradition that can be broken without needing to ruin the wrigley experience. We are a big market team and we don’t need the revenue from a jumbotron to spend big on free agents when the time is right. That money will come from filling the stadium better than almost any other team if we are even remotely competitive, and hopefully a new TV deal in the near future.

            • Martin

              The oldest “tradition” on that list is 30 years old. All the rest are 15 years old or less.

              • Scotti

                Uh…

                *The W/L flags have been flying since the 40’s.
                *Day games have been played since the game was invented. Most other teams have been playing night games for MUCH longer than 30 years (the Cubs ADDED lights about 25 years ago).
                *Take Me Out To The Ball Game will be 31 years this year.
                *Ronnie Woo Woo has been around since I was a teen (if not longer) and I am 46.
                *Throwing the ball back is decades old.
                *Go Cubs Go as a “WIN” tradition may only be a decade old, or so, but the actual song was written in/for the 1984 season and has been a part of Cub tradition since.

                So, only one is 30 years and the others are 15 or less could not be less true.

            • http://Isa Voice of reason

              Other baseball fans in other cities have those great little things they do and they’re all great, so they are not really traditions just for wrigley field!

              The cubs true tradition is losing!

              I’m a cub fan and I love them and I can’t wait till they win a world series, but our tradition is what it is……

              • BWA

                I’ve never seen many things like that in any other ballpark, and like I’ve said I have been to many ballparks.

                • Pat

                  1) started by the White Sox when Harry was their announcer
                  2) only been happening for less than a decade
                  3) One of the dumber transitions in sports today.
                  4) I’ll give you this one, but you could do that anywhere
                  5) Every team has these
                  6) Even worse than throwing the ball back
                  7) yes, quite the proud tradition
                  8) Annoying
                  9) Again, this could be done anywhere

            • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

              Those aren’t traditions, junior. Anybody that likes the go cubs go song hopefully wears pantyhose otherwise I hope you turn in your man card immediately.and Ronnie woo woo? Come on. He’s the most hated guy at WF.

              Question for you- if you have really been to 15 other ballparks how many times have you gotten your ass kicked over the years?

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                You’ve got to tone it down, dude.

          • BWA

            BTW, I’m only 22, so I’m not like some old dude whose stuck in their ways. (No offense to any old dudes out there)

            • DarthHater

              No offense taken. Now get the hell off my lawn!

  • Corey

    Believe it or not, I think Ricketts should use this. It’s some kids from Notre Dame. Combine The plans from here with this.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/milehighirish/WrigleyFieldTriangleBuilding#

    I love it.

  • Josh

    Awesome!

    So exciting. Can’t wait to see the stadium develop year by year over the next 5! Look forward to buying my Wrigley Field tour ticket then. This will really help us attract better free agents and allows us to field a more competitive team, while also having a better environment for the fans

  • Dan Slab

    I think all of this sounds fantastic. Sorely needed. I may be in the minority, but adding a jumbotron would be a fan-friendly super idea.

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      You are not in the minority.

      They have to reach out and attract younger generation and they like jumbotrons and that sort of stuff so the experience isn’t boring to them.

      I enjoy watching the game, but times change and you have to change with them or die!

      • DarthHater

        Can we have a helicopter drop/on-field fan scramble, too? Only, since it’s Wrigleyville, the helicopter should maybe drop condoms, instead of candy! ;-)

        • Kygavin

          Sippy cups filled with Old Style

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    It be nice to see the ricketts not take public funding, but you all know once those restrictions get uplifted, signage and advertising around the park will be immense. I’m all for the restrictions and landmark status to be gone but I know I will hate how much advertising there will be around the park, because the old fashion style ballpark is what makes wrigley special

  • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

    Not looking forward to seeing what $60 million/year out of the budget for five years does to the baseball payroll.

    • Morandini Fan

      That’s not how businesses budget for new projects. They don’t simply money from one area to another. There are methods for smoothing the income.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        You’re new here. Infrastructure projects have been largely credited/blamed with the Cubs payroll dropping in recent years.

      • Spriggs

        This is quite true. These are all capitalizable costs and are available for special tax credits (aside from, and in addition to, the credits for historical status Wrigley is afforded). The true cost and cash flow – is way less than the “estimates” you hear. So whatever amounts ultimately do slide into the baseball operations budget – they will be much smaller than the numbers being thrown around as the costs. These are also amortized over as much as 40 years.

      • Pat

        This is a private business, not the federal government. They actually have to have the money in order to spend it. Granted, they can probably finance a great portion of it, but given how leveraged they already are the terms wont be great. So it then become s a matter of paying 60 million a year over five years or 30 million a year for the next thirty years (and yes, the interest does make it that much more expensive).

        • DarthHater

          We could strike a trillion-dollar counterfeit coin…

          • Pat

            OK, but only if they put the image of Todd throwing away a hot dog in profile on it.

            • DarthHater

              Done.

        • Spriggs

          They can, and will, finance all of it.

          • Pat

            Of course, but that put the final price tag at closer to a billion.

            • hansman1982

              Total payments, assuming 6% interest compounded monthly over 30 years would put the price tag at $647M.

              1. Ricketts won’t be borrowing at 6%
              2. Factoring in inflation at 30 years you are probably looking at a total outlay, in today’s dollars somewhere in the $400-450M range.
              3. Big businesses incur debt for capital outlays. It preserves the cash for leaner times or when interest rates aren’t at historic lows.

              Disputing how Tom pays for the project seems silly since he is the one that has the multi-billion dollar international bond company that he started from scratch.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      The hit to the baseball payroll, if any, shouldn’t be as large as $60 million. The portion of the budget currently used for construction in the Dominican and in Arizona should roll into the Wrigley building fund.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        $8 million for the Dominican facility, right?

        And am I wrong in remembering that the Cubs didn’t pay a dime for the new Arizona facility? They got the city of Mesa to sell some of its own land to pay for it.

        • Spriggs

          That’s not exactly correct. The project is capped at 99 million (84 million + 15 million for infrastructure) — that is all covered by AZ taxpayers. Anything in excess of that — and there will no doubt be some excess there – is all on the Cubs. They are already fussing about the infrastructure overruns. In addition, the Cubs have promised to sprearhead the develop of the surrounding area (Wrigleyville West) so people will see this area as destination — shopping, dining, drinking, etc. Not clear how much of that will come out of their pockets – probably not much. But they will be putting in more than a dime.

          • hansman1982

            Unfortunately, that doesn’t fit in with the prevailing conspiracy theories about the Ricketts.

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

              Yeah, it’d be *crazy* think that Ricketts might cut payroll. Totally loony.

              • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                Just can’t stop beating the Ricketts is cheap dead horse can you?

                • Kyle

                  I actually don’t think Ricketts is cheap.

                  It’s just that there were many who constantly justified lowered payroll last season with infrastructure projects, so I’m curious to hear their thoughts on how this massive infrastructure project might have an effect on payroll.

                  • DarthHater

                    Well, I would assume that in the short term, infrastructure project costs might prevent payroll from increasing as rapidly as we might like, but in the long term the improved infrastructure should produce better revenues that will allow payroll to increase beyond the levels it ever could have reached without said infrastructure improvements. At least, I hope that’s the plan, I hope it works, and I hope I’m still alive to see it work.

                    Or maybe ownership will just pocket every additional dollar they can squeeze out of the fans. I don’t deny the latter possibility, but I won’t assume it until I see real evidence. And the mere fact that the team does not jump at the first couple free agents who come along is not such evidence.

                    • hansman1982

                      Hey, on December 7 the Cubs Universe was ready for a Big Crunch since we hadn’t signed anyone yet and the pitchforks were being sharpened for Theo’s head.

                    • Kyle

                      So our current payroll isn’t just a temporary blip to cover the emergency infrastructure improvements, but the new standard for the better part of a decade?

                      That’s not a good thing.

                    • DarthHater

                      Well, Kyle, if you ever want to stop debating yourself and have a conversation, just let me know.

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      Ah the Skip Bayless school of debate… There is no defense

                    • hansman1982

                      God I hope it doesn’t take a decade for increased revenues to show up…

                      Then again, as usual, you proclivity for troll-ish behavior shines through.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      We’re about to enter year three of lowered payrolls, and this is a six-year renovation. Forgive me for not being wildly excited about the idea of spending like a mid-market team for the forseeable future, whether it is necessary or not. It still kind of sucks.

                    • DarthHater

                      It does suck, but like most things, it’s unlikely to turn out as bad as any of us fear when we are being pessimistic.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      I dunno. Things have a pretty long history of turning out as bad as I fear or worse than I hope, especially with regards to the Cubs.

                    • hansman1982

                      We are also coming off a 4 year period of historically high payrolls for the organization.

                      Everyone wants to talk about the Cubs being a big-payroll team, yet they were one of the worst run organizations for half a century. Shit, the field was crowned for water drainage until 2007.

                      No ads in field until 2009-ish, even now we are talking very few ads while you have Fenway being desecrated by looking like a NASCAR.

                      The Dodgers getting a printing press of a TV deal.

                      Face it, the Cubs are a mid-market team due to the restrictions placed on the field. Clearly $140M payrolls are not sustainable, at least not if you want decent facilities for the players and more revenue opportunities.

                      Theo’s doing it Moneyball style but with a few extra dollars than Billy had.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      Revenues are inflating league-wide. We should be coming off a historical high in payroll every year.

                      The “due to revenue restrictions, Cubs are really midmarket” is an old canard that ill-informed people like to trot out, but it’s always wrong.

                      The Cubs clean up in revenue. What they lack in in-game signage, they more than make up for in ticket prices. Heck, they extract fees from people who aren’t even in the park.

                      Forbes estimated the Cubs at No. 3 in baseball in revenue in both 2011 and 2012. There is no revenue problem.

                  • hansman1982

                    I don’t think it will. I think we will see payrolls about where they are until the increased revenues from the renovation kick in.

                    Kind of consistent, I’d say. But I guess you think that someone like Tom wasn’t already factoring some of that in.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      I’m sure he was factoring it in. As always, I’ve never said Ricketts was cheap.

                      But the fact that he factored it in doesn’t mean I, as a fan, have to be excited or happy about it. It goes back to the Joker quote about everyone being calm as long as things stay according to plan, even if the plan is horrifying.

                      This is precisely the sort of small-time personal ownership I feared we’d get when the Tribune sold. It’s not exactly hopeless yet, or even bad, but he’s walking a very fine tightrope and it can all come tumbling down very quickly if the farm system doesn’t produce incredibly well.

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      Sure Kyle because putting 300M of his own money into Wrigley is sooooo small market. Beat that horse some more I don’t think you’ve made your point.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      He’s not exactly writing a personal check for the $300 million. Like the other projects before it, this is coming straight out of the team’s revenues.

                      Of course, I didn’t say “small-market.” But limiting yourself to what I actually say would make it difficult for you to argue against me, so I accept the handicap.

                    • DarthHater

                      Wait a minute. Are you saying that Ricketts spending $300 million on stadium remodeling constitutes small-time personal ownership? Or are you saying that the mighty bankrupt Tribune Company would have spent $300 million on Wrigley while maintaining a $180 million payroll?

                    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                      Alright your highness “small time” but you’ve been barking like this forever and will always bark about the payroll so debating you isn’t actually debate… Unless this is the ESPN “embrace debate” concept of debate. You are the negative side of all that Ricketts and Theo do and that voice will always exist and many will join your violence against dead equestrians so enjoy.

                    • DarthHater

                      “limiting yourself to what I actually say would make it difficult for you to argue against me, so I accept the handicap.”

                      Goddamit, Kyle, you broke my ironymeter again.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      I’m saying that if the on-the-field product suffers for the sake of the refurbishing/expansion of the field, then that’s completely small-time.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      “Goddamit, Kyle, you broke my ironymeter again.”

                      I like to think that I’m responsible for turning your hair that color.

                    • DarthHater

                      Somebody please start a new thread so that we can make replies again. ;-)

                    • hansman1982

                      Let’s do this:

                      “But the fact that he factored it in doesn’t mean I, as a fan, have to be excited or happy about it. It goes back to the Joker quote about everyone being calm as long as things stay according to plan, even if the plan is horrifying.”

                      The plan of bringing the Cubs organization and Wrigley field into the 21st Century? Something that will pay dividends for decades to come? That’s the plan. Unfortunately, when you are as revenue ham-strung as the Cubs, that means you have less money to spend on big league players (off about $25-30M from the 2009-2011 averages).

                      “This is precisely the sort of small-time personal ownership I feared we’d get when the Tribune sold. It’s not exactly hopeless yet, or even bad, but he’s walking a very fine tightrope and it can all come tumbling down very quickly if the farm system doesn’t produce incredibly well.”

                      What does this mean, that since Ricketts and Bros. aren’t a giant company that has shareholders to report to, they are going to suck? The Tribune didn’t exactly spend tons upon tons of money. Nope, they ran it into the ground.

                      Would it feel a heluva lot better for the Cubs to spend that extra $30M on players (having to overspend a few million just because the facilities suck) now, yes, but then you still have a stadium that is falling apart and subpar facilities.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      What you call beating a dead horse, I call providing a useful counterpoint to the endless slobbering over everything Epstein or Ricketts puts forward.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      “The plan of bringing the Cubs organization and Wrigley field into the 21st Century? Something that will pay dividends for decades to come? That’s the plan. Unfortunately, when you are as revenue ham-strung as the Cubs, that means you have less money to spend on big league players (off about $25-30M from the 2009-2011 averages).”

                      There is no revenue hamstringing. As outlined above, the Cubs have some of the highest revenues in baseball. The fact that you think so is shockingly ill-informed.

                      “What does this mean, that since Ricketts and Bros. aren’t a giant company that has shareholders to report to, they are going to suck? The Tribune didn’t exactly spend tons upon tons of money. Nope, they ran it into the ground.”

                      It’s not the fact that Ricketts is a personal owner that makes him possibly suck. It’s the many sucky things that have happened under his watch and direction.

                      “Would it feel a heluva lot better for the Cubs to spend that extra $30M on players (having to overspend a few million just because the facilities suck) now, yes, but then you still have a stadium that is falling apart and subpar facilities.”

                      I, as always, choose both.

                    • DarthHater

                      “I like to think that I’m responsible for turning your hair that color.”

                      Yes, before I met you, I looked like this:

                      [img]http://d3qw8so2oj5jp1.cloudfront.net/data/image/xle9h2tvqpn7d4oxmt6lza7hx0dts7x2-265-149.jpeg[/img]

                    • hansman1982

                      Endless slobbering? I would much rather Ricketts come out with an agressive campaign to try and pressure Rahm to get him some money but rather than piss and moan about the fact that we may not have as much to spend for the next 4-5 years.

                      We are no more “endlessly slobbering” over the Ricketts and Theo as you have some sort of jealousy or God knows what thing going on.

                    • hansman1982

                      “There is no revenue hamstringing. As outlined above, the Cubs have some of the highest revenues in baseball. The fact that you think so is shockingly ill-informed.”

                      I have seen those Forbes estimates and I don’t fully trust them. If the Cubs had the 3rd highest revenue (as they claimed in 2011) we should be doubly pissed at the Tribune for how terrible they ran the team. Point being, I don’t trust the Forbes estimate is correct.

                      “It’s not the fact that Ricketts is a personal owner that makes him possibly suck. It’s the many sucky things that have happened under his watch and direction.”

                      Many sucky things? A complete revolution in the organization?

                      “I, as always, choose both.”

                      In this scenario you are living in fairy land. I’d love to go out, buy 320 acres of crop ground and then drop another $750K on brand new equipment; however, in non-dream world I’d have to rent the 320 acres and buy 40 year old equipment because, financially, it wouldn’t work otherwise.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      That’s awfully convenient to not trust those numbers.

                      The Cubs have one of the highest ticket prices in baseball. They have consistently high attendance. They do very well in merchandising (on their own turf. Of course I know that they don’t get special money from generally sold merchandise). They scalp their own tickets and charge people for sitting across the street. They have a very good cable deal, albeit it’s going to look less good in future seasons as newer deals kick in.

                      There is no revenue problem, yet.

              • DarthHater

                Yes, much saner to always assume the worst, based on the belief that everybody else in the world is so out of touch with reality that they are only capable of irrationally assuming the best.

                Truth be told, I figure there will be times when payroll goes down and other times when it goes up, and times when I will agree with ownership/management and other times when I will disagree with them.

                • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                  Wow actual reason on here… Who’da thunk that is possible

                  • DarthHater

                    I prefer to think of it as beating the dead horse of sanity.

                • Kyle

                  That’s technically truth, sure, but it’s also a pretty meaningless platitude.

        • hansman1982

          The Cubs are slated for any $ above $85M.

          Also, considering the Cubs have said all along they were going to pony up this cash, I think there will be any cuts to current payroll levels ($100M + levels)

    • hansman1982

      Wait, a, minute…

      If you take $60M out of the payroll on top of the $30M Rickets has been pocketing you are left with…

      A $40M PAYROLL!!!! ZOMG!!!! THE HORROR!!!!

      Or maybe this is precisely where that “missing” $20M from the 2012 payroll went…

  • Internet Random

    “JumboTron”

    NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooo!!

  • baseballet

    Relaxing the restrictions regarding Wrigley as an historical building for a Jumbotron, plus another LED board, plus a huge expansion in other advertising signs. Gross.
    If you rob Wrigley of its character then it becomes like every other stadium. The Wrigley atmosphere is the best thing about going to a Cubs game. Tarting it up with ads and LED screens and a Jumbotron would be a huge mistake.

    • DarthHater

      The best thing about going to a Cubs game should be watching the Cubs win. The team should preserve as much of the character of the stadium as is consistent with generating enough revenue to field a team that wins consistently – but no more than that.

      • MichiganGoat

        All this talk of tradition got me searching about the history of some of the “traditional” aspects of Wrigley:

        1-the Ivy wasn’t up until 1938 – before that the outfield walls were covered in ads (i remember seeing pictures/video of that on the HBO Documentary “When it was a game”)
        2-same for the scoreboard
        3-same for the Marquee, but it wasn’t red until 1960
        4-and then there are the lights which I think most of us now embrace and realize are important to the success of the franchise.

        So I’m wondering if there was complaints when these changes were made, I know my grandfather talks about his dad being angry when the Ivy went up because the company he worked for had an ad up and he was quite proud of showing that to his family and friends. I know at the time Wrigley didn’t have the history it has now but traditions change as time goes on and eventually these additions will be embraced by our kids and it will become the tradition of their lives. Change is hard sometimes but quite necessary. I look forward to the day I can tell my kids about the history of Wrigley while they can still visit the historic ballpark as my dad did with me, his dad did with him, and so on. Life will go on, but at least the changes will still keep Wrigley at Wrigley- that’s the important part.

        • hansman1982

          ” know at the time Wrigley didn’t have the history it has now”

          What history? Another 80 years of existence? Does your home still use a wood burning stove in the kitchen for heat, a console radio and no electricity?

          Not bashing you because I understand the principle but let’s not pretend we have the history of Yankee Stadium II here.

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            My point is that traditions are subjective and that just because Wrigley hasn’t changed in 80 years it makes sense not to embrace the new traditions that this organization has committed to Wrigley. My children will be able to experience the glory of Wrigley and the organization will be better because of this. I live the plan and look forward to consistent improvements over the next 80 years.

        • DarthHater

          And didn’t Roy Hobbs shatter that scoreboard?

          • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

            Passively aggressively shattered?

        • hansman1982

          An image of “classic” and “traditional” Wrigley:

          [img]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4024/4341905081_4ef6ca4ec6.jpg[/img]

  • Die hard

    They will end up with a poor replica of Camden Yards including especially trying to squeeze a hotel in there and no parking-they need to raze it and start fresh and will have to play elsewhere for 3 seasons

  • Eric

    I’m just trying to figure out if Die Hard’s suggestion of playing 3 years elsewhere or Voice of Reason’s suggestion of an 80,000 seat stadium in the suburbs is more absurd. Tough call. Both are completely ridiculous.

    • Spriggs

      When the Bears moved to Champaign-Urbana after coming off a 13-3 season, they lost me as a fan. That was the stupidest thing in the history of Chicago sports. I still call them the Urbana Bears. What a horseshit organization. I just hope the Cubs are not that stupid.

  • DarthHater

    Some questions are truly unanswerable…

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Wow, what a place it will be. Took a friend from LA to a game last July. He was brought to tears by the stadium. Said it made him feel like a kid again, and reminded him why he loved baseball so much. And he is a Dodger fan.

  • Pat

    First. I am thrilled that the team is paying for this themselves. They are going to more than make that money back.

    Now, is it just me, or does it look like they are planning on turning the upper deck into a sort of club level. Looking at the drawing it looks like a hell of a lot less seating up there. Can only assume those are no longer really going to be the “cheap seats”. I never sit up there anyways, so no big deal to me, and I wish they could have figured out a grandstand that got rid of the poles, but considering the cost it doesn’t look too bad.

    • DarthHater

      I suppose the real question is: have any of the proposed plans included the seating capacity of the remodeled ballpark?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        An estimated total drop by 70 seats.

        • MichiganGoat

          Noooooo how will we make up that revenue… wait if we add those 80K seats then we will be okay.

          • DarthHater

            They will make up the lost revenue from the new goat kebab concourse…

    • Pat

      Looks like there’s a difference between some of the renderings.

      • DarthHater

        I think one of the renderings shows the upper deck directly behind home plate, where there would be less grandstand seating and more club seating. The other rendering shows the upper deck down the left and right field lines, where it would be all grandstand seating. But I’m not sure that’s right…

        • Pat

          I think you’re right. When I first looked at the club level pic I thought it wrapped around. Overall I like the ideas, but I’m not sure about the patio areas on the outside of the stadium.

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