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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.

  • Jason (Thundermug)

    I’m curious why the Cubs can’t play FRIDAY/ OR SATURDAY NIGHT GAMES !!!!

    • Pat

      They made a deal with the city in order to get increased capacity (for the bleacher renovation)

    • Beth

      Hi Jason.

      They can’t play more night games because people bought homes and chose to raise their families in lakeview with the understanding that our alderman (and city) would keep the cubs in check. Every time there is a cubs game 40,000 people descend upon the neighborhood and leave behind a trail of trash, vomit, and urine in their wake. By hosting mostly day games, the destruction, noise and nuisance is clear before people get home from work. Having night games means not being able to park your car (because the roads and streets are filled) and not being able to get your children to sleep because the drunks fans are screeming obscenities and puking outside your window.

      Buying a home in lakeview comes with consequences but there has always been an understanding that the city would keep the nuisance to a minimum. To increase the number of night games is a tantamount to bait and switch.

      Thanks for asking.

      • TWC

        Thanks for replying to a three week old thread, Beth.

        I used to live in Lakeview. You see what you want to see when it comes to the Cubs.

        • Hansman1982

          All she is saying is that when you move into a neighborhood you should expect, neigh DEMAND that a giant company in your new neighborhood cater to your every demand.

          Like when you rent a loft above a bar, you expect that bar to be quiet because you allow their presence in your area.

      • bslick

        yeah cause im sure you moved there before Wrigley was built?

        you moved there you idiot.

    • Randy

      Let’s be honest, they really can’t play well on any night.

  • Jason

    Any word on whether or not the stadium capacity will increase and if so by how much?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      An estimated total drop by 70 seats.

      • http://yahoo Roy

        The improvements look great. But Wrigley has looked great every time I have visited since the 1960’s. Is just a great place to see a game. i hope it never looses that feel.

  • Whiteflag

    Does anyone have the link to the video that shows the current conditions of the clubhouse. I’m thinking I saw the link here. It shows how they have mesh net for a batting cage. Sorry, I can provide anymore description.

    • MichiganGoat

      the best way to describe it is – most high schools and even some middle schools have better facilities. Updating the facilities to something modern and high quality will help attract FA in the future.

      • Whiteflag

        I know. I was trying to describe it to a friend. He didn’t realize they didn’t really have a batting cage. I’ve seen a video on it at one time or another. But can’t seem to find it again.

  • MichiganGoat

    Here’s a video I found on YouTube that shows how small and the cramped Cubs clubhouse, the thing that always blows me away is that the players have to use metal folding chairs (at least they are padded). After a game the last thing i’d want to relax in would be metal folding chair – and these players are multi-millionaires.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fC6sRFD_bY

    • Whiteflag

      Thanks. That will work

      • MichiganGoat

        still looking for the batting cage/net, there are other on youtube where you can see just how cramped and dirty the whole area down there is

        • Whiteflag

          That’s okay. Thanks again for looking.

        • Scotti

          The Cubs don’t have a batting cage available for games. They use a net placed on one end of the clubhouse that is dropped from the ceiling:

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/fryzemphotography/4983754723/in/photostream

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/fryzemphotography/page70/

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

            Perfect thank for the find

        • cubzforlife

          The Cubs batting cage is under the right field bleachers. It is a traditional batting cage, not a net hanging from the wall. The problem is there is only one for both teams and teams cannot access it during games.
          I have pictures that I can’t find from the first season ticket holders event when they let the kids hit.

  • jzuniga

    Campana D F A?

  • Tyler

    Everybody complains about a Jumbotron because it would get rid of the classic scoreboard. Now, if it costs us the scoreboard, I am completely against a Jumbotron (tradition blah blah blah you’ve already heard the argument a million times)

    But, isn’t there a way to put up a Jumbotron without eliminating the classic scoreboard? I’m no architect or anything so I don’t quite know the ins-and-outs of the process, but wouldn’t putting one behind the left or right field bleachers work? Or perhaps somewhere else (not sure where else though)?

    • jh

      They said explicitly at the session today that they are looking into a jumbotron but it will not replace the scoreboard. When they did the research it was something fans felt was sacred to the experience.

    • True(ly) Blue

      I vote for a Jumbotron to replace the “Classic” score board. Between innings you put up what ever you put on Jumbotrons, pics, ads, statistics, close plays, etc. During play you put up an electronic replica of the “Classic” scoreboard (with the option of putting up disputed or close plays). Everybody is happy and the Cubs make another mil.

      • Tyler

        I don’t see why you would need to replace the scoreboard. [img]http://static3.fjcdn.com/comments/RIP+quot+why+don+t+we+have+both+meme+quot+_aa8d900e3c185ef3bdce7044a5241c53.jpg[/img]

        • hansman1982

          There isn’t a ton of space for a Jumbotron with the present rooftop agreement. The best place for it? Where the scoreboard is.

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

            And until that is changed we won’t see a jumbotron, I believe the scoreboard is here to stay for at least until public opinion on it changes. Today’s comment at the unavailing was a way to measure the response from the public and is not part of the current five year plan. Maybe they can buy a rooftop and place it there one day.

      • Van

        I don’t know how many times it must be restated, but MLB forbids the in-ballpark replay of “disputed” or “close plays”.

        • TWC

          Gee, Van, this has been bothering you since January 19th?

          Glad you finally got it out of your system.

          • Internet Random

            I think it’s part of a twelve-step program.

  • Katie

    The scoreboard is going nowhere since it’s a protected historical item. I would imagine the Cubs would find a way to make it work. The powers that be are well aware of what’s at stake here. Everyone unwad their panties and lets see how this plays out. I think the drawings look amazing. After being at Kauffman and Target Field, I’m more open to modernization. Especially to increase revenue and get better players.

    • WNebCub

      Amen

    • Pat

      The collanades at Solider Field were protected as well. That just means they can’t be torn down, it doesn’t means they are required to be visible from inside the park

      • Whiteflag

        Lets not make that mistake twice. Soldier Field is an abomination. Yucky Yucky Yucky :)

    • MightyBear

      I think everyone on this thread should just shut up and listen to Katie.

  • hansman1982

    “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.”

    It’s a fact of the matter that teams have a finite amount of funds to spend on things. The reason you haven’t seen much of this in the the past is that teams have ALWAYS gotten state and local funding for the renovations.

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

      Then maybe the Cubs should have done a better job securing that funding. Or waited until that funding was more easily obtained, if the current political climate did not allow for it.

      Or maybe they did just miss the boat on that before Ricketts got here. That’d be pretty typically Cubs. Last to the table on everything important.

      • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

        But honestly, who to blame is beside the point. If this is the best possible course of action from the current ownership’s POV, then it still sucks that it wasn’t taken care of before they got here and they inherited the problem.

        Diverting this much money into infrastructure will have negative effects on the Cubs’ competitiveness, and that sucks no matter who is to blame.

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

          How does this hurt our future competitiveness?

          • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

            I’m fearing/keetching/trolling/whining/whateververbyouliking that this money will be the excuse/reason that payroll at best stays stagnant in upcoming seasons, just like the smaller infrastructure improvements of the last two seasons have been used as excuses for the payroll to drop significantly.

            • hansman1982

              I will make this prediction right now:

              If Giancarlo Stanton were to become a free agent tomorrow (and the Dodgers were not involved (think 10 year $400M contract)) I’d put a ton of money on it that the Cubs would be heavily involved.

              (That being said, I’m still not sure that Stanton ends up better than Dunn)

              • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                I dunno. I’m still happy we got Cole Hamels this year after we passed on all those 2011 free agents.

                • hansman1982

                  Ya, I know, signing Burhle instead of having Volstad was the difference.

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

              I’m betting that you will never be happy with the moves this team makes, if they win the WS you will find something to complain about- that’s what you do.

              • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                That’s just cognitive dissonance talking.

                I complain about the things I don’t like. I praise the things I do. It’s hardly my fault that there’ve been more of the former than the latter.

        • hansman1982

          One thing you (and all of us here) are forgetting, is that the Cubs were ALWAYS planning on spending $300M of their own money on the renovations. The only thing that isn’t happening is that damn Triangle building.

          There is no micro-political climate that is hampering the Cubs chances, it is the (highly effective) class warfare that is being waged presently in America. How many comments on here have only commented about how rich the Ricketts are and that they should be able to finance the project themselves.

          It might take another 10-50 years for that to change and be more favorable to the Ricketts securing funding.

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

        So you’d rather not renovate right now? Instead use that money on player payroll? If the funding never comes never renovate? Do you not see how this renovation improves the future of Cubs payroll, how it makes Wrigley better for player and brings in yearly increased revenue. If we don’t do this we won’t be able to be consistently competitive.

        • DarthHater

          Your plan is horrifying, Goat. But at least it’s a plan. :-P

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

            I honestly believe all money should be spent on research for android players. Life lifetime contracts, cheap to maintain, follow directions. PROBLEM SOLVED!

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

              I do wish we’d at least looked at this guy before committing to Ian Stewart again:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgXXhY9EnN4

              • DarthHater

                I’m really laughing right now, Because I was about to suggest Ian Stewart as an alternative topic, but you beat me to it. ;-)

              • King Jeff

                Hmm, Robotic movements, poor hands, swings at everything, weak batters eye. That was almost like a Josh Vitters highlight reel.

        • hansman1982

          That scenario is the guy driving the 1970 Datsun that is in the shop every other week but he is hoping that a new car will someday plop on his lap.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

          I’ll simply be happy if they can simultaneously renovate and put the best possible team on the field in the short and medium terms.

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

            And how are they not doing that? Because we didn’t sign Pujols,CJ Wilson, Hamilton, and Grienke? Because those contract would never cause problems in 3 years, never.

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

              61-101 and a $30m+ payroll drop, and I have to answer how they aren’t doing that?

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

                So thinking beyond one year is bad for a team to do? We sold the best assets we had for a better future. Focusing on one year is why the Cubs have so bad for so long. Are you oblivious to planning for the future?

                • DarthHater

                  Who’s horse-beating now, MG? ;-)

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

                    Precisely which is why I’m done here, us goats and horses are good friends.

                • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                  Every opportunity to win is sacred. It’s sacred to us inside the organization and it should be sacred to the fans as well. They deserve our best efforts to do what we can to improve the club, and put the club in position to succeed in any given season.

                  I didn’t use the world rebuilding and I wouldn’t. I think that is just a buzzword in baseball that leads people down the wrong path.

                  The best way I can describe it is there are parallel fronts — the job of building the scouting and player development foundation that is going to serve well for the long haul and treating every opportunity to win as sacred

                  • hansman1982

                    You’re leaving out a giant part of that quote.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      I don’t think it’s fair to describe a year as a rebuilding year or reloading year.

                    • hansman1982

                      Oh, wow, just blocking it all together then…

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      We need to honor our fans by placing a lot of importance on each season.

                    • hansman1982

                      Each response is more and more telling.

                      Believe what you want, look past whatever you want, you are clearly smarter than myself, Theo, Jed, Jason, Tom, Hendry…

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      That’s a bizarre response. Reminding you of their words shows that I think I’m smarter than them?

                      I probably am smarter than a good chunk of that list, but that’s irrelevant.

                • hansman1982

                  You’re forgetting that if the Cubs had signed all of those guys the money would come pouring in. Underpants Gnomes Fallacy.

                  • DarthHater

                    Okay, am I going to be sorry when I google “Underpants Gnomes Fallacy?”

                    • hansman1982

                      South Park reference…not really a thing, I don’t think.

                      If you google Underpants Gnomes, it should be safe.

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

                      Ah
                      1-Collect Underpants
                      2-????
                      3-Profit

                      Or

                      1-sign all the players
                      2-????
                      3-win WS

                    • Kevin Towers

                      The fact that the connection between acquiring good baseball players and winning a baseball tournament seems illusory to you is pretty much spot on for a fan of a team that makes the stadium the focus of their annual celebration.

                    • King Jeff

                      Uh oh, Kevin Towers is trolling the site, wondering why the hell he can’t get Starlin Castro for Justin Upton.

                    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                      You took the words right out of my mouth, Kevin. I was just about to say that.

                • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

                  For a more direct and less quote-y answer, yes, I think that losing 101 games proves they were not putting the best possible team on the field in the short and medium terms.

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

    New Thread:
    So Kyle what will it take for you to actually believe that Ricketts and Theo want to put a winner on the field? What’s the magic payroll number that will stop the horse killing? 200M? 300M? If we sign all the players each year? The counterpoint you provide has to have tipping point or are you always going to find a complaint?

    • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

      Why should I care what they want or don’t want? I care about what they do or don’t do.

      With current revenue levels and the restrictions on amateur spending, the Cubs could pretty easily sustain a $130-140 million payroll right now, and that’s taking the most conservative view possible of their revenues and expenses.

      • hansman1982

        History isn’t on your side there. The Cubs had 3 seasons with that kind of payroll.

        If the Cubs truly were 3rd in payroll they should have had a $150-160-150M stretch instead of $130-140-130M.

        Oh, and you assertion that the Ricketts have been late to the party on a lot of things doesn’t hold much water either. They timed the purchase about as well as one could.

        • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

          I didn’t say the Ricketts. I said the Cubs. Again with your inability to respond to what is actually said.

          • DarthHater

            Good night, gentlemen. Be kind to each other. ;-)

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

              Right there with you I have no more Huma Lupa Licious do my night is done.

          • hansman1982

            Why are you correlating how the Tribune ran the team with how the Ricketts are or will run the team?

            The Cubs have traditionally been late to the party, Ricketts is fixing that. Fixing that takes money, A LOT of money.

            • http://thecubcontrarian.blogspot.com Kyle

              I wasn’t making any correlation between the two. Simply observing that the Cubs have a long history of being late to get in on important competitive advantages, and that by the time they do, it’s too late to get any advantage from it.

              • hansman1982

                Right now we are paying for those sins. Getting the Cubs to the 21st Century is not an easy task.

                Overall I am pleased, just hearing players talk about preparation and having information available is nice to hear.

        • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

          Actually you’re not even close on your comment on the timing of the purchase. Rickets had to sell ameritrade stock for the down payment on the purchase. Within about six months the stock they sold nearly doubled and it costs the ricketts family about half billion dollars. I would say their timing couldn’t have been much worse. I’m sure old man ricketts has reminded tommy about this a number of times.

          • Her Seop Chode

            Well they may have lost 0.5B on stock equity from the recovery, but they’ve also made something like $2B in capital appreciation on the Cubs so I’d say they’re doing just fine.

            • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

              That was three years ago. They have since given up over 4 billion in additional capital gains from the sale of the original stock. Believe me, the old man mentions it to tommy every day.

      • MightyBear

        I’ll say this again. The Cubs spent $100 million on 9 free agents this offseason. There’s only 25 guys on a major league roster. Four of the 9 free agents were ranked in the top 50 on MLBTR. I just don’t see where you’re going with this continual ranting about the Cubs not spending enough money on the major league roster. Last year you may have had a point. This year, I just don’t see it.

        • MightyBear

          This is a response to Kyle who keeps saying the Cubs aren’t spending enough money at the ML level.

  • Die hard

    For 10 million they can accomplish the same- how?- simply reverse the field by switching infield with outfield- who says scoreboard can’t behind home plate when majority of fans can see it there? And don’t forget to put a fence around present bullpen areas

  • Patrick

    Speaking of $$ how about not spending unnecessary money on a jumbo from and use it to put a winning team on the field! Then maybe start talking about jumbo trons. I mean really? Does Wrigley need it? Doesn’t seem like a need.

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  • Rich

    Patrick…if you add a jumbotron, you get a advertising on the board constantly…
    so it is a revenue stream…not merely an expense.

  • http://dhshardware.com/ Lynn

    Wow those pictures look like real and I feel like I’m in renovated Wrigley now! Well, it may cost a lot, anyway, if it’s renovated better, then it would be a good investment. Thank you for sharing :)

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