Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: New Funding Plan Reportedly Well-Received By Mayor’s Office

1_PROPOSED_MARQUEE_VIEWThe Ricketts Family’s party line on funding the renovation of Wrigley Field fundamentally changed this weekend. Previously, the focus of funding discussions has been two-pronged: (1) the city takes a healthy 12% amusement tax on Cubs tickets, and should use some of those proceeds to help renovate the very stadium that generates that tax revenue; and (2) the city should relax restrictions on how the Cubs may monetize the Wrigley Field property and surrounding vicinity in exchange for helping the Cubs contribute more to the renovation.

The former prong has fallen off the fork. Though Tom Ricketts would not state that it is irrevocably off the table this weekend, as the Cubs unveiled their plans for the renovation, public funding is not currently in the Cubs’ discussions with the city. Instead, only the latter prong remains. The Ricketts’ position is simple: take the handcuffs off, and we’ll pay for the renovation ourselves.

Unsurprisingly, this new stance has been met with almost universal approval, thanks in large part to its rhetorical appeal in the current political climate. The government doesn’t want to be involved in helping fund the renovation? Fine. Then the government shouldn’t be involved in restricting the ways the Cubs can generate the money necessary for those renovations. It’s not quite the way I would argue this issue (I’ve made my position clear many times, and the way I framed prongs 1 and 2, above, should probably tell you everything you need to know about my feelings), but I’ll concede the attraction.

According to a new report from Greg Hinz at Crain’s, that approval is also coming from City Hall. Hinz reports that, after extensive negotiations with the city, the Cubs developed this new funding position, and it has been met with preliminary approval by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

This should be unsurprising to you, because, as I’ve emphasized, there is simply no way the Cubs would have gone to the trouble (and risk) of showing the full Wrigley renovation plans at the organization’s annual fan convention if it wasn’t going to happen. Although nothing has been finalized, I’m sure the Cubs already knew the city was pretty much on board with their new direction on the funding question.

So, what exactly are we talking about, in terms of funding? Well, a variety of changes/additions could be on the table.

First, and most obviously, is increased advertising. There’s a delicate balance, here, given the special and historic character of Wrigley Field. But let’s be real: there are a whole lot of eyeballs to which advertisers would love to be able to cater at every Cubs’ game. Right now, there’s almost no advertising at Wrigley Field, even after modest additions in the last few years. The Cubs, I can’t imagine, would go nuts on signage. You’d probably see a few more ads in the outfield, and around the grandstand. The Cubs have said they would like to add a second LED board in left field, matching the one currently in right field (which integrated seamlessly). And, then there’s the big one: the JumboTron, which the Cubs have said they are considering. If the logistics could be worked out – preserving The Old Scoreboard is the big one – a JumboTron could not only add $10s of millions in added annual revenue, but it could also serve those fans interested in more in-game visuals (replays, statistics, etc.). The Cubs have repeatedly promised they won’t be doing ridiculous things like the “kiss cam.” In theory, even the JumboTron would be a tasteful, respectful addition to Wrigley Field.

Second, the Cubs would like to be able to add more night games. Currently restricted by an agreement with the neighborhood, the Cubs can only have a handful of night games per year, and then can’t have them on the weekends. For as much as folks love day baseball, night games simply generate more revenue.

Third, the Cubs would like to be able to utilize Sheffield Avenue for street festivals, family activities, and other revenue-generating-what-have-you. As Tom Ricketts put it, “[Sheffield] is already closed [on game days]. We just want to actually do something with it.” I don’t yet have a great sense on what kind of revenue this could generate, but I do have a sense that, done well, “something” on Sheffield could be a lot better than literal nothing.

Fourth, the Cubs would like to be able to have additional events at Wrigley Field without having to seek special approval each time they wish to do so. In recent years, Wrigley Field has been host to concerts and other sporting events. They generate a huge amount of added revenue, and – when done right – make for a cool, unique experience.

A bonus on these changes from the Cubs’ perspective? The increased revenue, after/in addition to be used to fund the Wrigley renovation, adds more dollars to the bucket from which the Cubs are able to spend on the organization.

Not everyone is on board with the Cubs’ new funding plan, however, according to Hinz. Understandably, the rooftop owners who could be affected by restricted views into the ballpark are concerned that the Cubs could start generating new signage revenue at the rooftop owners’ expense. While the Cubs are, and should be, primarily concerned with their own interests, sensitivity to the rooftop partners (with whom the Cubs do have a revenue-sharing agreement) remains relatively important. The rooftops have become a part of the Wrigley experience, and I would assume the Cubs will first exhaust collaborative routes with the rooftops before flat-out shutting one of them down with a huge sign in their patrons’ faces. (Obligatory disclosure: some Cubs rooftop partners are advertisers on this site. Non-obligatory disclosure: I’ve always thought the rooftops were cool.)

In the end, support from the Mayor’s Office is probably considerably more important than support from the rooftop owners and their alderman, Tom Tunney. But I assume discussions are being had by all parties, and the goal will be to work out a solution that works for everyone.

The seemingly hardest part, though – getting Emanuel on board – appears to be on the right path.

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

97 responses to “Obsessive Wrigley Renovation Watch: New Funding Plan Reportedly Well-Received By Mayor’s Office”

  1. Webb

    Here’s a question about the hotel across the street:

    Wrigleyville is zoned for four story buildings. The proposed hotel will have 175 rooms. Based on the size of the McDonalds lot the hotel will stand on, how exactly will all those rooms fit on that many floors? I also imagine the hotel will have a lobby and ballrooms. Where will the space for that go?

    My conclusion – as part of the “negotiation” between city and team, zoning restrictions were “loosened” to allow for a larger hotel, thereby increasing potential revenue on both parties’ behalf.

    Any engineer BNers with better answers than mine?

    1. Demarrer

      Webb, could they potentially build down into the ground? I have no idea if that is possible, but if so that is something they should do. The thing that makes me curious about the hotel is that they will absolutely need to have parking. Where the hell is that going to go?

      1. Webb

        I am initially assuming the parking will be built as a garage beneath the hotel, as many Chicago hotels have. Things like maintenance and kitchens could also be below ground. I’m not sure I know of a hotel that actually has roS below ground though (at least not in Chicago). Chicago also has a high water-table, which restricts how far below ground buildings can be built. This was actually an issue in early renovation concepts, as a feasibility study was done for building the new team clubhouses beneath the actual playing field.

        Interesting stuff though certainly.

        1. cubzforlife

          The water table in Chicago is not high. Look in any of the construction pits of a high rise and it must be fifty feet deep. I explored the deep tunnel project as a kid, climbing 300 feet underground on wrought iron construction ladders and saw no water. I believe its mainly clay till you hit bedrock.

    2. Pat

      Remember that they are talking about a boutique hotel. Boutique in an instance like this usually means small and expensive. I can’t imagine there will be any ballrooms. It is also likely there will be limited bar and restaurant presence (at least hotel run, they may lease out space for those).

    3. Northside Neuman

      It’s a boutique hotel, it’s not going to be a massive Marriott with conference rooms and a ball room.

      Rooms, restaurant, lobby, maybe a gym and possibly some business offices.

  2. Demarrer

    I am a huge fan of the Jumbotron, but I really don’t know if I would want it at Wrigley. I am all for gutting the place and building anew, but I think the “feel” of Wrigley would be gone with a Jumbotron. I love the clean (I know Wrigley Field and clean don’t really go well together) look that Wrigley has. There are really no obstructions and when you look at the field, it doesn’t seem like a commercial break. However, I understand ads need to go up, which I am fully on board for. Also, more night games… PLEASE.

    1. wilbur

      Can’t say it should convince you, but went by Fenway last month on a Friday night and their jumbotron was on and it sits over the CF bleachers just like Wriglry and looks good.

  3. JulioZuleta

    Last year I worked for a real estate company that had several buildings in Tunney’s ward. He wanted us to make several very costly renovations to the buildings (balconies, elevators, roofs…) that were not quite necessary or legally required. I told him I would try to talk the board members into it if he would give the Cubs more night games. Needless to say, if this happens I take the lion’s share of the credit. (In all seriousness, Tunney is a good dude that is HEAVILY pressured by the IMMENSELY wealthy and grouchy older Wrigleyville tenants.)

  4. Die hard

    The neighborhood eminent domain lawsuit against the city for approving may delay improvements for 5 yrs

    1. 1060Ivy

      How long have you followed Chicago politics and court system? If the owners and city wants it don’t be surprised when any legal action “goes away”.

      1. Die hard

        The bond of trust between the city not to over commercialize the neighborhood and the residents who have paid taxes and invested heavily in their residential properties may be a lot stronger than one can imagine especially if the mayor wants a political future

    2. DarthHater

      The renovation plans do not involve condemning anybody’s property, so eminent domain is just irrelevant.

      1. TWC

        Yeah, but… but… but…

        DICK TIDROW!

        1. DarthHater

          Objection sustained.

      2. Die hard

        There are many forms of unconstitutional taking- the Illinois Supreme Court would have a lot of fun making new law given the city would be favoring a sports franchise over residential owners in a predominantly residential neighborhood

        1. DarthHater

          Yea, and none of those forms of unconstitutional taking applies to neighborhood residents who do not have a constitutionally protected property interest in restricting how the Cubs use Wrigley field.

  5. Dan W

    I think that if the city does releases all (or majority) of the restrictions that “handcuff” the Cubs and the Rickett family. Than the example of what could happen to Wrigley and the surrounding areas; as far as buisness profitablitly, (for all) the surrounding upgrades to the area neighborhoods (real estate values). Would be a business model that could be touted by MLB, the Mayors office, the city of Chicago, and the State of Illinois, as to how a Major Sports Franchise should be ran. And everyone will come out smelling like roses…..

  6. King Jeff

    As long as the rooftop owners concerns aren’t centered on losing advertising dollars in a competitive sense to the Cubs and they are solely concerned with the obstruction of their view, then I have no problems with their complaints. Some of what I’ve read on the situation in the past gave me the notion that some of the rooftop owners had a sense of entitlement when it came to Wrigley and the Cubs plans for the area, which seems somewhat ridiculous to me.

    1. Dougy D

      Their sense of entitlement is probably based on the ridiculous property taxes that they have to pay at their location (total guess).

      1. King Jeff

        Which probably coincides with their ridiculous property value?

    2. Pat

      They should have some say. They were forced by the city and the Cubs into hugely expensive renovations and revenue (not profit) sharing if they wanted to remain in business. They have the right to expect whatever deal they got in return to remain in place until they are able to recoup their investment.

  7. Carne Harris

    I could get behind a JumboTron if done right, but other than that I don’t want any additional on-field advertising. I even want the ones we have to go away. Up through, what, 2006, we didn’t have any, now if we keep adding a few every year like we’re doing, we’re going to look like every other ballpark in the league. With new TV money coming, our market, and the division we play in, on-field advertising is in no way a competitive imperative. It’s simply a choice the owners made to line their pockets instead of keeping Wrigley pure and ad free.

    1. itzscott

      Forget the Jumbotron…. Wrigley would cease being “Wrigley” with such a monstrosity.

      This is the age of wireless electronics…. maybe monitors on the backs of seats would accomplish the same thing.

      1. Carne Harris

        That’s not a bad idea.

        1. itzscott

          Monitors would probably cost less than a Jumbotron, use less electricity, maintain the integrity/ambiance of the Wrigleyville neighborhood and they can flash more ads on them throughout the game without interfering with or distracting the the players. It would also continue making Wrigley a unique place among stadiums.

          1. Carne Harris

            You had me till the ads. Talk about a captive audience. I like the idea though. They’ll likely say it’s more expensive to run and maintain 35,000 monitors than 1 JumboTron, but with LEDs who knows.

          2. aCubsFan

            Distracting the players? You must be kidding. All the other parks/stadiums in the league have jumbotrons of varying sizes and those jumbotrons don’t seem to distract the players at all.

            Furthermore, let’s give up the fallacy of the so called ‘Wrigleyville integrity/ambiance’ that left the building decades ago. The owners of the so-called ‘roof-top clubs’ changed that a long time ago.

            Speaking of which if there truly was an ordinance that said that Wrigleyville area buildings couldn’t be any taller than 4 stories than all of the roof top clubs/buildings violate that ordinance. On their own the brick structure of the buildings is 4 stories. Add the bleachers on top of the and you have at least another story maybe a story and a half.

            I’ve been across the street in one of those ‘roof tops’ and the food was terrible and the visibility of the field wasn’t great to begin with, hence the need for all the monitors on the roof tops. While I was there on another person’s dime, I would never ever pay the $75 – $150 price range for a roof-top ticket.

            Those owners only provide the Cubs with $3.5 million annually? That’s chump change. Last night I heard there is talk of the Cubs buying out the agreement between the Cubs and the owners that runs through 2020, and telling the roof top owners to stick it.

      2. Pat

        The backs of the seats in front are at knee level and angled downwards. Not really ideal for viewing.

        1. DarthHater

          Hell, that’s where Cubs fans’ heads are hanging most of the time anyway. :-P

          1. Pat

            Good point. The idea has more potential than I originally thought.

    2. brickhouse

      Its not a simple choice of the owners lining their pockets to keep Wrigley ad free. I would rather the team gets the extra ads, extra night games, extra events – concerts, etc along with the use of Sheffield over the choice of the taxpayers helping fund Ricketts upgrades to Wrigley.

  8. Mrcub1958

    Jumbotron fan here too. As a season ticket holder, a conversation with some of those in the business side in Nov indicated the desire to locate it on the “United Bldg”. The current owner has had some issues and it sounded like they were poised to strike.

    1. Northside Neuman

      The United Building (Budweiser Building) has been or is still in the process of being sold from the family that has owned it for decades. The buyers have been unable to secure financing for the purchase so they have been doing a lease back agreement with the sellers until they secure the financing to close the deal. Plus, that building being made of wood and being about 120 years old and being one of the oldest buildings in Lakeview is in no shape to hold up a 10 ton jumbo tron.

      The building in right field with the Miller Lite adverts atop it would be a much better location for the jumbo tron.

      1. aCubsFan

        Well none of those buildings around Wrigley are designed for a 10 ton Jumbotron. They weren’t even designed to hold all the people that use them during game day on the roof tops. That’s why all of them had to be structurally reinforced to handle the dynamic loads.

  9. Pat

    I think the biggest sticking point will be the use of the street. Regardless of whether it is closed anyway, it is not the property of the Cubs. Additionally, any extra dollars “generated” there are dollars not being spent in the local businesses.

    Regarding the additional night games, can you really complain about being “restricted” by an agreement you made, while at the same time suggesting others are somehow being unfair by trying to hold you to your agreement? I’m sure they can get a few more night games, but they might want to think of taking a different approach.

    1. ctmcwilli

      “I think the biggest sticking point will be the use of the street. Regardless of whether it is closed anyway, it is not the property of the Cubs. Additionally, any extra dollars “generated” there are dollars not being spent in the local businesses.”

      Where would they be spent then? I would bet local businesses would get involved to get a piece of the $$

      1. Pat

        Because those people at the street fair are spending money there and not in the surrounding bars at that point. Those businesses can’t just get involved. It is very expensive to get even a temporary exemption to use a liquor license outside of the establishment it is written for. That is why most festivals have a single caterer for the liquor, if there is any. It’s not economically viable unless you are getting all of the business.

    2. Scotti

      Re. night games… No other MLB team (or NFL, NBA or NHL team for that matter) has any such restriction. And NONE of the several agreements that have been made over the years has ever been considered permanent. The agreements were all made under duress and were never to even the CITY’S financial benefit (Dick Daley wasn’t just a Sox fan, he hated the Cubs). When the Sox, Bears, Bulls, Hawks wanted something, they got it. And the City’s form of governance (city council) does NOT rest power on individual aldermen. If the mayor didn’t want to screw the Cubs he didn’t have to.

  10. Blublud

    I disagree with this proposal. I dont think the city just just relax restrictions, but they should drop them all together, with exception to violations of normal city ordinances. However, I get the point and I like the way this is going. Glad they got this thing worked for the most part. Definitely will have to make a trip to Chicago this season to see Wrigley in its classic form before the changes take place.

  11. Chad Miller

    Easy way to make peace with a rooftop owner, pay one of them to allow you to locate the Wrigley jumbotron on the front of their building. Would block some windows, but would not obstruct the view from their seats.

  12. hawkcub

    I went to one of those street fair type things for a short period of time they had on their property last year and it was a ghost town. Not sure how much money they would make with these if they had them every game. There were just 3 weeks they did these last year. Beer prices were Wrigley prices so people went elsewhere and spent $1-$2 less.

  13. hawkcub

    Like everything but the jumbotron idea. And I’m not completely against that if done tastefully. Really is a fair deal. If this gets shot down they should look into the suburbs. Really never thought I’d say that but something has to give.

  14. MJ

    I’m sure the Cubs are not talking about a Dallas Cowboys sized JumboTron. A video board could easily fit in the empty space above the left field bleachers in front of Kenmore Ave. That way it wouldn’t be in front of anyone’s rooftop.

    Think about the size of the board in center at U.S. Cellular Field. It’s not overwhelming. It’s around 50 feet long by 20 feet high. The LED board in right field is 70 feet long and looks just fine in the outfield. The aforementioned space above left field could surely fit a screen the size of the one at the Cell. A JumboTron at Wrigley doesn’t have to be the devil.

    1. DarthHater

      Perhaps there should just be a compromise solution that is consistent with the historical spirit of the old scoreboard. Have a couple guys run out on the scaffolding between innings and unfurl a giant advertising banner in front of the scoreboard. They display the ad for a few minutes, then roll it up again and run back into the inner sanctum until it’s time to run out with the next ad. ;-)

  15. Spriggs

    No kiss cam? OUT!

  16. Zachary

    I love wrigley but are they making the seats underneath the upper deck a little higher so their is more then just the field view. Those are prolly the worst seats in baseball

  17. Die hard

    Last time at Wrigley the steel beams looked worn- one would hope that replacing all is being included- if so have to shut down for quite awhile- if not then need to go back to the drawing board

    1. TWC

      Wait, you’re a structural engineer in addition to being the resident Bleacher Nation Non-sequiturian? Who knew?!

    2. MichiganGoat

      I hear all the beams are being with Dick Tidrow stashe hair – the single most powerful substance in the world,

  18. Zachary

    That comment was as funny as Adam Sandlers recent movies. Oh wait. Those are awful

  19. Fastball

    I don’t live in Chicago or anywhere near it. I love Wrigley we go to games 2 or 3 times a year. I mix it in to business trips like a lot of people probably do. I for one don’t see why the Cubs put up with any of this stuff. Wouldn’t it just be easier for Ricketts to go somewhere else and build a new stadium that looks exactly like Wrigley but 100 times better. For what he is spending on renovations he could build a new stadium. He owns Wrigley straight up except for like 5% that Zell still owns right? Why not just sell it to a developer and leave all the troubles behind? The people who live around it, do they really want it there? With all the restrictions it seems not. At what point do you say F it I am done (if your Ricketts) The Reds built Great American Ball Park for like $280MM. I know Chicago isn’t Cincinnati but jeez it seems like the guy gets the high hard one at every turn in the road. If I was Ricketts I would have to be dangling the I will leave card real hard. He could acutally leave the walls of Wrigley standing and build some kind of property right in the middle of Wrigley Field itself. Probably bank a ton of cash and recoup a large part of his purchase cost. Invest that and the $300MM he wants fork over and have the greatest baseball mega complex in all of baseball. He could have a Wrigley replica with a retractable dome. The Cubs would end their drought of WS titles cuz they would eliminate the cold weather and could play games anytime they wanted.

    1. DarthHater

      This message brought to you by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. ;-)

    2. Pat

      In state (suburbs), there just aren’t any good locations accessible to public transport. And threatening to move from the third largest televangelist market to the thirty somthingist is a threat no one would take seriously. I suppose you could look at somewhere in Indiana along the south shore linebut who the hell would want to go out there.

      Most of the suburban suggestions are off of 90 which is a nightmare already. Arlington park is off of a road that cuts down to a single lane in each direction. And I don’t think there’s a good space in Rosemont, but do you really want to be Shea Sadium west anyway?

      1. Pat

        Television market (I hate autocomplete)

      2. aCubsFan

        That’s actually not true. There is a huge space of land in Arlington Heights near Rt 53 and near Arlington Park Race track that the train stops at. In fact, there have been rumors that Arlington Park Race track will close if the state doesn’t add more casinos and give more money to horsing race via slots at the tracks. This would be an ideal place to put a new ball park. There’s plenty of parking and space to have all kids of ‘street festival’ type events during games.

        Furthermore, the Schaumburg Flyers for years has had issues trying to keep a team afloat. While the ball park is not large enough for a major league team it is an ideal place for a teardown and build a new park. There is plenty of parking. It has a train stop and it is along the Elgin-Ohare expressway so get to and from the stadium would be relatively painless compared to Wrigley currently. Additionally, I believe the Schaumburg park district would love to get that property off their books.

        1. Scotti

          Either Arlington Heights or Schaumburg would LOVE to have the Cubs and would bend over backwards to be a great PARTNER. Something the City hasn’t been on half a century or more.

    3. aCubsFan

      There was some talk of just this on some of the sports talk shows last night. They were talking about the need to reach out to the west/northwest suburbs which have available land near expressways and public transit to offer alternatives to Ricketts to move the Cubs if they can’t get a decent deal from Chicago.

      1. Serious Cubs Fan

        The mayor and everyone knows Ricketts won’t move. There is no leverage there. It sad but true. The only way I see that happening is if its 7-10yrs from now and they are still bickering over restrictions and funding and ricketts is fed up wit it

      2. Serious Cubs Fan

        Also wat suburb do you see ponying up cash to build the cubs a new $800-900 mil stadium? Maybe the corrupt city of Rosemont? But unlikely to happen bc there no land left there. The huge suburb like joliet? Aurora? Naperville? Those are to far in distance from the city to be out there. It won’t happen. I wish the cubs had more leverage though

        1. MightyBear

          They said the same thing about Walter O’Malley.

        2. aCubsFan

          It doesn’t have to be a village to pony up money. It could be just helping with land acquisition, etc. I gave ideas of Arlington Heights and Schaumburg above and where.

  20. Westbound Willie

    Hopefully the city lets the cubs do what they want as long as its not breaking any laws. That area needs a complete makeover anyway as its starting to age and look decrepit again.

  21. Tony

    With the amount of money that it costs to maintain Wrigley I think this is a great idea. Looking at it from a players perspective as opposed from the fans I think this will attract the free agents and reward those who stay. I’m impressed with the batting cages, weight rooms, massage tables, hydrotherapy units, etc. The new Cubs clubhouse looks fantastic. With this additions to Wrigley who wouldn’t want to play for the greatest franchise. Gut it, rebuild it, add on the retractable Jumbo Tron (which would move out from behind the current scoreboard). The world’s 1st retractable Jumbo Tron. Fireworks, etc. Great job Ricketts!

  22. Barroof

    Hey Fastball , you’re no longer welcome at Wrigley. Start mixing your business in Redsville. You say you love Going to Wrigley but want them to build a new one somewhere else ? Some people just don’t get that not everyone is a huge baseball fan but just enjoy going to a Cubs game because of the area and views/party scene. If it wasn’t for Wrigley Field and it’s location there is no way a crappy team draws 3+ million fans a year . I live a half a block away and for the record ….NO MORE NITE GAMES. Baseball was meant to be played during the day.

  23. Tony

    In regards to night games…I’m all for them. Stop beer sales after the 5th inning.

    1. Marc N.

      Yankee Stadium even does the middle of the 7th. That sounds about right.

      I want more night games at Wrigley. Night games are awesome. Everyone but pitchers loves a good night game.

  24. North Side Irish

    Not surprising, but it sounds like Tunney is not on board with any new signage. Seems like they could put signs in left that wouldnt block rooftops though…

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130121/BLOGS02/130129990?template=mobile&X-IgnoreUserAgent=1

  25. Rich

    I love Fastballs comment..he speaks the truth..RIcketts, if he could find the land / space ) build a state of the art new Wrigley. And make the bleachers and scoreboard the SAME..

    Take the time and do some ballpark tours. I did Wrigley, St. Louis, Pitt and Brewers and Wrigley is a joke for the players, it really is. St. Louis is amazing. Oh and I did Nationals last fall. So for me, I now live out of town, but come to Chicago and hit Wrigley, but have football, monster truck rallies for all I care.

    But..since he is remaking it, great.. there will 100% be more night games and I have never been on a roof top and never found that appealing. So that will work out too.

    beyond any contracts, Ricketts could build 30 foot walls and put a jumbotron and ads and I would be fine by that too. The roof tops despite their % paid to the Cubs, have made a killing because of the Cubs…

    My thought was that they would have kept the bleachers and knocked down the grandstand then rebuild with the triangular building too…and played at the Cell, Milwaukee or Soldier’s field for 2 seasons..( or so )…

    I like the plans from the Ricketts

  26. Rich

    Barroof says baseball was meant to be played in the day,,tell that to the other 29 teams.

  27. Mike

    While I appreciate anyone writing about the Cubs, and I do agree that Wrigley Field could use some serious renovation (especially the clubhouse), I don’t give a flying fig about the renovations. I care more about what they are doing about building this team.

  28. Barroof

    Well Rich, of the other 29 teams in baseball with their “state of the art” ballparks , how many of them can draw 40,000 fans on a Tuesday afternoon in May ? All I’m saying is that if all that mattered was how good a team is the Cubs would draw like the White Sox. But…. Wrigley, Sunshine…..a day off work. You have to admit for some people this is a friggen vacation. Me I make my own hours so day baseball rocks.

  29. cheryl

    I wonder if the water problem is worse than people think. The first time I went to Wrigley it poured and they waited about four hours to start the game. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t called. I left after two hours and there were puddles of rain at least six inches deep in spots. And instead of draining they looked like they were backed up. It was a thoroughly soaking experience and after that I decided it was my first and last trip to Wrigley.

    1. Rmoody100

      I am pretty sure they overhauled the drainage problem with the field in the last couple of years.

      1. FFP

        I don’t believe adequately. This from (sun-times photo) last year:jpeg

    2. MightyBear

      That’s too bad your trip to Wrigley was a rainy day. I’ve been there when it’s rained, snowed and been 98 degrees. But Wrigley when it’s 75 and sunny with a slight breeze and the beer flowing, Heaven may be better but not much.

  30. cubzforlife

    No field is designed to handle the crazy amount of rain that night. A few years ago the field was raised and the drainage fixed. That is not a Wrigley issue just mother nature. I’m saddened to think a rainout would prevent you from coming back. I remember your post after that game because I was at the game too. Game five in 03 might be a good reason to stay away but rain? Was that the Cubs fault?

    1. aCubsFan

      The other issue that you have to consider is that it isn’t just the amount of rain on the field, it’s all the water that is running down the stadium stairs onto the field that adds to the volume of water that has to be removed. If I understand the video that played with the renovation presentation over the weekend that is going to be a huge part of the renovations. A lot more seating drains and piping will be added so that all that water won’t end up on the field allowing the field drainage system to do what it was designed to do.