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1_PROPOSED_MARQUEE_VIEWAs discussed yesterday, most folks are on board with the Ricketts Family’s new funding plan for the Wrigley Field renovation, which ultimately amounts to little more than “get off our backs with respect to restrictions, and we’ll pay for the whole thing ourselves.” The fans seem into it, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel sounds tentatively into it.

I say “most” folks, though, because some members of the immediately-surrounding community remain to be convinced that increased signage, more night games, more concerts, and street fairs are a good thing. While their approval may not be strictly necessary with respect to some of the funding mechanisms, the Cubs undoubtedly would prefer to work on a collaborative way.

Representing those interests is Alderman Tom Tunney, a fixture in Wrigley-related discussions since time immemorial (in reality, it’s been 10 years). He has, at various times, supported the Wrigley renovations, presumably insofar as they benefit his constituency (which, if we avoid cynism for just a moment, is his job, I suppose). His position on the current proposals, though, is only just starting to take shape. And it sounds like he has some reservations.

“I think a lot of balloons are being floated,” Tunney told John Byrne of the Tribune. “A lot of what they said has not been presented to the community.”

Tunney went on to discuss the potential impact on arguably his largest – and inarguably most invested – constituency, the rooftop owners. (Once again, disclosure: BN has an advertising relationship with some of the rooftops.) As noted yesterday, their concern is that increased signage or a JumboTron at Wrigley could block the views of their patrons, depressing their revenue and property value. They currently share 17% of their proceeds with the Cubs by agreement, so the Cubs do have some vested interest. Tunney suggested that the signage could appear on the rooftops, themselves, with the Cubs and the rooftops splitting the increased revenue. On the plus side, doing so would further preserve the character of Wrigley, but, on the down side, it’s less revenue for the Cubs.

Tunney separately told the Sun-Times that, obviously, he doesn’t support any signs that block views into the park from the rooftops, and indicated to both papers that he’s unhappy the Triangle Building project has been scrapped in favor of an open air area. His primary beef there appears to be the lack of parking in the area, which was to be increased dramatically in the project. The irony is that the Cubs have said they scrapped the Triangle Building in part because neighborhood residents expressed a desire for more open air areas.

The interplay between the Cubs, the city, and the neighborhood will continue to govern the Cubs’ ability to see their current funding plan through, but there isn’t yet a concern that the neighborhood will be able to unilaterally stop the plans if both the Cubs and the city are fully into it. And, let’s be real: without Wrigley Field, “Wrigleyville” is just another Chicago neighborhood. There should be considerable interest on the part of the residents and rooftop owners to play nice, too.

  • Harry Pavlidis

    “irony is that the Cubs have said they scrapped the Triangle Building in part because neighborhood residents expressed a desire for more open air areas.”

    #facepalm

    The only consistency in Tunney’s position is the rooftop owners get undue influence.

  • JB88

    As a former resident of Tunney’s ward, all I can say is that Tunney is—and always will be—a toad.

  • ETS

    This seems like an easy (ish) debate to settle.

    Cubs: We currently make X (17% of roof top sales). We project to make Y – X (subtract out the 17% we lose if the signs cause blockage) off of more signage. We will instead put the signs up above the roof tops if the rooftops owners let us keep Y* – X of the new signage sales.

    *second Y might need adjusted if a sign in wrigley doesn’t get the same kind of ad rates a sign on a bleacher just outside of wrigley).

    I mean, obviously this is simplified, but the cubs should be able to make a number and present the owners with that number and say, hey this is what we need for this to make fiscal sense from our end.

  • itzscott

    >> without Wrigley Field, “Wrigleyville” is just another Chicago neighborhood. <<

    Ever walk around the neighborhood or go there in the winter? It's a pretty thriving area… unlike most neighborhoods even with Wrigley the way it's been, is or would be!

    Learning to segregate our bias regarding all things Cubs from reality is a difficult thing to do most times.

    • JB88

      “Ever walk around the neighborhood or go there in the winter? It’s a pretty thriving area… unlike most neighborhoods even with Wrigley the way it’s been, is or would be!”

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with what Brett said. The vibe might be slightly different without Wrigley, but the bar/restaurant scene wouldn’t be completely different from Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Old Town, or even stretches of Andersonville (unless you presuppose that sections of that “scene” would be completely gone without Wrigley).

      • DarthHater

        Without the Cubs, it would be a barren, coyote-infested hellscape! ;-)

      • illinicubfan

        I was too young to remember, what was Wrigleyville like before the Cubs started drawing 2.5M people a year in the late 90s?

        • DarthHater

          I hear it was so desolate that coyotes were seen roaming the streets…

        • Her Seop Chode

          It was a gay and or punk town. The Metro had gay discos and the Cubbie Bear hosted the vindictives.

      • itzscott

        >> but the bar/restaurant scene wouldn’t be completely different from Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Old Town, or even stretches of Andersonville <> (unless you presuppose that sections of that “scene” would be completely gone without Wrigley). <<

        I don't!

        It'd probably be a completely different story decades ago, but it looks to me that the neighborhood has surpassed being dependent on Wrigley…. which is why I'm coming around to feeling that Ricketts would probably have less headaches and be happier by recreating Wrigleyland in his own vision and ours somewhere in the suburbs.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’ve been there many, many times. You’re talking about Lakeview. And it’s a lovely area. Without Wrigley Field, “Wrigleyville” is just another part of Lakeview. That’s not a shot at Lakeview.

      • itzscott

        “but the bar/restaurant scene wouldn’t be completely different from Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Old Town, or even stretches of Andersonville “….That was pretty much my point!

        “(unless you presuppose that sections of that “scene” would be completely gone without Wrigley).”….I don’t!

        It’d probably be a completely different story decades ago, but it looks to me that the neighborhood has surpassed being dependent on Wrigley…. which is why I’m coming around to feeling that Ricketts would probably have less headaches and be happier by recreating Wrigleyland in his own vision and ours somewhere in the suburbs.

      • itzscott

        No, Lakeview is a “unique” neighborhood unto its own.

        The Wrigleyville I’m referring to stretches along Clark St from Irving Park Rd, and as far south as maybe Fullerton or North Ave.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          You completely missed my point. Wrigleyville is located entirely within Lakeview, and came to be known as its own neighborhood *because* of Wrigley Field. Without Wrigley, it’s just Lakeview. There would be no Wrigley Field to make it “Wrigleyville.” There would be no difference between it and the rest of Lakeview, because there never would have been a reason for it to develop such differences.

  • DarthHater

    If the local want the Triangle building, then by all means put it back in the proposal!

    • Pat

      Reallly, it shouldn’t need to be in any current proposal. The development of the triangle parcel was agreed to by the Cubs in exchange for the bleacher expansion and additional night games that accompanied it. How many times should the neighborhoood have to negotiate for the same thing?

  • Matt

    I’ve never seen a situation inprofessional sports like this ignorance that is at play on the North Side. Private ownership controlled by public interest!

    Property owners cant get through their thick capitalistic skulls that when they snap up residential property they have no reasonable assertions or guarantees that their property will always and forever increase in value, nor are they automatically given a right to have say-so in their surrounding entrepreneurs’ doings.

    Rooftop viewers are essentially drive-in theatre skimmers. The only mistake here is that the Cubs allowed it to keep happening in the first place. If I owned the Cubs, my tolerance for local businesses and residents to be able to dictate what I did with the team would be ice-thin.

    • DarthHater

      Yea, you go, Matt!

    • ChicagoDawg

      Agree 100% Matt! It’s like going to Costco taking the entire plate of free samples then complaining that they dont bring out crackers and a soda to wash it down.

      • DarthHater

        Actually, it’s more like going to Costco, taking the entire plate of free samples, selling those free samples back to Costco’s customers, and then complaining that they don’t bring out crackers and a soda to wash it down.

        • Darwin Fred

          LOL, exactly!

          • yield51

            This is the first time i have seen your handle. It was a true laughing out loud moment.

    • Pat

      “nor are they automatically given a right to have say-so in their surrounding entrepreneurs’ doings.”.

      Actually, as residents and property owners they have a “right” to representation in their area.

      • Matt

        Representation of their interests is a far-cry from having a hand in the organization’s financial structure of a company you aren’t employed by. Subsidized, yes- and THAT is where the a cubs erred. Big time. Agreeing to a partnership with people leeching off your product was and is a horrendous idea.

    • Toby

      When I lived by Newport and Lakewood I loved night games because I would always know I could go someplace and come home to a parking spot.

  • cubsin

    The rooftop owners may need to be reminded from time to time that if Wrigley Field becomes untenable and the Ricketts move the Cubs to the suburbs, their revenue will drop to zero.

  • BD

    Would a small/medium sized Jumbotron fit on either/both side(s) of the scoreboard? I’m not sure how far towards center field (Waveland/Sheffield intersection) the roof top seating goes.

    • JB88

      To me, the most logical place to place a “Jumbotron” is directly below the old scoreboard, placing the old scoreboard on top of the jumbotron.

      This would keep a fairly seamless look to the park and would not obstruct any rooftops. The only question I have is whether this would interfere with the batter’s view. If it doesn’t, though, that is where I would place it within the stadium.

    • Beer Baron

      To me the most logical place to put a jumbo tron is on the old “Budweiser” building on Waveland. Technically not in the park so not subject to landmark restrictions, but still closer to the field than many jumbotrons out there. The Cubs would have to buy the building first, but I still think this is why they put the Toyota sign right in front of the building – obstruct the view before the owner of the building had a chance to put in rooftops, and then eventually he’ll get tired of it and want to sell (I know he purchased the building a few years ago with the intention of putting in a new rooftop deck but hasn’t been able to yet).

      • JB88

        I can see zero logic to placing a jumbotron outside the confines of Wrigley Field.

        Also, I’m fairly confident that there are municipal zoning ordinances determining the height of buildings in that neighborhood that would prevent the Cubs from placing that sort of signage on the building.

  • CubsFan66

    Two words: Meigs Field!!

    • JB88

      Not sure I see where Meigs is applicable to this discussion. Meigs is/was owned by the Park District, so the City had every right to plow under the air strip, even without public input.

      • Goldcoast cub

        I think the way it went was the city council shot down mayor Daley’s proposal so he sent bulldozers out in the middle of the night. Rahm is no Daley, but I never underestimate the power of the Chicago mayor’s office.

      • CubsFan66

        Buy Meigs Field and build a new stadium on Lake Michgan and move out of the Landmark locked (and City locked) Wrigley.

    • Greg

      I couldn’t agree more. If I was Ricketts I would start looking for other places to build a new stadium. I’m a die-hard cubs fan and would support the team wherever they go. I’m so sick of them being hamstrung by the businesses and residents surrounding Wrigley Field. If its such a barren on these residents then the Cubs should move and build a state of the art stadium somewhere else. I wonder how well Murphy’s Bleachers would do then?

  • jim

    ANYONE out there “seriously” believe that this
    team WILL be “relevant” in the NEAR FUTURE?
    I am NOT sold on SAMARDJIIA. Even though
    SORIANO had a Magnificent year,he is getting
    older & i honestly do believe his numbers will
    go down signifigantly Just Sayin
    p.s. WE CAN ALL HOPE FORTHE BEST!
    AFTER ALL, NOTRE DAME IS FINALLY
    BACK!

  • DarthHater

    Come on, this is Chicago and we all know that all the talk about the benefits the Cubs bring to the community is a lot of hooey. As soon as Ricketts sends some payola in the direction of Rahm and Tunney, the project will move faster than a greased weasel.

  • bearzs99

    real simple solution for the ricketts if the alderman and nighborhood
    want to give them a hard time with renovating, etc.
    tell them you will consider looking into moving to the NW suburbs
    im sure a suburb would be more then happy to build a stadium for the chicago cubs

  • HateDemp

    The Cubs won’t move out of Wrigleyville, but Brett is absolutely correct. Take Wrigley Field out and its a nice neighborhood, but nothing else. The owners of the restaurants and other establishments benefit from all the Cubs attendance and the attraction. Take that away and there will be less investment in the area as less people to support the investment. Simple math or economics. Won’t happen overnight (and likely won’t ever happen), but the greed of people to sponge off private enterprise is ridiculous.

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Ricketts family should purchase the Iowa Cubs & move them into Wrigley & let the stadium go in the crapper. Meanwhile they should be purchasing the Lane Tech property from CPS & building a new stadium there or in Arlington Hts. on the racetrack property where they would be much closer to their fan base & would be accessible from all 4 directions by highway & by train. Problem solved & we have two teams in town to watch. Future Cubs & present Cubs – I know which park I’m going to.

    • itzscott

      “Ricketts family should purchase the Iowa Cubs & move them into Wrigley”

      Now THAT’S an intriguing idea!

      Consider the possibilities of not only being able to go see the Cubs play, but also be able to see their AAA team play as well. The AAA team can schedule their home games whenever the Cubs are on the road and draw x-times more people than Iowa ever could without competing directly with each other for attendance dollars.

      The revenue generated from a AAA team playing at Wrigley could also help to fund a new stadium. Ricketts, the city, the neighborhood and Cub fans would have the best of all outcomes.

      • Jim L.

        I think loubrock meant have the I-Cubs play in Wrigley in place of the Cubs, who would move to the burbs.

        Also the ideas of moving to Lane Tech or Meigs Field or any other Chicago location would still have to involve the Mayor and another greedy alderman.

  • Sully

    This is America and any owner of a business should be able to run it the way they see fit. I wish Ricketts would threaten to build a ballpark somewhere else in Chicago land. Then maybe all the neighbors and businesses who complain about Wrigley and the future upgrade plans might wake up. Everyone who lives in Wrigleyville knew Wrigley Field was already there and because of Wrigley Field the property values are that much higher. I never want the Cubs to leave Wrigley but let the Rickets run there business the way they want/need to. So sick of hearing the neighbors and Tunney bitch like they own Wrigley and the Cubs. I’d love to see the Ricketts take off the gloves and play hard ball. No more Mr. Niceguy.

    • Pat

      So is it your belief that most businesses in America can run their business as they see fit, regardless of local zoning and other ordainances? Because that’s really not true in the least.

      In fact, the Cubs are somewhat lucky where they are due to being grandfathered past some newer ordinances. Imagine anyone tryng to build a stadium these days that has almost no dedicated parking – it would never happen.

      • DarthHater

        Yea! Who needs fire codes, anyway? Businesses can always replace burned employees!

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Actually if we moved Iowa Cubs to Wrigley & built a new stadium for the Cubs we would have 3 teams to choose from – I forgot Kane County Cubs as of 2013. So many choices !!!

  • http://bleachernation.com lou brock lives

    Talk about revenue streams if we had 3 teams in town the Ricketts would be swimming in cash. Day games at Wrigley for you Triple A fans, night games in Arlington Hts. after spending the afternoon at the racetrack, & family outings at Kane County where every kid can go & see the future stars.

  • Frank

    Yesterday I sent in a suggestion to the Cubs.
    They include:
    1. Putting video in the dead center field area that is not used. The screens would have to tilted slightly as not to bother the hitters with any reflection. These would only be used between innings. Or, make the area a green screen advertising like behind the plate.

    2. Replace the scoreboard with a Jumbotron that is a replica of the old scoreboard. They could switch back and forth between the old look and video/advertising.

  • MJ

    The empty space above the left field bleachers where Kenmore Ave. runs is the place to put an adequate, not overwhelming, non Cowboys Stadium sized JumboTron. It’s not about how large the screen is, it’s about the tens of millions they can get from the advertising. The size of the screen at U.S. Cellular Field can easily go in that space. No rooftops will be blocked and it’s out of the hitters line of sight.

    The Cubs shouldn’t have to share any of the revenue a video board will generate with any of those rooftop owners by putting a screen on one of their buildings.

  • baseballet

    Tom Ricketts says that he’ll pay for the repairs he needs to his business. How generous!

    In return he wants the city to eliminate Wrigley’s landmark restrictions so that he can treat a landmark building however he wants. History, schmistory. In addition, he’d like to: close down Sheffield Ave on game days to turn it into some sort of vending festival for his business; hold as many rock concerts as he sees fit; and play more games at night.

    I’d guess that these benefits over the next decade add up to a lot more than the $300M renovation bill. Once the Rickettses negotiate a new TV deal in a few years, they’ll be rolling in cash and could afford to pay for the renovation themselves, without the city letting them defile a Chicago landmark.

    Looking at the artist renderings of the proposed modifications, we get glimpses of Tom Ricketts’ vision. They are improvements, however they’re uninspired improvements (we are not shown the new Jumbotron and additional signage they most certainly will install): A new upper deck concessions area that resembles a shopping mall food court, where lower middle class fans in jeans or khaki shorts, some in Williams/Maddux/Banks jerseys (No Nate Schierholtz or Fujikawa jerseys? The artist needs to get with the 2013 program.) will mingle over hot dogs and pitchers of Budweiser. In the new Home Plate Club, upper middle class fans in casual business attire will gather in an upscale sports bar setting. And at the Marquee Restaurant (they didn’t exactly hire Don Draper to come up with these names), well heeled couples will sip wine in what looks like a generic sports themed steakhouse.
    And you can go to the bathroom easier, if not more comfortably, as Ricketts promises more bathrooms, but does not promise to eliminate the troughs. And finally the skybox square footage is going up, so start networking and get your synergies lined up.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m glad to hear a disenting voice, even if just to keep things interesting. You’re largely on an island, my friend.

      • baseballet

        I like my island. I hope TR doesn’t buy it and install a TGI Fridays.

      • baseballet

        Brett I can’t say you didn’t warn me.

    • MichiganGoat

      ” he’d like to: close down Sheffield Ave on game days”

      Isn’t Sheffield already closed on game days? So I guess I’m missing your point.

      • brickhouse

        If they close down Sheffield they want to open food/drink/souvenir stands in the street stealing more business from local bars/restaurants

        • Scotti

          Stealing? Why do fans go to those bars and restaurants? Because the Cubs are playing. With your logic, those bars and restaurants are stealing those customers from Wrigley!

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

          Okey read the following that Brett posted:

          “A great line from Tom about those restrictions, and the limitation on the Cubs’ having festivals on Sheffield Avenue (along right field): “You know, Sheffield is already closed on game days. We just want to actually do something with it.”

          So Sheffield is already closed, so why not use it for something I’m having a hard time understanding your complaint.

    • hansman1982

      1. The plural of Ricketts is Rickdees
      2. If the Yankees can tear down Yankees Stadium, Wrigley shouldn’t be treated as the 3-day nap place of Jesus
      3. Were you expecting Roller Derby and Disco Bowling in the mezzanine? If anything a conservative upgrade to the facilities we can visit would very much keep with the theme of “preserving Wrigley and all of it’s glorious history”
      4. The Rickdees should be able to rennovate as they see fit, unless they are receiving money for upkeep and modernization (similar to most historic sites). Somehow the Rickdees and Wrigley fall into this weird gray twilight zone where they shouldn’t be able to upgrade Wrigley as they need to so that the whole reason for Wrigley’s existance can be improved but we won’t give a damn dime to them to help with that.

      • baseballet

        Tearing down Yankee stadium to replace it with the soulless monstrosity they play in now is not a blueprint for keeping the Wrigley experience special. I’ve been to the new Yankee stadium and the worst part about it is that jumbotron. Before the game it blared ads and Yankees promotional videos so loudly that I had to shout to converse with my friends. And it shows ads constantly. People dreaming only of delicious replays of Darwin Barney on the big screen making diving stops are deluding themselves.

        If you want to get an idea how much advertising the Cubs will bludgeon us with if given carte blanche by the city, just listen to Pat and Keith on one Cubs radio broadcast and count the number of times they shill for products. Better yet, make it a drinking game.

        Buying a landmark building means that you have to treat it as a LANDMARK. One cannot buy Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House and install a Hardees in the dining room. The Ricketts family knew this when they purchased the Cubs. One must live with restrictions if one purchases something on the historic registry. You can’t tart it up any way you choose in order to maximize your new purchase. But Tom Ricketts’ sore loser routine is disingenuous. For every dollar the Cubs lose by not having their precious additional signage, they gain a dollar from people who attend for the Wrigley experience.

        Once the Cubs sign their new TV deal in a few years they’ll be rolling in cash, happier than pigs in slop. The Dodgers just signed a TV deal with Time Warner reportedly for 6 or 7 billion bucks according to today’s LA Times. If the Cubs get a deal for even half of that they’ll have plenty of money to compete with the big boys without plastering new signage everywhere.

        • Scotti

          The Cubs are not asking for the Landmark designation to be changed (neither the Toyoda sign nor the RF signage were affected by the Landmark status). The Cubs merely need the City to sign-off on electrical, plumbing, zoning, etc. as anyone would for major renovations.

          Ads in Wrigley are not affected by Landmark status.

          A Jumbotron “on” one of the buildings in RF/LF is not affected by Landmark status.

          A relaxation of night game restrictions is not affected by Landmark status.

          Allowing concerts at Wrigley (which, like any major venue, holds major events anyway) is not affected by Landmark status.

          Reconstruction is not affected by Landmark status.

          • Scotti

            Here’s an older, short link to a radio spot explaining what the Landmark status actually means:

            http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/11/03/obstacles-of-wrigleys-landmark-status/

            • baseballet

              The landmark restrictions do in fact impede advertising. Here’s the first paragraph of an article in today’s Chicago Trib:

              “Wrigleyville’s alderman says a recent proposal by Chicago Cubs owners to pay for renovations at Wrigley Field by relaxing advertising restrictions and other rules at the landmark ballpark is just one of many ideas being floated to pay for the work.”

              • Scotti

                Listen to the link I provided. That’s a lawyer who has actually read the Landmark designation. Or listen to the Cubs:

                “Kenney said the Cubs wouldn’t need to remove the landmark status for the proposed changes.

                “The marquee, the ivy, the scoreboard, we’d be the last ones who would want to touch those,” he said. “The landmark ordinance really isn’t our problem. It’s just the ability to add some of the marketing elements we need and to host games when we feel like it.”

                The Landmark status is VERY specific. It did NOT impinge upon the Cubs ability to put in the Toyota sign nor the LED sign in RF. The Landmark deals with the height of Wrigley, the marquee, the bricks and ivy and the scoreboard. No mention of ads what-so-ever.

                The City has NUMEROUS constraints it has placed on the Cubs over the years using its ability to deny permits (to construct things like the Toyota sign, change seating or to hold events).

              • DarthHater

                Yea, when you want to know what a law says, your first source should always be a quote from a politician in a newspaper article.

                • Scotti

                  Here’s a Trib piece from 2004 when the Landmark status wasn’t even in effect.

                  “The council’s Committee on Historical Landmarks and Preservation did not issue blanket landmark designation for the 90-year-old ballpark, according to City News Service. Instead, the committee endorsed a proposal to grant landmark status to Wrigley Field’s four exterior walls and roofs, the marquee sign at the corner of Clark and Addison streets, the center field scoreboard, the grandstands and bleachers, and the brick wall and ivy surrounding the playing field.”

                  The reference to “Wrigley Field’s four exterior walls and roofs” is in regard to the height (so they don’t put a roof OVER Wrigley). And absolutely no mention of ads.

                  http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20040127&content_id=631178&vkey=news_chc&fext=.jsp&c_id=chc

        • MJ

          The Yankees have a championship in that soulless monstrosity and had 26 other one’s in the old building.

          The Dodgers are getting billions in their new TV deal — in addition to installing brand new new JumboTrons (plural) while making other major upgrades in the third oldest ballpark in baseball. They, too, have had far more success over the decades than the Cubs.

          Do they allow you to carry a beer through the Frank Lloyd Wright house tour or drop a nacho box on the floor at the Art Institute? Tom Ricketts said it loud and clear, Wrigley is not a museum. It’s a sports and entertainment facility. The only reason it was ever designated a landmark was because a vindictive Mayor Daley was getting back at the Tribune newspaper for running an expose of corruption in his administration (Chicago politics corrupt? Imagine that.) The best way to hurt the Trib company was to limit their biggest cash cow from maximizing their earnings.

          Fans need to decide what’s more important. Is it seeing your favorite team have as much success as it can and stepping aside to let them do what can to get there? Or is it holding on to some “traditions” that never got you anywhere?

          The Cubs are finally trying to play big boy ball. They are trying not to get left behind in a big business (that’s what baseball is, a business) that keeps getting bigger. The Cubs finally have an owner who seems to get what’s going on. They are trying to make moves to do something about it. There are no guarantees, but we’ve seen for decades what definitey doesn’t work. Let’s get used to something new.

          • baseballet

            Wrigley might not be a museum, but it is a landmark building, something TR knew all about before the purchase. A purchase, I might add, that he’ll make plenty of money from whether or not he gets more signs and jumbotrons.

            The Yankees and the Dodgers could easily top baseball’s annual payroll without a jumbotron, or in fact without any in-park advertising at all. They only do it because people accept it and it lines their pockets.

            • DarthHater

              This is the attitude that sooner or later will force the Cubs to move elsewhere. Then you can enjoy your vacant, decaying landmark to your heart’s content. But watch out for the coyotes.

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

                Or there is that option ;)

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

                OR tear down the lights, remove the Ivy, remove the bleachers, push the outfield back. Traditional Wrigley.

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

              Okay so leave it alone, don’t modernize anything OR allow TR to update the building and increase the product on the field and win that WS by having a stadium that matches all the other stadiums where teams have had success. Sometimes tradition gets in the way of success.

              • DarthHater

                The factory where Henry Ford first produced model Ts was undoubtedly of infinitely greater historical significance than any baseball park. It should have been designated a landmark so that Ford could be stopped from destroying our historical heritage by modernizing its machinery and producing better cars.

              • baseballet

                This doomsday scenario that the Cubs will always lose until landmark status is set aside for more ads is absurd. The Cubs profit from not being like every other stadium. And the TV deal they’ll get in a few years will dwarf any revenue they get from jumbo ads. The new Dodgers deal with Time Warner is reportedly for 6 or 7 billion. The Dodgers and Yankees don’t need the jumbotron to field a huge payroll team and neither will the Cubs.

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

                  I like the dissent but I’m curious what (if any) changes you would be okay with Wrigley having? Or would you prefer they move to the burbs and rebuild.

                  • DarthHater

                    OK. The Cubs are a religion, right? So all they have to do is claim an exemption from all these legal restrictions on Free Exercise of Religion grounds. Problem solved. ;-)

                    • Pat

                      Shhhhh!! Great. Now the idea is out there. If they start passing around a collection plate next time I’m there, I’m blaming you.

                  • Pat

                    What’s funny is I don’t think there is anything in the proposed renovation drawings that requires any sort of restrictions being waved. I suppose the new deck in left might extend over the sidewalk, but that’s all I can see.

                    And I do think they should be allowed more night games. However, if I’m the neighborhood I make them live up to their previous commitment of developing the triangle parcel before they get the additional games. I can’t really blame the neighborhood for not taking the team at their word on these issues.

                  • baseballet

                    I don’t care if they repair the stadium, add bathrooms, the restaurants, the underground batting cages or whatever. (Although I find the artist renderings of Ricketts’ vision to be bland and unimaginative). I just don’t want the park to be saturated with advertising and I don’t want the jumbotron. If people want replays and video during the game, then I’d prefer wi-fi in the stadium so that everyone can watch in-game content on their smart phones.

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

                      So I’m hearing the Jumbotron is the holdup, but that is currently not part of the plans as they were released. It might be the eventual plan but right now it’s not part of the immediate plans. As for the renderings being rather blah, I can agree to that but I’m not going to stadiums for the concessions and walk ways to he artistic (I do like the brickwork they have in the floor) so of all the things they do that is low on my priorities. I can understand your desire to hold tradition and stop all advertising- but that is part of sports. Remember before the Ivy the outfield was covered in ads- it’s always been there always will be.

                    • DarthHater

                      You want to run baseball the traditional way? Pay the players $18,000 per year. Then you really won’t need to sell advertising.

                    • hansman1982

                      My uneducated guess would be that any updates they make to the park will seem “un-imaginative” because they would want to update the park so it’s a 21st century version of Wrigley rather than a cramped version of Yankee Stadium.

                      It could be that they are trying to slice the baby down the middle here since neither side is wanting to surrender the baby to the other.

                • MJ

                  Once more with feeling — Wrigley not being like any other stadium has gotten them zero. For over 100 years. Some people want a “special experience”. I’ll take a championship.

                  I’ll bring in the Red Sox. Once they started doing something about a crumbling Fenway, things started to change. Is thier World Series trophy connected to the Fenway overhaul? Can’t prove it. But, it can’t be an accident, either. I’m sure no one liked having seats and advertising on top of the Green Monster. I don’t think Red Sox fans are complaining as much as they did before.

                  People were mad when New Comiskey Park went “corporate” and turned into U.S. Cellular Field. But, there’s teenage Sox fans who can remember their last championship.

            • MJ

              There’s reason that the “Yankees and Dodgers can top easily top baseball’s payroll.” New York is the number one media market in the country. Los Angeles is number two. Chicago is number three. Seeing a theme here?

              This isn’t podunk town. There’s no reason the Cubs can’t be among the most successful sports franchises on the planet. The ingredients are all there. Big city, big fan base, popular ballpark. Think bigger. That’s all I’m saying.

  • Curt

    If I were the cubs I’d play nice with everyone in so far that they do as well, Tunney needs to realize the tail does not wag the dog , if the cubs leave see what the neighborhood does without the cubs there , I’m just sayin this song n dance has went on long enough , shit or get off the pot, mr.emmanuel and mr.tunney pay for it or help pay for it it’s real easy.

  • King Jeff

    I’m not familiar with property laws, but doesn’t a residence stop being a residential building when you use it for commercial gain?

    I know it will probably never happen, but if the city won’t budge on these restrictions and continue to police what ad’s the Cubs can place, then Ricketts needs to make a credible threat to move the Cubs. Hire a firm to scout locations, get quotes from construction companies, etc. I get the feeling that Ald. Tunney and the rooftop free-loaders would fall in line rather quickly.

  • Frank

    So what would you rather see. The Cubs get what they want and make a boat load of money and in turn afford to do things that other ball clubs can do or they build a stadium in the burbs. If I remember correctly, the Cubs are not a no-profit company owned by the people of Wrigleyville.

    Here’s another idea. How about the Cubs just buy the buildings in back of the stadium?

    • MichiganGoat

      I think buying the rooftop buildings might be a long term plan, if they could get those the could add to Wrigley and keep all the revenue. But I doubt that will even be discussed for 10+ years

  • Rick

    I see them moving you can only bang your head into a wall for so long

  • Frank

    When they call someone up from the minors, where do they house them? I assume in a hotel, so buying the buildings would make sense in the long run. Plus, they could rent them to players that want to be close to the park.

    • Scotti

      Mostly in hotels but frequently, if it’s an extended stay, the players will stay with veterans. For example, Castro stayed with Soriano.

    • aCubsFan

      The problem with buying the roof top buildings is that they have been so modified that they would never be used as rental apartments or similar without major renovations to the buildings.

  • Miggy80

    I hope they get some better souvenir cups with all these upgrades.

    • baseballet

      They should ask the city to pay for the improved souvenir cups.

  • http://ehanauer.com clark addison

    Haven’t the Cubs already bought one or two of the rooftop buildings?

  • Sully

    @Pat. Of course I mean for the Ricketts to follow laws and zoning. I’m talkin about more nite games and the renovation mostley. You must be a democrat. Lol.

    • Pat

      “You must be a democrat. Lol.”

      Hardly. However, all business are subjected to local zoning issues, including hours of operation, renovations, and the allowable height of the structure.

  • cubzforlife

    My good friend Joe owns Yakzees down the street from Wrigley. Based on his hobbies and lifestyle I assume the Cubs have been very good to his business. In the off season the tavern cannot support itself. In a bad baseball year he can just pay the bills.
    Take away Wrigley and half of the big bars and restaurants disapear and the area returns to East Lakeview where I grew up with small corner Taverns and a handfull of fast food places. That said to the east Boystown is there to stay. As soon as Joe returns from his private caribbean island I plan to get his opinion on the plan.

  • bearzs99

    they dont need the mayor or any chicago polatician approval
    to move to a suburb, just the suburb mayor approval and no doubt that mayor
    would be more then happy to approve a major sports team like the
    cubs to locate and bring iig time revenue to their burb.
    ricketts play their cards right, if he has to continue walking thru red tape
    with the neighborhood and chicago polaticians
    all he has to do is what the sox did (Florida) and threaten to move them out.
    guarentee they all change their stance

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