More smoke on the Wrigley-Field-renovation-deal-coming-on-Monday fire.
The Sun-Times has reported that, according to two sources close to the negotiations, the Chicago Cubs and the City of Chicago will be in a position to announce a deal that paves the way to the long-awaited renovations of Wrigley Field. The Ricketts Family is willing to pay for the $500 million project (Wrigley renovations, and surrounding amenities) so long as certain restrictions on how they can monetize Wrigley Field are lifted by the City, in agreement with the neighborhood.
Per the Sun-Times report, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Although the details are likely still being discussed, the sources shared the following:
- The Cubs will be allowed to place “at least” two new advertising signs in the outfield, one of which will be a large video board in left field, and one of which will be a more standard sign in right field.
- The size of the video board is still being debated. (Recall, the Cubs want a board of at least 6,000 square feet, while the City is blanching at anything larger than 3,000 square feet.)
- The video board in left and the sign in right would “minimally” block a “couple” of the rooftop buildings, who’ve feared that the erection of outfield signs would block their views into Wrigley Field, putting them out of business.
- The deal will allow the rooftops to continue operating for at least the next 11 years, which is the term of their agreement with the Cubs. An extension of that agreement is not expected to be part of the deal
- The deal will include an increase in allowable night games for the Cubs, from the current limit of 30 to “40 or more.”
- Six to ten 3:05pm starts – presumably on Fridays and Saturdays – could be included.
- More concerts are expected. Currently, the Cubs are limited to three.
- The Cubs are expected to pay for increased police security.
- The Ricketts Family is expected to build the recently-discussed parking garage, which would accommodate about 300 cars.
- The deal is expected to be done in time for the Wrigley Field opener on Monday. I’d expect a joint press conference to be called at some point in the next couple of days, which will confirm that a deal is done.