respect wrigleyMore 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.
  • Tyler

    I’m super excited for this. At first the idea of a video board kind of made me sick, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to accept that it’s probably best for the organization. Also, I didn’t hate the proposed model you posted, it actually looks pretty good.

    New Wrigley, new team, new front office, new attitude, new winning culture. Gotta love it.

    • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

      Was there any mention of marmot or soriano being traded for other teams top prospects?

  • ruby2626

    They just said on the Score that the new parking garage would hold 300 cars, doesn’t seem like much. Wonder what they’ll charge, price will no doubt still keep the average fan away.

    • Andrew

      I’d imagine it would operate year round (maybe contracted out for non cubs games) which would be pretty nice for a neighborhood that could always use more parking at least if its reasonably priced

    • Tom A.

      Perfect size lot so people can park whn they go to Mr. Tunney’s restaurants.


  • http://Isa Voice of reason

    I don’t care what they do to the field or how many night games they play. I just want to win a world series.

    I hope these improvements will give ownership the revenue stream to develop players and acquire needed players to achieve the goal of a world series.

  • corey costello

    God no, i don’t want a jumbotron

  • MichiganGoat

    This has to be the most complex negotiations for someone to renovate their house with their money in the history of sports. So basically everything the Ricketts wanted but before that could be agreed to a long winded faux political debate had to take place.

    Now if its only an increase in 10 night games that sucks, hopefully its a step up over 3-5 years.

    And if the jumbotron is only to minimally block the rooftops then it has to be on the smaller side… right?

  • Fastball

    That’s a waste of time 300 car garage! Optimistically that 800 fans. if that makes the neighbors happy so be it. the rest sounds promising

    • cedlandrum

      300 cars in that neighborhood or any neighborhood in Chicago is a HUGE deal. Parking is at a premium in the wrigleyville neighborhood. This was a good move by Tunney to demand.

      • Featherstone

        Parking is in demand because the residents of the area sell their parking spot to gameday visitors and then park themselves

        • Nick

          I own a condo with a garage spot 1/2 block away from the field on Patterson. There are 5 units in our building and nobody has ever sold a spot in our garage. Next arguement…

          • Internet Random

            You’re going to make that argument on a site where the phrase “small sample size” is dropped multiple times daily? Really?

          • Patrick W.

            Well if you won’t sell can I borrow it for Monday? 😉

      • Tom A.

        Yes. Now can park to go to his restaurants and he didn’t have to pay for the lot build.


  • STH Section 514 Row 3

    No reason to go bigger than 300 cars. How full do you think that lot will be the other 250 days a year there isn’t a Cubs home game or a concert? It’s probably too far away for most people staying at the hotel or working out at the fitness center to walk. Most people hate walking one block let alone 3 or 4. I would still hold out for the larger jumbotron if I’m the Cubs. I assume the larger the board the more ad revenue is their reasoning.

  • ruby2626

    So 10 or more extra night games. That puts extra cash in the Ricketts’ pockets for at least 2 reasons. More games in the night/weekend season ticket holder package, compare the average attendance day vs. night for non June, July, August months. Also more advertising revenue. Obviously night games substantially outdraw day games in viewers, more cash in renegotiating the WGN contract after 2014.

    I was hoping for at least 20 extra games, be nice to do stuff with my kids all day Saturday and have the Cubs to watch at night. I’m sure they’ll only have a small handful of Sat night games, why waste a night game when the park will sell out either way.

    • MichiganGoat

      I hoping or dreaming that increase to 50 games over the course of a couple years, this allows the neighborhood to get acclimated to the change. But that just makes too much sense.

      • Ron

        How many night games does the typical mlb (other than the cubs) play?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Low 50s, I believe.

        • ncsujuri

          If you go w/ the general practice of first two games of a series night games followed by a day game on ‘getaway day’ that gives you 2/3 of an 81 game home schedule or 54 and change.

    • Al

      Re: Sat Night games – no chance. The bars and restaurants in the area want day games on the weekends so they can be full of Cubs fans midday and full of Wrigleyville 20somethings and suburbanites in the evening. If the games are at night, then the cool kids get crowded out to Wicker or Lincoln Park…

  • Die hard

    The traffic increase down those narrow streets late at night by drunk drivers will be a sight unlike any other…. Glad I don’t live there

    • bbmoney

      Do you even like the Cubs? I don’t mind disagreements and different points of view. But I’ve seriously never seen you say anything positive on here. Begging the question. What’s the point?

      • Die hard

        I bleed cubby blue… What about you and for how many years?

        • MichiganGoat

          It’s okay everyone knows you are the die hard discontent of all Cub fans.

        • Cubbie Blues

          If you have been bleeding for years, you should really get that checked out.

  • cubchymyst

    Can’t way to see the whole plan unveiled and a better rendering of the video board.

  • Die hard

    Better question is how many parks are smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood?

    • Tom A.

      Maybe 2. That is why special !

  • Die hard

    Does increased police protection extend out a mile each way and include detectives and undercover cops and swat teams supported by helicopters and squad cars with paddy wagons in addition to overtime and double time on wknds? Devil in details

    • MichiganGoat

      Yes we are also getting Predator aliens for protection

      • Daniel

        You have aliens? We have a hulk…

        • Internet Random

          If you’re going to be watching Robert Downey Jr. movies, you really should go with Weird Science or Natural Born Killers.

  • http://Ehanauer.com Clark Addison

    Sounds like the Cubs are getting just about everything they asked for. They should. It’s their house and they are paying for it.

    Is there any other ballpark in the majors that isn’t the result of corporate welfare?

    • Die hard

      It’s their house but what about stay off my lawn?!

      • praying the cubs get ready to win

        Turn your sprinklers on

    • Pat

      Pac Bell

  • Die hard

    Let me get my head around this parking angle—- 42000 fans and 300 spots … Assuming max 6 to a car that’s 1800. …. Where do other 40000 park ?

    • MichiganGoat

      Hmmm where have the parked before, I guess they just teleported there. Keep um coming buddy I’m quite amused.

    • Tom A.

      Parking is not for game s much as Mr. Tunney likely needed it for his restaurants.


    • gutshot5820

      The parking garage is not primarily for Cubs games. It is a throw-in as a gift to the neighborhood and businesses nearby, that needs some extra parking spaces throughout the year.

    • Dude

      I guess you’ve never seen the parade that streams out of the Addison red line stop every 5ish minutes on a Cubs game day

      • Die hard

        Son I was first in that line when Mr Cub was a rookie….but then was 10-15000 game max and day only … 50 night games of 30-40000 is terrifying and 75% of those will not be on the EL and 50% of those will be legally drunk… does police protection include National Guard?

        • MichiganGoat

          Okay Mr Burns if only we had Dick Tidrow to protect us

          • DarthHater


        • ProfessorCub

          I’ve figured it out….Die hard is Tunney!

          • ProfessorCub

            …or Beth Murphy

            • Hansman1982

              Even though I’m not a fan of either of those two…no need to insult them like that.

        • http://www.sportsdanny.com Dan

          You like living in the neighborhood? I’m certain you like the high property values- if you don’t like the noise -MOVE!

  • Mind of a 5 year old

    Hehe, Brett said erection

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett


  • Die hard

    My point is—- the neighborhood is getting screwed and Tunney and the Mayor are providing the condoms…. business as usual for big business

  • Die hard

    OT—Papelborn was nasty tnite — hope Marmol took notes if he’s not going to start

  • JB88

    The parking garage isn’t hard to understand. The Triangle Building was originally supposed to have 400 parking spots. This is a compromise to address no parking due to no Triangle Building.

  • Cryinmybluecoolaid

    Hard to believe this might get done on Monday. Tuesday morning who will be the first to file a lawsuit to stop the rebuild, the Rooftops or the Lakeview residents?

  • lukers63

    Thanks for the last year of info Brett, I just discovered Cubbies Crib, so I have to bump BN out of my Cubs rotation (BCB, CC, espn chicago, pro sports daily cubs forum). Good Luck!

    • Daniel

      I just moved here from bcb about a year ago. No idea how you could think bcb is better. Content here kicks some serious ass. It’s like Brett actually THINKS. Not a very common commodity in today’s internet

      • Hansman1982

        Not sure why anyone would keep ESPN but boot BN.

        My guess, this is the same idiot er, i mean troll, that’s been lurking around here under a couple different names.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          You have a good sense, Hans.

          • DarthHater

            I stay here only because I’m stalking Hansman, 😛

        • ncsujuri

          Yeah, something definitely fishy about this commentary…ESPN Chicago, really!?!?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Good luck to you, spencer/myporche/whatever other name you come up with next time.

      • Hansman1982

        You mean later today?

  • STH Section 514 Row 3

    I think Lukers63 is trying to do some advertising for other sites. While I love any website with Cubs info, both CC and BCB front pages are sloppy and too busy in my personal opinion. They are good for further, deeper reading, since they are normally hours or even days behind Bleachernation, but the speed of reporting and ease of use of this site makes it much more appealing. Kudos Brett.

  • hawkcub

    One of the things Brett mentioned I found interesting. The RTO contract will not be extended as part of the deal . So I wonder if in 11 years the Cubs can add more signage then, to block them.

    • Hansman1982

      My guess is most of the restrictions wont actually get lifted after 2024 and the rooftops are put out of business.

  • http://Ehanauer.com Clark Addison

    By that time the Cubs will own most of the rooftop buildings.

  • http://Yes Dude

    Jackson with 2 strike outs tonight.

    • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

      That’s not bad. He usually averages 4 a game.

  • Hansman1982

    Wow, Wrigleys getting a jumbo tron (damn you auto correct) and there aren’t two peeps about it.

  • Boogens

    Brett, another outstanding job reporting this issue. BN is by far the best run Cubs blog.

    From the Sun-Times article you linked:
    “With Tunney’s support, rooftop clubs that cash in on their bird’s-eye view of Wrigley have countered with a plan to generate $17.9 million-a-year to bankroll the stadium renovation by putting seven digital signs on top of their buildings instead of inside the ballpark blocking their views.”

    If this was true and feasible, it seems that the RTO should just go ahead with their own signage and keep the profits for themselves. I believe that it’s esitmated that they currently generate revenues of $24 million annually and the signage would nearly double it. Now, the $17.9 million may be possibly impacted by the new in-park signage or jumbotron partially blocking the view of the rooftops. Even so, it’s very odd that they wouldn’t have done this for themselves before if it were possible to generate that kind of revenue. Seems like the RTOs were a little slow on the draw.

  • cubbiesOHcubbies

    I’m sure SOMEBODY here would know, but, I know the original plan was to renovate the clubhouse and player facilities after this season. Is the jumbotron also for this upcoming off season, or is this further down the road? Just wondering since i assume they would want it ASAP to start gaining the advertising dollars immediately. Thanks as always……..

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The JumboTron would be for the 2014 season, yes. Assuming no hold-ups.

      • cubbiesOHcubbies

        Thank you sir.

  • Brian

    If this is good for the Ricketts and Cubs, great, but I really wanted them to tell the city to shove it and begin anew, with a beautiful, retractable roof stadium!

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  • Hebner the Gravedigger

    It is odd that a politicized construction project 400+ miles away can be so important. I am sad to see Wrigley modified. I am happy that the Cubs will stay in Wrigley, so I may take my son there. I am ecstatic that additional revenue potentially will help the team win.

    • ncsujuri


      In my opinion, the modifications aren’t going to ‘change’ Wrigley as you know as much as ‘improve’ it on a day to day basis for the majority of the fans. The most drastic change will be the addition of a jumbotron but the widened promenade areas, the improvemetns to the exterior and the patio areas look seamless to me. The other areas you aren’t going to see but will certainly help in free agent recruiting (improved dugouts/clubhouse etc.)

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