respect wrigleyWe’ve reached Wrigley Field Renovation D-Day, once again. To recap: the Chicago Cubs want an agreement with the the City and Neighborhood allowing certain funding items (increased signage, a JumboTron, more night games, more concerts, and street fairs) in place before they’re willing to commit to start renovating Wrigley Field using the Ricketts Family’s own money. The first deadline for such an agreement, set by the Cubs, was last Monday. That deadline came and went without a deal, but the sides agreed they were making sufficient progress that they would keep talking, and set today as a new deadline. Today’s deadline has arrived, so … what’s up?

It looked like a deal was going to be a cinch today, but the threat of a rooftop lawsuit threw a wrench in the works. Will the Cubs/City/Neighborhood still announced a deal today? We’ll see, but the early returns don’t sound good.

Cubs Chairman and Owner Tom Ricketts talked to Dave Kaplan this morning, and, from the quotes Kaplan has tweeted so far, it certainly doesn’t seem like Ricketts is planning on any announcements today. Ricketts told Kaplan that he is willing to let the City put a prospective deal through the public process, saying, “We want to be at Wrigley, and hopefully it works out.” Ricketts added that, because the Cubs want to stay at Wrigley and are willing to give the City a chance to get a deal done, they aren’t going to explore any suburban options yet.

Kaplan added from his sources that Ricketts is willing to commit fully to staying at Wrigley Field, and letting the process run its course. But no deal is done, Kaplan’s sources say.

It sounds as though Ricketts wants to leave the deal in the City and Neighborhood’s hands to bless and finalize. Why would he do that? Well, maybe (1) he is confident that the deal will include what the Cubs’ want, and (2) he wants the deal to be City’s and Neighborhood’s baby so that the Cubs can avoid any liability it creates with respect to the rooftops. It doesn’t seem like that would threaten the finalization of a deal (indeed, the “public process” of approvals, votes, etc. might be all that remains to be done), but it also doesn’t sound like the finalization is coming quickly.

  • Mrcub1958

    Brett, thanks for your reporting on the issue.

    I don’t know if Ricketts’ patience with this is good or not. I think he’s stuck in this 1980s Wrigley mindset and is missing giving the fans a tremendous 21st century experience in a new location and passing up significant revenue to go with the TV rights. Don’t forget about the Cub fan, Tom!

  • CubFan Paul

    So Ricketts’ two radio appearances today, one in 45mins and another on espn 1000 later this morning will be a waste of time.

    He’s already doing morning news interviews in Chicago so we’ll see.

    • Brett

      Yeah, I was surprised to see how many he was going to give … if there’s no deal, what’s he going to talk about?

      • CubFan Paul

        he’s on wgn radio 720 right now with Kaplan. Its all fluff.

        Im very disappointed.

  • BPaoni


  • BluBlud

    I know Ricketts is trying to preserve Wrigley, but I think it has come to a point where it’s time to move. There is nothing in Wrigley left that is worth saving. Pack up, build a new stadium, and leave the Hell Hole. Let the rooftops wonder why their building are no longer worth shit when the Cubs are no longer playing across the street, and leave Rahm wondering how he squandered such a great political opportunity. Ricketts has all the power, and more important, he owns the product, so he should have the all the say so, in fact, he should be the only one with any say so in a Wrigley renovation. I don’t understand why Rahm, Tunney, or the rooftops are even needed. Listen to your true Cubs fan Ricketts. Pack up and move. It doesn’t matter where. Most true Cubs fans will follow you to the Moon, So I don’t think they will have a problem following you to the suburbs.

    • CubFan Paul

      Ricketts not only bought the team, but Wrigley Field also. Moving is not an option.

    • Westbound Willie

      So a couple of years ago ricketts bought WF and now you suggest he just abandon it? The cubs aren’t moving. Plain and simple.

      Please move on from your ignorant rants.


      • BluBlud

        It’s not an ignorant rant. Westbound, Willie, you seem to be the ignorant one. I am all for staying in Wrigley. If he can renovate it the way he wants with his own money, I would even prefer he stays in Wrigley. I just don’t think the leaches that are the rooftops and tunney, and the political crooks of Chicago are going to allow it without benefitting from it themselves, and that is completely wrong. I suggest moving so that Ricketts, and only Ricketts, can benefit from his product, which is the way it should be. He should not have to go through this just to renovate his own stadium.

        • YourResidentJag

          And then there’s all those night games that would come via a new stadium. So, it’s not just about rooftop owners but the ridiculousness of Wrigleyville bar and restaurant owners.

        • Westbound Willie

          The cubs are not moving, period. To suggest otherwise is ignorant.

          Simple as that.

          • BluBlud

            To suggest that someone’s opinion on a subject is ignorant is ignorant. Now, if I had said that the Cubs will move, and that I was 100% percent certain that they would move, that may be ignorant. To state that it’s my opinion that they should move so they no longer have to deal with the leaches is an opinion of mine. It holds no water or weight in the negotiations.


      • Kev

        The fact that Ricketts bought Wrigley doesn’t mean that he should be locked in there forever. That makes no sense whatsoever. If moving the club to, say, Rosemont, would be projected to earn the club more money long-term than they would’ve taken in at Wrigley, it would definitely be a sound financial move. Not only that, Ricketts could SELL Wrigley and make a decent chunk of that money back.

  • gutshot5820

    Talk about having no CREDIBILITY. Two deadlines passed and no action taken. Tom Ricketts has to be one of the worst negotiating billionaire ever. He went from asking the city for 300M to begging the neighborhood and city to let him spend 500M of his own money. Now two fake deadlines. How can anyone take him seriously anymore. No wonder he is getting his butt kicked.

    • hansman1982

      Meh, deadlines get extended during negotiations all the time. Generally, they are put there so both sides have a date to work towards. If you are actively talking and everyone is being amicable, there is no sense in holding fast to a soft deadline.

    • KingWallimo

      The deadlines aren’t really deadlines, they’re just guidelines for when they want to shoot for negotiations get done. Look at the whole Glendale + Coyotes ordeal in the NHL, and how that ultimately affected Shane Doan in the offseason. Passing deadlines are a non-factor.

    • Tom A.

      I actually think Mr. Ricketts and the Cubs may have played this brilliantly. If the Cubs are going to move from Wrigley Field, they will need to have demonstrated that they tried everything to get a deal to work. It appears that they indeed have tried and even gave now two and counting deadline extensions.

      Anyone that reads my posts knows that I do not want the Cubs to move from Wrigley Field. It would cut at the core of our traditions, our City life (unless the move is to another City location) and the wonderful Wrigleyville neighborhood. Those things would disappear and be born again somewhere new. You also know that I am not a fan of the rooftops. They really are not at all attractive to the skyline, they truly are stealing the Cubs product and they appear to have tied up these negotiations with their endless greed.

      If this deadline extends, I now am worried that they may move.

      • Crazyhorse

        And Move they Should. It seems for the past 40 years The Cubs and Wrigley field coexisted with the residential neighborhood just fine. It seems this owner can not do this simple yet self induce complex relationship.

        A compromise should have been in place by now. The Cubs are at fault. If Ricketts feels he needs to go media to sell his tears he is wasting his time.

        What is the hold up? Did not Chicago agree to increase its night games and concert dates. If its over the rooftops – then he is one big dummy. Dont lose the war over one simple battle. The rooftops contracts will vanish in a few years and he then can axe them out of existance.

        • Tom A.

          I don’t know about you, but if I was going to put $500 million of my money into something, I would want to make sure that I was not going to be stopped by others like the RTOs (with their want a bigger share type lawsuits and injunctions). Every press release of the RTOs seems to be a threat of such.

  • Rich

    I dont think he is a bad negotiator. Let the process play out. If he gets 1 additional night game and no additional signage, then re-post.
    I heard the interview today, it seems that they are making progress and ironing out more.
    This is not just we want 10 more night games. This is a large process. Wait and see .

  • Rich

    I would also say that moving “IS” an option. I would watch the Cubs some other place.
    They can turn Wrigley into condos or have monster truck rallies for all I care. I don;t think that Ricketts wants to move the team.

  • North Side Irish

    I don’t see moving as a viable threat, but I do think the idea of playing a season in Milwaukee or on the south side is. Half of those rooftops would be out of business if they lost a season’s worth of revenues. I think that is the threat the Cubs need to be playing up. If we cant get started on time, we won’t be able to finish in time for the Cubs 100th season. That should be the real deadline for finishing the renovations.

    I’m off to enjoy Wrigley as she is…

  • Rich

    yes..I like the idea..of getting the reno’s done sooner…close Wrigley for a season ..
    and play elsewhere….

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  • Brian

    All things would be considered including moving. The value of Wrigly is in the fact that the team plays there. Sentiments should hold no real value. The land and building value is X because of it and will be Y, if they dont’. What is X and Y?, is it 1000’s, millions or hundereds of millions? A new stadium could essentially be worth times more, than the money for improvements will be.

  • Kevin

    Wrigley Field will never be “The Friendly Confines” ever again. Too much greed and anger on both sides and it’s causing fear in people’s minds. No longer a fan friendly environment and certainly not a place to take your kids.

    • YourResidentJag

      And really wasn’t for years now, but then again if you ask people from Chicago, neither is Soldier Field with the tailgaiting.

    • Voice of Reason

      The greed and anger is causing fear in people’s minds?

      Did you stay up all night thinking of that doozie?

      Why does this constantly have to be discussed? I guess this would be the place to do it, however.

      The Cubs will absolutely, without question, NOT LEAVE WRIGLEY FIELD!

      Wrigley Field is just as important as owning the Cubs franchise — maybe more!! The Rickets understand this because they are business people. They also understand the art of negotiation. The Cubs are asking for the sun and the moon… the Rickets know they won’t get everything they ask for, but they will certainly try… because they are business owners!!!!!!! The Rickets will meet somewhere in the middle with the city.

      • Kevin


    • Kev

      This comment reads like yoda wrote it.

  • Cheryl

    Within a week Ricketts should start negotiating to play games in the 2014 season elsewhere. That doesn’t mean the renovation will start and it doesn’t mean he will move them but it will give all concerned a taste of what it would be like not having the cubs at Wrigley. That way te RTO can protect what they see as their rights to an unobstructed view of Wrigley Fild – an empty stadium with no cubs there and the mayor can see the tax rvenues from Wrigley dip to zero.

  • Curt

    I guess I don’t understand why the rooftop owners are the sticking point now , when the city and the cubs cut them out of the process , I would have thought that if both parties were cutting another out that they would be pretty sure of the legal
    standing of that agreement between the cubs and the rto and if not what did they think was going to happen .

    • Voice of Reason

      There is a contract between the Cubs and the rooftop owners about allowing them unrestricted views of the game in exchange for revenue sharing.

      I can certainly see the rooftop owners suing the Cubs for breech of contract if they move forward with the scoreboard and any other renovations that would block views.

      • hansman1982

        It has also been reported the contract has clauses in it to allow the Cubs to update the stadium and restrict views.

        If it said “unrestricted views”, there is a good chance that one of the rooftoppers would have leaked the contract already.

  • Colocubfan

    I would personally vote to move! Between the financial headaches with the city and neighborhood, combined with the problems with Wrigley Field itself, I really don’t see the big downside to moving. Cub fans will follow the Cubs, regardless of which suburb they’re in.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    • Voice of Reason

      The Cubs lost over 100 games last year yet they still out drew the Chicago White Sox who made a run at the division title last year.

      Here is the question:

      Did the fans go to see the Cubs or did they go because of Wrigley Field?

      Here is the answer:

      Wrigley Field

      This is exactly why the Cubs will not leave Wrigley Field! It’s just as important as owning the Cubs franchise. The Rickets family would not buy the Cubs without Wrigley Field being included.

      I don’t know what other proof people need.

      I don’t like Wrigley Field for several reasons, but I am a Cub fan and I do support the team. That said… leaving Wrigley Field is not an option for the Rickets family!

  • DarthHater


    I have a suggestion for the site. Change the name from “Bleacher Nation” to “Dead Horse Dominion.” 😉

  • cubzforlife

    At eight this morning in pouring rain stood five thousand? Die hards waiting to see their beloved Cubs. Like a dumbass I knew today was the opener but drove by on my way to work. Wrigley is definitely part of the attraction, it is and will always be a safe and nurturing place for families. I agree Brett that Ricketts is going to let the city be the bad guy with the rooftops. Ricketts is a cool dude, show’s no emotion other then his love for the Cubs. While others criticize him I admire the way he rolls.

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