respect wrigleyChicago Cubs Chairman and Owner Tom Ricketts has been making a round of media stops this morning, as you’d expect for the home opener. As you’d also expect, a heavy focus of the interviews has been the status of discussions with the City/Neighborhood/rooftops on a funding deal to get the revovation, itself, underway.

As expected, based on Dave Kaplan’s conversation with Ricketts this morning, there isn’t much to update. By way of example, here are the notes I jotted down while listening to Ricketts’ interview on the Score this morning (“I’s” and “We’s” are Ricketts speaking, paraphrasing where appropriate):

  • We’ve all worked very hard through the last few days, and we’re committed to saving Wrigley Field, and excited to keep the ball rolling.
  • We think it’s the right thing to stay at Wrigley Field. There’s a solution here, and we’re committed to getting it done.
  • Completely avoids question about a drop dead date by which a deal has to be done for getting started in the offseason.
  • Spoke positively of the Mayor and Alderman Tunney.
  • Ricketts simply doesn’t want to talk about any particulars of the deal. It’s pretty clear. (But it’s not like it sounds like there are problems.)
  • The focus has always been Wrigley. The Ricketts Family ownership will be defined by whether the team wins. Everything we do has to be focused on doing that. We also have a treasure of a ballpark, which is a special piece of Chicago and baseball history. That’s important to us, too.
  • We’re sensitive to the rooftops’ interests, and I think we’ll get through this. People jump to conclusions because they don’t have all the information  Once we’re able to discuss it, I think folks will see we’ve been sensitive and thoughtful.
  • There’s a public process that is required in all of this, and hopefully we’ll get it going soon.
  • We have a great business organization, too. Generating more revenue to get more revenue on the field is something that helps us win. There’s a lot, unfortunately, on the business side we can’t discuss because we are not allowed by MLB or by the seller agreement.

The conclusion? Well, this is a whole lot of nothing, which suggests things really are looking good, even if there’s nothing official to announce just yet. To my ear, Ricketts never even planted a single, subtle seed of doubt about eventually getting the deal done. I wonder if he’s been cautioned not to say anything about anything, and if that penultimate bullet there is the key one. Maybe things are essentially agreed upon (subject to some additional wrangling with the rooftops), but because of the formal process required – community approvals, City Council vote, etc. – Ricketts isn’t permitted to say much of anything.

Thus, we get a lot of fluff. Given that Ricketts knew he was going to be blasted by renovation questions today, and that he clearly had prepared answers that had no real substance to them, I suspect things really are still moving in a positive direction. There were no threats, no discussion of a deadline, and nothing but positivity. That doesn’t mean there aren’t still issues to deal with, but it didn’t have even the whiff of “things might fall apart and we might not get to renovate Wrigley the way we want.” Hopefully that means there are mere i’s to dot and t’s to cross.

I suspect we’ll hear plenty more about this as the week goes on … like it or lump it.

  • chrisfchi

    We’re sensitive to the rooftops’ interests, and I think we’ll get through this. People jump to conclusions because they don’t have all the information.

    Sounds like the RTO have been left in the dark.

  • Leo L

    I was walking by a tv and tom was on the show. not sure what the show was. some local chicago tv show talk show? But they asked him about the renovations. he said the mayor office was very helpful and they are making progress with the alderman. not exact quote but pretty much what he said.

    • Brett

      He was on CBS this morning, and, yeah, that was the gist: things going well, everyone happy and helpful.

  • MichiganGoat

    All I can think of is this: “When will then be Now?” “Soon”

    Hey Darth wanna Meme this?

    • Featherstone


      • Featherstone

        Doesnt appear that worked. How do I add images? I tried using the “click here to add images button” and then adding the link.

        • Bob Nightengale

          You have to make sure you inserted a link to the actual image file and not just a link to a page on which the image file appears. Fixing that often fixes the problem. But sometimes, particular images just don’t work for whatever reason.
          —Darth the Meme Monger 😉

          • DarthHater

            Oops. Forgot to change my name back. Now Nightengale can sue me! 😛

            • BluBlud

              I always knew you were biPolar

              • DarthHater

                No no. I’m polymorphously perverse. 😀

                • BluBlud

                  I won’t even bother to look that up. I just remain ignorant, as Westbound Willie call me earlier. :>

                  • BluBlud

                    Damnit, can’t even do a smiley face right. :)

          • hansman1982

            make sure the link you are posting ends in an image file extension:

            .jpg or .gif or something along those lines.

    • Cubbie Blues
    • MichiganGoat


    • DarthHater


      • Featherstone


  • Rice Cube

    I’m glad you properly sourced everything, Brett 😉

  • Mike

    Maybe I’m just being a hater, but would it shock anyone to learn that Jerry Reinsdorf has had something to do with f’ing this whole thing up? I’m trying to figure out who would benefit from the Cubs physically not playing in Chicago and it would be that con artist.

    • JulioZuleta

      Speaking of the Sox, wow, has anyone else seen their attendance so far? I know April games are a tough draw, but they’ve been offering $7 tickets and half price parking, and I’d be willing to bet that they’ve been 60% empty so far. I kind of love it…

      • HackAttack

        39K, 14, 15, 15, 22, 19 = 124,742

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Talked to my guy at a downtown law firm, he does not share your enthusiasm. He continues to say this is not going to end well. Very impressed with how the Cubs have positioned themselves, we will pay for everything, build a new parking garage, pay for security, etc. What, and we still can’t get what we want, and we are going to get sued? What are we supposed to do? Problem is, there just are not solutions for compromise, and their are too many factions involved, not willing to compromise. Example, a new group came out this weekend, not wanting the garage, they want bike and mass transit.
    Apparently Rahm is in a state of panic, why he got involved personally, he realizes this will kill his political career in Chicago if this falls apart and he becomes the mayor that lost the Cubs.

  • Cubbie Blues

    “Once we’re able to discuss it, I think folks will see we’ve been sensitive and thoughtful.”
    I wish they were less sensitive and thoughtful.

  • hansman1982

    Meh, a deal that is on the border of falling through after it appears there was an agreement? That never happens.

    My guess is that today comes and goes without much more of a peep and then a “surprise” announcment tomorrow late morning.