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respect wrigleyToday at a presentation at the Chicago City Club, Chicago Cubs Chairman and Owner Tom Ricketts revealed the latest renovation plans, which will be submitted to the Chicago Planned Development process today. Included in those plans are the Cubs’ requirements for outfield signage, which was discussed this morning.

In his comments, Ricketts dropped a bit of a bomb, as tweeted by those in attendance: if the renovation plans, including the signage, are not approved, the Cubs will have to consider moving from Wrigley Field.

This is a very, very significant moment, because it’s the first time Ricketts has ever even acknowledged the possibility, however slight, of having to leave Wrigley Field. Indeed, Ricketts had previously, at every turn, gone out of his way to take that possibility completely off of the table.

To be clear, it is still extraordinarily unlikely, and I don’t think it’s any kind of sign that there is a fear that the approval process will be a problem. (Remember, the Cubs went through months of battling with the Mayor and the Alderman to craft this very plan, so there’s no real reason to believe it won’t eventually be approved.)

But the gauntlet has finally been thrown down to the constituencies that benefit from and surround Wrigley Field: if the Cubs don’t get what they need, they may finally have to move.

In other words, don’t hold this process up. Give the Cubs what they want.

UPDATE: In the breakout session with the media, Ricketts walked it back a little bit:

  • Dustin S

    Wasn’t expecting that much press, but the giant font headline on the Tribune main page (not just sports section, but main news section), is “Ricketts threatens to move Cubs”. The more I think about it, with the release of the jumbotron and RF sign drawings yesterday, I think his subtle threat to move today was very intentional and timed. They know they are pushing their things on blocking views, and this was a pre-emptive shot at the rooftops to try to limit their pushback.

  • forlines

    For what it’s worth, this is the best article outside of BN that i’ve read regarding T Ricks statements this morning.

    http://www.cubbiedoc.com/2013/05/ricketts-is-making-wrong-threat.html

  • Mike

    I would love for the Cubs to move somewhere where they’d be closer to me than Miller Park.

  • Die hard

    Baseball Tonight to talk about what Ricketts said in about 5 minutes– but do they ever show Cub highlights?– hardly

  • Cheryl

    It seems like we’re forgetting a few major points: (1) If Ricketts feels his hands are tied in terms of the city he’ll make a decision to move; (2) Despite the arguments pro and con for staying at Wrigley, Ricketts will make up his own mind on the cubs’ future.

  • Die hard

    On Baseball Tonight Barry Larkin almost burst into tears over Cubs leaving Wrigley… Maybe cause he hit a ton there… Problem with Ricketts is own worst enemy by whining in public.. Need a better and more forceful mouthpiece… Needs Dana Perino

  • Thomas Fletcher

    I believe the threat to move is real enough that the rooftop owners have no leverage at all. I hope that I speak for a majority of Cubs fans when I say I hope that the Cubs relocate… How about the revenue, payroll and future success of a franchise that is seating 48,000 and selling an additional 160 million in sponsorship revenues? The Yankees survived a move from the house the Babe built…. We can thrive outside of Wrigleyville. Go Cubs!!

  • Tom A.

    Oh, I think his comment is very real. There are half of the US states that do not have a MLB team. You don’t think e states would not embrace a team ?

    Want a list of ten large cities without a MLB team
    1. San Antonio (AA)
    2. Indianapolis (AAA)
    3. Jacksonville (AA)
    4. Columbus (AAA)
    5. Austin (AAA)
    6. Memphis (AAA)
    7. Charlotte (AAA)
    8. El Paso (independent)
    9. Louisville (AAA)
    10. Nashville (AAA)

    Seriously, it is very upsetting to fans like me to think the silly rooftop and bar owners, along with what appears to be a incompetent city administration can’t accept a deal for the owner of the Cubs to spend $500+ million dollars on renovating and improving Wrigley Field and surrounding area. I see no other motive than PURE GREED and no other justification than STUPIDITY. I really don’t want the Cubs to leave the City of Chicago. I really don’t think it would be the same to root for the San Antonio Cubs.

    With each passing week, I keep hoping for someone to step in and provide some intelligence to a solution. However, greed and stupidity are hard to overcome.

    Stealing from Counting Crows — “Don’t it always seem to go, That you don’t know what you’ve got Til its gone, They paved paradise, And put up a parking lot” Hope that Wrigley Field is not that future parking lot.

    • forlines

      I like your reply, but I do have to clarify that your quote is actually from Joni Mitchell.

  • Moe

    Let me just say this Tom Ricketts has become his own worst enemy because he is losing Cubs fans left and right. If the Cubs move to lets say Rosemont he will lose a whole lot of fans. As he is doing now. He stated he wants to build the team from the ground up but geez he is killing us. He wants to put that jumbotron/scoreboard to bring in revenue but doesnt he realize that if he puts a good time on the field he will make all that money and then some. A few years ago we were talking about having all this spare money coming off the books when ramirez zambrano dempster and others who left and he did nothing with it but to pocket it. I fear he will put that scoreboard up and renovate wrigley(which is great dont get ne wrong) but not if you continue to send out the same horrendous team.

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