That was fast.
Just a couple days after the Chicago Cubs suggested they might proceed in pairing up with a corporate sponsor for their yet-to-be-constructed see-through sign in right field, despite the lack of an agreement with the rooftops not to sue if such a sign is put up, the Cubs have their partner. And it’s an old partner, according to a Crain’s report: Budweiser.
The Cubs have a long-standing relationship with Anheuser-Busch, and Crain’s is reporting that the relationship is not only being extended to the right field sign, but also to new advertising that will be placed in the plaza and hotel being constructed to the west of the ballpark.
You can read more about the partnership in Danny Ecker’s report, but the good news is that the Cubs are proceeding as if the right field sign – not to mention the external ballpark construction – is going to proceed at some point in the near future.
Whether this is indicative of progress with the rooftops or merely a shot across the bow (or neither, and it’s just the Cubs getting their ducks in a row for whenever the sign does go up) remains to be seen. It’s entirely possible that the Cubs have had Budweiser in mind for the sign for a very long time – a complicated agreement like this takes time to work out – and are just now coming forward with the information, possibly for strategic reasons.
The Cubs’ perspective since City Council approved the Wrigley renovation plan has been that they have a right to erect these outfield signs (revenue generators), but they aren’t going to start the serious construction work (money spending) until they know that the rooftops will not sue. Putting up the Budweiser sign for the 2014 season, and letting the rooftop chips fall where they may, now seems like a legitimate possibility.
As for the larger sign – the video board – in left field, that doesn’t appear to be a realistic possibility for the 2014 season at this point.