All recent signals have pointed to no serious work at Wrigley Field this offseason, despite the existence of an agreement with the Mayor to proceed with a $500 million renovation and development plan, and City Council approval of the same. Not only did the grinding Chicago political process take its toll on the Cubs’ preferred timetable for construction (well, back-up to a back-up timetable), but an apparent inability to get the rooftops to agree not to sue when the renovation begins has things at a standstill.
The justifiability of any such holdups notwithstanding, the fact remains that the vastly improved clubhouse and player facilities, long-targeted for 2014, will not be in place for next season.
That comes from President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein (via Patrick Mooney), who says that his understanding at this time is that the only work to be done this offseason involves the infrastructure of the park. That work will be done so that the Cubs can be in position to do the kinds of things they want to do – like, the player facilities – next year. Epstein added to Mooney, “assuming all the dreaded t’s get crossed and the i’s get dotted.” Even a year out, we all now know that such an assumption would be completely unreasonable.
As for the infrastructure work, I do believe the Cubs have been doing $10 million worth of routine work each year just to keep the park functional. What is being done this offseason might not be much more, which is to say that the timeline for the renovation’s completion has probably been pushed back a year, regardless of what the Cubs are able to accomplish this offseason.
Had things gone as the Cubs had hoped/planned, work on the renovation would have started today. I guess it wouldn’t be the Cubs if there weren’t always next year.
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