After a series of updates that appeared to confirm the Cubs’ repeated promise to start work on the renovation of Wrigley Field after the season ends, regardless of a rooftop lawsuit against the City and a possible federal tax credit issue, it really does look like it’s going to happen. For realsies.
In a Sun-Times article focused on comments from the Mayor about the renovation starting soon (worth reading), Cubs spokesperson Julian Green was clear:
“For the last several years, we’ve had the threat of litigation hanging over our heads. We believe the economic return and the jobs this project will provide outweighs the threat of a lawsuit. That’s why we’re getting started. Our fans and players have waited long enough.”
So much yes. I’m all for responsible business planning, but we’ve reached that point. Once again, good on the Ricketts Family and on the Cubs for plowing ahead, even if every single thing is not yet perfectly aligned.
Speaking of which, Green reiterated that the JumboTron in left field will be up for the 2015 season, as well as the Budweiser script sign in right field, and implied that the Cubs are still in the process of securing sponsors for the other five additional outfield signs recently approved by the Landmarks Commission (one of which is a second video board in right field). If the right partnership comes along during the offseason, Green said, the Cubs can move quickly to get the signage in place.
Aside: I find that posture interesting given the rooftops’ last minute offer to accept those original two signs, just before the Landmarks Commission approved a slate of seven signs. It could be that the Cubs simply need more time to get the right partners for the five additional signs (they’ve had a year less time to find sponsors than they have had for the original two signs), or it could be that they are protecting themselves just in case that rooftop/city lawsuit goes somewhere ugly, or in case negotiations with the rooftops continue (which I suspect they will at some point, if they aren’t already (purchasing some of the rooftop buildings still strikes me as the best outcome, given that it would not only resolve these issues, but would also allow the Cubs to “expand” the Wrigley footprint)).