3/13 Cubs look for resolution re: Wrigley
On Wednesday, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts and other team officials took the media on a tour of the new Spring Training facility, which will be up and running in 2014. In May, the Cubs will unveil a new academy in the Dominican Republic. The last hurdle is the $300 million renovation plan for Wrigley Field, projected to take five years. However, Ricketts and the city of Chicago are still trying to resolve some matters.
“There’s a handful of issues left and we’re working them out with the alderman and working them out with [Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel],” Ricketts said. “If we’re going to be in the ground in October, we have to get some resolution in the next few weeks.”
The Wrigley Field plan will be done in stages, and the hope was to begin after the 2013 season.
“It’s an incredible project for the city [of Chicago] in terms of the number of jobs we create — the 2,100 jobs we create — the hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity, the tax dollars created, and of course, just the general economic activity that comes with tourist coming to Wrigley,” Ricketts said. “The incentives are there. I think we’ll get there.”
Ricketts, who unveiled the renovation plan at the Cubs Convention in January, met recently with Emanuel to go over some of the issues. Among the items on the Cubs’ wish list is to add advertising in the ballpark and increase the number of night games. The hope is to have all matters resolved by Opening Day, April 1.
“Before we green light the project, we want to know what the deal is,” Ricketts said. “What we said in January was that we’ll pay for the project, but we also need to have control of our ballpark and that’s still our position.”
— Carrie Muskat