4/15 Ricketts: If approved, Cubs will win

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts unveiled a $500 million plan for the renovation of Wrigley Field, which includes a video scoreboard in left field as well as significant improvements to the Wrigleyville community. The Cubs and the city of Chicago reached agreement on the proposal, which has been reviewed in community meetings over the past few weeks, and will continue to be discussed. The Cubs must formally submit plan development designs to the city for more public hearings before it is finalized, and that could be completed within the next few weeks.

“If this plan is approved, we will win the World Series for our fans and our city,” Ricketts said.

Ricketts called Monday a “milestone” for the Cubs. The team first revealed its five-year renovation plan at the Cubs Convention in January. No public dollars will be needed to save the 99-year-old ballpark. The Ricketts will pay $300 million to renove Wrigley over five offseasons, and spend another $200 million on a hotel/retail complex at Clark and Addison Streets where the McDonald’s restaurant now exists.

“I always believed, and I still believe, it’s in everyone’s best interest to do what’s right for Wrigley Field, not only economically,” Ricketts said during a news conference on the ballpark’s concourse. “It’s a special place and has a special role in baseball history.”

Besides being home to the Cubs, Wrigley Field also is the third largest tourist attraction in Illinois and provides a huge economic boost to the city of Chicago.

One of the top priorities is to renovate the home clubhouse. Players at other ballparks have access to batting cages during games; the Cubs’ batting cages are under the bleachers and players instead use a batting tee in the clubhouse and hit into a net.

“We don’t want to be telling our players this is a first class organization and give them second-rate facilities,” Ricketts said. “It’s not just how it looks and how it feels but how it works. We’d like to get batting cages built, better training facilities built. The ability to do that will be subject to how quickly the process moves.”

The additional revenue generated from a new video scoreboard, advertising, etc., will be channeled into the baseball operations budget.

“It’s my responsibility to generate as much revenue as I can to give to the guys in the baseball organization so they can put that back on the field to make us more competitive,” Ricketts said. “This is a big step in that direction.”

– Carrie Muskat

5 Comments

Too late for this ex Cub fan. I have been a loyal fan for over 40 years of the Cubs. After yesterday’s less than little league performance, I resign my fan status. When the Cubs can field a professional team, they will deserve respect. What do they offer? So far this year we have a ‘star’ shortstop who throws away games, closers who are openers, and so many wild pitches in one inning that the term wild seems too mild.
Management, you have taken us for granted for too long. Good bye Cubs. And no regrets in leaving.

o i agree im not going to a cub game till i know the cubs care about fielding a quality ML roster…. you want to build the farm? Then you just need to draft better NOT throw seasons to get top picks. Just tired of it…. no reason we can’t splurge on a few guys in the open market…. as long as we get the guys we want/need. I also think its a bunch of crap that the cubs feel trapped by Wrigley Field… there is no reason its a MUST to stay in Wrigley field. Its OLD… thats why its historic… its not that we have won a WS there or had some many great seasons in it…. we haven’t done any of those things. But yet Tiger Stadium can be demo’d and rebuilt and their fans LOVE it…. Yankee stadium GONE…and their fans love it! Even with it costing them taxpayer money. Its just a bunch of crap this organization feeds the media to tell the fans.

IF you are “done with the Cubs” than why are you on their web-site? Freakin morons’!!!

well usually a “quoted” comment is actually said… no one here said “done with the cubs”……. who’s the freaking moron now? I believe that would be you botard

Bye colorado excub fan, have a nice life. I doubt you will be missed, not by me anyway.

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