Results tagged ‘ Chicago ’

1/25 Public memorial for Banks at Daley Plaza

Fans can pay their respects to Ernie Banks starting Wednesday at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago. The Cubs and the city of Chicago announced that the bronze statue of Banks, which had been at Wrigley Field, will be installed in the downtown outdoor plaza from Wednesday morning until Saturday.

Banks passed away Friday at the age of 83.

The statue of Banks had been removed from Wrigley Field when renovation work began on the 100-year-old ballpark in October and was in storage in Michigan.

“Ernie Banks’ legacy extends far beyond his Hall of Fame stats,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “He was beloved by generations of people for the way he played on the field and -– more importantly -– for the kind and warm person he was off the field. We are bringing Ernie’s statue to Daley Plaza to honor not just one of the best ballplayers of all time, but a great man who made our city proud from the day we first met him in 1953.”

The Cubs also plan to celebrate Banks’ life in-season, and will announce details about that later. The Cubs players are expected to wear patches on their uniforms to honor the Hall of Famer, who would’ve celebrated his 84th birthday next Saturday. Banks died of a heart attack, attorney Mark Bogen said Sunday. Bogen spoke for Banks’ wife, Liz, at a news conference on Sunday.

“Ernie Banks was a wonderful husband, a great father and grandfather,” Bogen said, reading from a statement. “People have called Ernie Banks the ambassador of baseball, but in reality, he was the ambassador for humanity.”

Bogen noted that Banks “loved people and wanted to hear their stories, their lives, and not talk about his. Instead of talking about baseball, he would talk about life.”

Bogen said Banks was a chaplain and had presided over pitcher Sean Marshall’s wedding. Banks also cared about the troops and participated in USO programs, advocated for a float in the Chicago Gay Rights parade, and worked with Special Olympics.

“Ernie Banks was a kind, loving, positive man who cared about people,” Bogen said. “One of his favorite quotes was, ‘Life is a song, sing it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a sacrifice, offer it. Life is love, enjoy it now.”

The Banks family has created a Facebook page called “Ernie Banks Remembered” for fans to celebrate his life.

Funeral arrangements were being finalized, Bogen said.

— Carrie Muskat

4/15 Cubs, city reach agreement

The Cubs and the city of Chicago have reached an agreement on a $500 million renovation plan for Wrigley Field, which includes the addition of a video scoreboard in left field, more night games and improvements to the Wrigleyville community. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts was to meet with the media at 11 a.m. CT Monday to discuss the proposal.

“We are excited about moving forward with the approval process,” Ricketts said in a statement. “Under the leadership of Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel and [Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th Ward], we believe the Cubs proposal will help us invest in Wrigley Field and the Lakeview community. We are anxious to work with our community as we seek the approvals required to move the project forward.”

No public dollars will be needed for the Wrigley Field renovation project. If approved, the Cubs say the proposal would create 2,100 new jobs and generate hundreds of millions in new tax revenue for the city, state and county. The jobs include 800 construction jobs and 1,300 permanent jobs, and this would be among the biggest investments currently underway in the city of Chicago.

All designs and construction are subject to a planned development process. The Cubs say community participation and input to this point has been helpful on night games, ballpark design, plaza and hotel. There will be public hearings on the proposal.

* According to the Cubs, the rooftop views will be largely preserved. The Cubs have agreed to install only two signs in the outfield -– a video scoreboard in left field and a sign in right field. This is far less than the team’s original desire for seven signs to help offset the cost of ballpark restoration. Signs will be placed in a manner to limit impact on rooftops.

* If approved, the Cubs would play 40 night baseball games, up from the current 30. If Major League Baseball or its national television contract requires the Cubs to play more than five home night games in any season, such games will be authorized by special ordinance and will not count against the 40-game limit or require additional cost to Cubs. This does not include playoffs, the All-Star Game, events outside the baseball season, events when fewer than 15,000 are expected to attend, games rescheduled because of weather or other cause, or other events excluded under the current ordinance, which will be allowed as well. No Saturday or Sunday night games will be played unless MLB schedules them for national TV purposes.

There is a special ordinance for concerts (maximum of four), with no additional cost to the Cubs. These do not count as a night game, and are permitted on weekends. Anything beyond four concerts will count as a night game.

The Cubs also will be able to play six Friday games, starting at 3:05 p.m. CT. Currently, they are not able to play any at that time, which makes it difficult for the team coming back from road trips.

Under the plan, the Cubs will have the flexibility to schedule smaller events in-season and to schedule off-season events at Wrigley Field without sacrificing a night game or incurring additional cost.

* The Cubs want to install a 6,000 square foot videoboard in left field, and the team will choose the location with the goal to have minimal impact on the rooftops, which surround the ballpark, and with whom the Cubs have an agreement. The videoboard may be further cantilevered over the public street to help further minimize impact on rooftops.

There also will be one sign in right field of 1,000 square feet in the style of the existing Toyota sign now in left. The Cubs will choose the location with the goal is to again have minimal impact on the rooftops.

* The city of Chicago has agreed to vacate the sidewalk and one street lane on Waveland Avenue (from Sheffield to Clark), at no cost to the Cubs, which will be incorporated into the ballpark, subject to a requirement to maintain eight feet of sidewalk. This will allow the left field video board to be moved further north, thus minimizing the sightline impact on rooftops. It also increases the open space on the plaza by moving the office building further North.

The city also will vacate the sidewalk on Sheffield Avenue (from Addison to Waveland), at no cost to the Cubs, which will be incorporated into the ballpark, subject to a requirement to maintain eight feet of sidewalk.

* The Cubs will add a new 14,000 square foot, two-story Captain Morgan Club on Addison Street with a merchandise store and space for visitors’ clubhouse, to replace the existing street-level restaurant.

* New additions to the ballpark in left field and right field corners will allow more flexible space for fans, including connection points to bleachers and grandstands at the height of current bleachers. The right field addition will also include a ground floor restaurant opening (an expanded version of the Sheffield Grill) onto Sheffield Avenue.

The Cubs also will be able to use Sheffield Avenue for weekend home games between Memorial Day and Labor Day beginning two hours before the game and ending at the end of the second inning.

— Carrie Muskat

4/5 Wrigley plan

The Cubs and Chicago city officials are expected to finalize an agreement that will allow the team to proceed with its renovation plan of Wrigley Field. The Chicago Sun-Times reported the deal will include a video scoreboard in left field and more signage in the ballpark that could “minimally” impact a few of the rooftop owners. The Cubs also were expected to add more game-day security and build a new parking facility. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will reportedly remove the limit on night games, currently set at 30 a year, and allow “40 or more,” according to the report. The Cubs also would be able to have some 3:05 p.m. CT starts. Details on the deal were being finalized.

— Carrie Muskat

11/5 Meet DeJesus & help fight ALS

Cubs outfielder David DeJesus and his wife Kim will be the celebrity hosts of “Bite Nite” next Monday, Nov. 12, to benefit the ALS Association of Greater Chicago Chapter. The two will join 10 of Chicago’s top chefs, who will showcase tasting-size portions of their cuisine. The event also will feature a specialty vodka bar and silent art auction. Tickets are $75 for the fundraiser, to be held at Kendall College, 900 N. North Branch Street, Chicago, IL, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. CT. The ALS Association of Greater Chicago Chapter supports research, advocacy, awareness, community and local care services for those affected by amyotrophic lateral scleroris, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Kim’s high school friend was diagnosed with ALS, which motivated the couple to raise money and awareness. In July, they combined to lead a drive for ALS Day at Wrigley Field, and raised more than $28,000 for the ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter.

For more information on “Bite Nite,” go to, or call (312) 932-0000.

— Carrie Muskat