Results tagged ‘ Wrigley Field ’
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel supports the Cubs’ efforts to pay for renovations to Wrigley Field. During a news conference at Harold Washington College Wednesday, Emanuel was asked about the proposal, unveiled at the Cubs Convention.
“When I first started this discussion, the Cubs wanted $200 million in taxpayer dollars,” Emanuel told reporters. “I said, ‘No.’ Then they said, ‘We’d like $150 million taxpayer dollars,’ and I said, ‘No.’ Then they asked if they could have $100 million in taxpayer subsidies, and I said, ‘No.’ Then, they asked about $55 million in taxpayer subsidies. I said, ‘No.’ The good news is after 15 months, they’ve heard the word, ‘No.’
“So, we’re at a point where there will be no taxpayer subsidies for a private entity,” Emanuel said. “That said, Wrigley is important to the neighborhood and to the city — or at least a part of the city that likes to go there — and I want to ensure that it continues that kind of important role that it plays in the North Side, which is why I’m also pleased that they’re also putting a hotel up. So, I asked all the parties involved to finish this up.”
Will the city give the Cubs the go ahead to do what they want? Emanuel would only say: “We all have a stake in getting it done. It is not done until all the parts fall in place. There are other things that are necessary to do that. There are 1,200 jobs at stake in buliding and refurbishing Wrigley. But, I want to be clear, I said from the beginning and now it’s absolutely clear and underscored — there will be no taxpayer subsidy in the refurbishing of Wrigley. But, all the parties have a role to play to see it through to the end, and I intent to help do that.”
The Cubs are willing to pay $300 million in renovation plans, to be done over five offseasons, but want the city to let the team add more advertising signage, have more night games, and be able to close off Sheffield avenue on weekends.
– Carrie Muskat
There’s a photo gallery up on Cubs.com with illustrations of the proposed renovations. Here’s a link:
Hope that works.
The Cubs Saturday revealed a $300 million plan to restore Wrigley Field, which the Ricketts family is prepared to pay for. The plan will take five offseasons, and the Cubs will not have to play any of their games at another ballpark. The items on the long to do list include remodeling the home and visitor’s clubhouse, adding new batting cages that will be accessible in-game. The entire upper deck will have the wooden roof removed and new seating platforms will be installed. New concrete will be poured into the lower seating bowl. More restrooms will be added, more concessions stands, more restaurants. The landmark features will be not be changed.
The Cubs are working with architectural firms that have worked on Camden Yards, the Rose Bowl and Fenway Park. There will be a push to add some decorative touches that were on Wrigley Field when it was first built in 1914, such as ornamental metal work.
The Cubs asked fans about what they felt needed to be improved at Wrigley, what made it special, what was sacred, and responded via surveys. For example, 80 percent of fans surveyed said they liked the new LED scoreboard in right field. There are plans to add another in front of the left field bleachers. There also has been talk about adding a video scoreboard, but that has not been finalized.
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said the current home clubhouse is 50 percent smaller than what most Major League teams, and they want to provide a first class setting.
The changes will begin after the 2013 season with the home clubhouse and lower left field area and the upper level in right. The changes will eventually reduce the seating capacity by 70 seats.
We’ll have drawings and more details later today on Cubs.com
– Carrie Muskat
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts says the team needs more flexibility in order to increase income sources and do the renovations it wants to do at Wrigley Field. At the Cubs Convention on Saturday, Ricketts said the team needs some relief from some of the restrictions placed on it by the city, including the landmark status.
“Right now we’re looking at other alternatives and not looking at the amusement tax [as a revenue source],” Ricketts said. “We’re trying to find other ways to help us advance the renovations and move forward.”
The Ricketts family feels it could take care of the renovations on its own if restrictions were removed.
“Let us go about doing our business and we’ll take care of ourselves,” Ricketts said. “We want to get the project rolling. It’s a big econ developmebt for the city, it’s a lot of jobs, it’s something everyone should have an incentive to get done.”
Specific changes to the ballpark were to be discussed at a later session.
– Carrie Muskat
The Ricketts family, owners of the Cubs, have reportedly signed an agreement to build a hotel across from Wrigley Field on the northwest corner of Clark and Addison streets. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. announced Thursday that it will develop a boutique hotel affiliated with the Sheraton brand and the exterior design will fit within the current Wrigleyville neighborhood landscape and community.
The hotel would be built on the land that currently houses a McDonald’s restaurant, and would anchor a large scale entertainment and retail development. The Ricketts purchased the land in 2011 for $20 million. A McDonald’s restaurant would be included in any future redevelopment of the property, according to an agreement between the Ricketts family and the McDonald’s corporation.
The Ricketts family also own a parcel of land next to Wrigley Field but development of that property depends on a proposal to renovate the ballpark, which celebrates its 100th birthday in 2014. The family has been seeking state and local taxpayer incentives to help finance the proposed $200 million in renovations.
The Ricketts family was expected to discuss the Wrigley renovations this weekend during the Cubs Convention.
– Carrie Muskat
The Commission on Chicago Landmarks permit review committee voted 5-1 today in favor of the Cubs’ plan to move the brick wall behind home plate forward three feet to create 56 new seats. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, the team also received permission to reconfigure a nearly 12-foot long section of the wall along the third base line so it would become movable. By doing so, Wrigley Field could be better fitted for college football games. In November 2010, Illinois and Northwestern played at Wrigley, and were forced to use only one end zone because the NCAA determined there wasn’t a safe distance between the back end of the east end zone and the brick outfield wall. Michael Lufrano, vice president of community affairs and general counsel for the Cubs, said alterations to the wall will be done in the offseason.
The Cubs will host Firefighter Appreciation Night at Wrigley Field on Tuesday when they play host to the Reds. Cast members of the new NBC drama “Chicago Fire,” including stars Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Eamonn Walker, David Eigenberg, Charlie Barnett, Lauren German, Teri Reeves and Monica Raymund, will join members of Engine 78, located at Waveland and Seminary Avenues, for a special pregame recognition.
Spencer will play the National Anthem on violin, joined by real-life Chicago firefighter Art Guzman on guitar. Members of Engine 78, led by Chief John Sampson, will lead the guest celebrity seventh inning stretch. NBC also worked with the CFD Gold Badge Society to invite 150 family members of fallen Chicago firefighters. The CFD Gold Badge Society is a support group for family members of firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives in the line of duty.
Fans can purchase tickets for the game through the Special Events page at Cubs.com/specialevents. This ticket package includes admission to the Budweiser Bleachers and a special Cubs-themed Chicago Fire Department (CFD) T-shirt.
– Carrie Muskat
Thursday night will mark the Wrigley Field debuts for Cubs’ top prospects Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters.
“The fans are probably curious to look at the guys who all the hype is about,” Dale Sveum said. “I would think they’re very excited to see all these guys. There’s no mystery now as to what’s going on with the team. As a fan myself, you’re always like, ‘I want to see that guy play.’ I would think they’re probably chomping at the bit to see some of these guys, too.”
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have stressed the need to find impact players. Could Jackson and Vitters be those guys?
“They could be impact players,” Sveum said. “All you want in an organization is the thought of guys who could be impact players. What they do at the big league level is sometimes up to them, and how they do the adjustments.”
What Sveum likes is that Jackson and Vitters have the tools needed.
“They’ve gone through the development,” he said. “Now it’s just being able to develop at the big league level and do things. These guys can be impact players. They’re two-way players. That’s the one thing you want is a two-way player who can hit balls out of the ballpark, who can run balls down, who can throw, who can steal bases. These guys are hard to come by. You hope with the organization and where we’re at now, these are the guys who have to come through now.”
– Carrie Muskat