Results tagged ‘ Wrigley Field ’
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
Here are details of the Cubs’ renovation plan for Wrigley Field:
Outside Wrigley Field
* New Parking Plan: The Cubs will offer 1,000 free remote parking spots with shuttle to Wrigley Field for all night and weekend games. The program will be readjusted after three years if cost exceeds $100,000 and, if so, fee may be charged or costs of operating the lot may come from community infrastructure projects and investments.
* New Comprehensive Traffic Management Plan: New traffic lights will be installed on Clark Street. One traffic light (cost: $350,000) to be paid by the Cubs and two to be paid for from the existing CubFund.
* New Public Safety Plan: 30 additional safety personnel will be outside the park after games to ensure public safety (10 of which will be provided by Cubs).
* City and Cubs to explore new rules banning low-flying aircraft around Wrigley Field to protect the community from noise and other disturbances.
* Cubs will contribute $1 million to School Street play lot funding effort ($250,000 to come from first year’s infrastructure contribution).
Inside Wrigley Field
* 40 night games (baseball only); up from current 30 games. This does not include playoffs, 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 unless MLB schedules for national TV purposes.
* Special ordinance for concerts (maximum of four), with no additional cost to Cubs. These do not count as a Night Game. Weekends permitted. Anything beyond four concerts will count as a night game.
* Six 3:05 p.m. CT starts on Friday, up from current zero games.
* The Cubs will have 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.
* One 6,000-square foot videoboard in left field. Cubs will choose the location with goal, where not inconsistent with the needs of the ballpark, of minimal impact on rooftops with whom Cubs have an agreement. The videoboard may be further cantilevered over the public street to help further minimize impact on rooftops.
* One sign in Right Field of 1,000 square feet in the style of the existing Toyota sign. Cubs will choose the location with the goal, where not inconsistent with the needs of the ballpark, for the sign to have minimal impact on rooftops with whom Cubs have an agreement.
* Cubs to have discretion on all signage inside the ballpark not impacting rooftops, including for example: center field restoration; LED ribbon board along upper deck grand stand; new fan deck in left field with signs; new sign on wall in right field; behind home plate.
* The city will vacate the sidewalk and one street lane on Waveland Avenue (Sheffield to Clark) at no cost to 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 sightline impact on rooftops. It also increases the open space on the plaza by moving the office building further North.
* The city will vacate sidewalk on Sheffield Avenue (Addison to Waveland), at no cost to Cubs, which will be incorporated into the ballpark, subject to a requirement to maintain eight feet of sidewalk.
* New two-story Captain Morgan Club on Addison Street of at least 14,000 square feet with 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 to allow more flexible space for Cubs fans, including connection points to bleachers and grandstands at 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.
* Beer sales extended to end of seventhh inning or 10:30 p.m. CT, whichever is earlier, and until the end of concert for concert dates.
* Use of Sheffield Avenue for weekend home games between Memorial Day and Labor Day beginning two hours before game and ending at end of second inning. After plaza construction is completed, use of Sheffield Avenue will be reevaluated to determine if Sheffield or the Plaza is appropriate location for pre-game activity.
* The City will maintain and enforce, through 2023, current rooftop capacity limits, current rooftop height limitations and current advertising ban within the Rooftop District.
* New hotel, size and density to accommodate 175 rooms, 75 parking spaces, food and beverage (including alcohol as appropriate), retail and a 40,000 square foot health club (at corner of Clark and Addison).
* Pedestrian bridge with public access over Clark Street connecting hotel and plaza at no cost (other than actual cost of construction of the bridge).
* Approximate 85-foot structure at north end of Triangle property to house offices, hotel meeting space, retail and a kids zone. Advertising will be allowed on south and west faces of building.
* Four-screen digital board with limited hours of operation (off from 11 p.m. CT to 6 a.m. CT) to be erected in Plaza. Can be used for advertising, viewing Cubs games, movies in the park and other purposes.
* The plaza, located west of the ballpark, will be used for public summer activity center and winter ice rink when not otherwise used for events. Ability to operate in the plaza, including sale of food and beverage, retail space, restaurants, special and recurring events, etc., to meet desired use. Alcohol allowed.
* Planned Development will be submitted as soon as possible, with final approval votes to take place prior to October 2013.
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
Looking ahead to the rest of the Cubs’ homestand, the cast from Second City will sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on Friday. On Saturday, American Idol winner Phillip Phillips will sing the seventh inning stretch and actress Julia Sweeney will do so Sunday. John C. McGinley, who is part of the new Jackie Robinson movie, “42,” will do the honors on Tuesday, and NIU football coach Rod Carey will sing Wednesday. New Northwestern basketball coach Chris Collins will lead the seventh inning stretch on April 18.
– Carrie Muskat
It was Opening Day at Wrigley Field on Monday, and may be the last one before the Cubs begin a $300 million renovation plan at the ballpark. The Cubs are still waiting for approval from the city regarding changes they want to make, and negotiations are ongoing. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said Monday they are moving forward but wouldn’t set a deadline for a decision.
“I’m not going to put a timeframe around it because there’s a public part of the process that has to happen,” Ricketts said. “We look forward to getting the public part of the process started.”
There will apparently be public hearings regarding some of the issues, such as parking in the Wrigleyville neighborhood. Ricketts said he wasn’t sure what the objections were, but said they are “sensitive to things that affect the neighbors, we want to be responsive to issues the neighbors have.”
The Cubs also want more flexibility in terms of scheduling their games. There’s a long list of items to be finalized before work can begin.
“I’m optimistic,” Ricketts said. “I think everything is headed in the right direction. … We’re working under the assumption that everyone is working toward getting this done as soon as possible and moving forward.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs play their home opener Monday when they entertain the Brewers. This could be the last home opener before Wrigley Field goes through its million dollar makeover.
The Cubs have outlined a five-year, $300 million renovation plan expected to begin after this season.
“It’ll turn into, obviously, one of the top venues in the league to play,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of the ballpark, which turns 100 years old next year. “Us, getting a new clubhouse and the batting cages and a new dugout and, if the jumbotron [scoreboard] does come into play, now you’re turning this place into an unbelievable place to go to work every day for all of us.”
The Cubs will finally be able to “keep up with the Joneses,” Sveum said. All of the National League Central teams have gotten new stadiums in the last 12 years.
The work was supposed to begin with the home clubhouse and batting cages.
“As far as the last conversation I had a few months ago, it was going to be ready for Opening Day next year,” Sveum said. “To start digging that much, hopefully there’s nothing in the way, because I think they probably have to work 24/7 to get it done by Opening Day  once the last pitch is thrown this year.”
Are there any aspects of Wrigley that he’ll miss?
“The clubhouse? The batting cages? No, I don’t think anybody can say they’ll miss any of that,” Sveum said.
Still to be determined is whether the Cubs can play more than 30 night games.
“You don’t want to lose that aura about what we have at Wrigley, playing the day games,” Sveum said. “When we get back off road games and things like that, it comes in handy to have a night game.”
– Carrie Muskat
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
Can the Cubs install a video scoreboard inside Wrigley Field? That appears to be one of the sticking points in negotiations between the team, city officials and the Wrigleyville rooftop owners. Officials with the Cubs, the city of Chicago and the Wrigleyville neighborhood were expected to continue talks on Tuesday regarding the team’s proposed $300 million renovation plan of Wrigley Field.
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts had set Opening Day as a deadline but no resolution was reached. Mike Lufrano, Cubs executive vice president of community affairs and legal counsel, met Monday at Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s city hall office along with top mayoral aide Matt Hynes and Wrigleyville Ald. Tom Tunney of the 44th Ward.
Part of the Cubs’ plan includes installing a 6,000-square foot video screen inside the ballpark. Rooftop club owners want to preserve their views and feel the screen would block them. According to reports, the rooftop owners are willing to put signs on their buildings and let the Ricketts keep the revenue, and they want to extend their agreement with the Cubs.
“There’s good progress made to both to allow the Cubs owners to make the investments they need in the stadium,” Emanuel said during a news conference in Chicago, “and there’s good progress also to make sure the community around Wrigley … sees the type of parking and security they need for games to also enjoy the community.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs want to start the five-year renovation plan of Wrigley Field this offseason, but they are waiting for the city of Chicago to give them the go-ahead. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, said he hoped to have an update later on negotiations Monday in Chicago. The renovations are important.
“I think it’s fundamentally important to get us to the next level as an organization,” Epstein said. “We have a baseball plan and a business plan and they’re timed to sync up with one another — they’re interdependent. If we don’t get our Wrigley renovation done in a timely manner and done in the right way, then we can’t accomplish our business objectives and it will certainly get in the way of us ultimately accomplishing our baseball objectives. It’s very important.”
Among the changes the Cubs want are the ability to play more night games, to install more advertising in the ballpark, to block off Sheffield Avenue for fans. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts wanted a decision by Monday.
– Carrie Muskat
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