Results tagged ‘ Wrigley Field ’

7/24 City council approves Wrigley plan

The Chicago City Council approved the $500 million renovation of Wrigley Field on Wednesday. The plan includes a video scoreboard, improved facilities for the players, and a hotel across the street from the ballpark. The vote came one day after the council’s zoning committee signed off on the deal with the blessing of Alderman Tom Tunney.

The Cubs will install a 5,700-square foot electronic Jumbotron in left field, and have a see-through sign in right.

The team has wanted the renovations since the Ricketts family bought the Cubs in 2009. The Ricketts announced they would finance the plan in January at the Cubs Convention, but needed the advertising revenue from the video scoreboard to help pay for it.

7/13 Wrigley Field update

The unanimous approval by the Commission on Chicago Landmark last week of a video scoreboard in left field and new signage in right at Wrigley Field is just one step, and even if the Cubs get the go-ahead by other city commissions this year, they won’t be able to install the signage this season.

The Cubs made compromises since the matter was last discussed by the commission. Instead of a 6,000-square foot video scoreboard in left field, the Cubs say they will accept a 5,700-square foot scoreboard. Plus, instead of installing a 1,000-square foot see-through sign in right, the Cubs were willing to install a 650-square foot see-through sign.

Julian Green, vice president, communications and community affairs for the Cubs, said they still need approval from the Chicago Plan Commission, zoning committees and the full Chicago city council. Green said the Cubs have not selected a video scoreboard company. Plus, they want to be careful with what they install.

“We know the sensitivities of the new assets coming to the ballpark and people wondering how it’s going to fit into the character of the ballpark, and we know we have to get it right the first time,” Green said Saturday. “It’s going to live with us the next 100 years.”

The scoreboard also will need a full-time production staff, which has not been hired.

What about getting the signage up for next year?

“The amount of revenue that can be generated from an asset like a video board, we’re going to try to get it up as soon as possible and get it operating,” Green said.

– Carrie Muskat

7/11 Video scoreboard is coming

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks Thursday unanimously approved two outfield signs that are key to Wrigley Field’s renovation plan, including a video scoreboard for left field. The Cubs made compromises since the matter was last discussed by the commission. Instead of a 6,000-square foot video scoreboard in left field, the Cubs say they will accept a 4,560-square foot scoreboard. The Jumbotron will be 95 feet wide, not 100 feet. Plus, instead of installing a 1,000-square foot see-through sign in right, the Cubs were willing to install a 650-square foot see-through sign.

Alderman Tom Tunney had demanded the Cubs reduce the size of the signage in response to complaints from rooftop owners. Tunney, who represents the Lake View neighborhood the ballpark is located in, gave an emotional statement at the meeting.

The Chicago Sun-Times said the compromise on the signage came after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stepped in and brokered negotiations between the Cubs and Tunney.

Last month, the landmarks commission approved a master plan for 45,000-square feet of new or existing Wrigley signage, but did not approve the proposed scoreboard or sign the Cubs wanted in left and right fields, respectively.

The signage will help pay for the $500 million renovation plan the Ricketts family has planned for Wrigley Field that includes a hotel on Clark and Addison Streets. The remodel will take five years, and not interrupt play at the 99-year-old ballpark.

– Carrie Muskat

7/11 Wrigley signs to be discussed

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks will meet today to discuss two outfield signs that are key to Wrigley Field’s renovation. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, there has been some compromise since the city and the Cubs last met. Instead of a 6,000-square foot video scoreboard in left field, the Cubs say they will accept a smaller 4,500-square foot scoreboard. The Jumbotron will be 95 feet wide, not 100 feet. Plus, instead of installing a 1,000-square foot see-through sign in right, the Cubs want to install a 650-square foot see-through sign.

Ald. Tom Tunney demanded the Cubs reduce the size of the signage. He also wanted the Cubs to drop plans for a pedestrian bridge over Clark Street that would connect a Cubs-built hotel to the team’s new office building, plus eliminate an outdoor deck on the hotel.

The Sun-Times said the compromise on the signage comes after negotiations between the Cubs and Tunney brokered by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Last month, the landmarks commission approved a master plan for 45,000 square feet of new or existing Wrigley signage, but did not approve the scoreboard or sign proposed for left and right fields, respectively.

The signage is part of a $500 million renovation plan by the Ricketts family for Wrigley Field that includes a hotel on Clark and Addison Streets.

The Wrigley project still must be approved by the Chicago Plan Commission and the City Council.

7/6 The Cup & Coach Q

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6/22 Did you know …

Friday’s game was the first time in the Cubs’ 98 seasons at Wrigley Field in which both teams combined to score at least four runs and all the runs were on solo home runs. That’s according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Cubs had solo homers by Anthony Rizzo, Darwin Barney and Scott Hairston, and Chris Carter hit a solo shot for the Astros.

6/4 Sing along

Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald will lead the crowd at Wrigley Field in the seventh inning stretch on Friday when the Cubs open a three-game series against the Pirates. Here are the upcoming singers:

Friday: Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern Football Coach
Saturday: Hall of Famer Ernie Banks
Sunday: Randy Hundley
Monday: Cast from “The Book of Mormon”
June 11: Arsenio Hall
June 12: Rick Sutcliffe
June 13: TBD

5/14 New Wrigley Field website

Fans interested in tracking the renovation of Wrigley Field and showing their support for the ballpark’s restoration can follow the progress on a new website, WrigleyField.com, which the Cubs launched on Tuesday.

The site, titled “Restore Wrigley Field,” gives fans a chance to view artist’s renderings of the proposed changes to the 99-year-old ballpark. Plus, fans are encouraged to sign a petition to let the team, the city and community know they back the renovation.

The website, which will be linked to Cubs.com, outlines the $500 million plan that the Ricketts family has proposed for Wrigley Field and the surrounding area, including the addition of a hotel at Clark and Addison where the McDonald’s restaurant is currently located. There are drawings of the plaza proposed for Clark Street next to the ballpark, and the new restaurant at Addison and Sheffield streets. The renovation will be conducted over five offseasons, and updates will be provided on the new website.

Have you missed the initial announcements? There is a “Frequently Asked Questions” section that covers all the topics, including whether the Cubs will have to play elsewhere — they will not — and the economic impact on Chicago and the region. According to the Cubs, the project will create approximately 2,100 new jobs, including 1,300 permanent and 800 construction jobs.

What should be encouraging to Cubs fans is that the design plan was formed using preservation architects who have worked on Fenway Park, the Rose Bowl, Camden Yards and Lambeau Field. The goal is to return Wrigley Field to its 1930s grandeur but make it much more functional. The Cubs will use recycled materials in the restoration, install energy-efficient water and heating and air conditioning systems, and make Wrigley as environmentally efficient as possible.

The changes also will make it a better fan experience. When the Ricketts family purchased the Cubs and the ballpark in October 2009, they stressed that one of their goals was to preserve Wrigley Field. The proposed renovation will restore the facade of the ballpark and replace aging concrete and steel, which is needed to keep Wrigley Field operating for years to come.

The site also includes drawings of the proposed 6,000-square foot video scoreboard projected for left field as well as the 1,000-foot advertising sign projected for right field.

Want to show your support? You can sign a petition on the new website, adding your name to the list of backers who feel this is a “win for the Chicago economy, the Lakeview community, Cubs fans and the team.” There’s a phone number so you can call 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney and tell him why Wrigley Field is special to you and why the restoration is necessary. You also can join the community campaign and receive email updates on the project.

– Carrie Muskat

5/3 Rizzo: “I don’t know how I fit in there”

Anthony Rizzo jokes with Cubs teammate Darwin Barney at least twice a week that the first baseman is going to make the defensive play of the year that day. On Thursday, Rizzo might have done just that. With one out in the seventh inning of a scoreless game against the Padres, Chase Headley hit a pop up that drifted toward foul territory near first base. Rizzo tracked it and was able to catch the ball, then fell between the tarp and brick wall. He hung on for the out and escaped without a cut or scrape.

“I visualize those plays daily,” Rizzo said Friday. “I actually had a bad read on it. The wind, I thought would blow it quicker, and next thing you know, it’s behind me. It was just an instinct play.”

He’s watched the replay a thousand times.

“I got a couple messages from people who said they were going to have a heart attack [watching it],” Rizzo said. “I didn’t realize it was that close — I don’t know how I fit in there.”

Rizzo is 6-foot 3-inches, 240 pounds. It’s impossible to figure out how he squeezed between the tarp and wall. He wouldn’t mind a little padding next time.

“I could’ve been really close to looking like a hockey player there if my face would’ve hit it,” Rizzo said.

Adding some cushion to the walls is most likely not in the Wrigley Field renovation plans.

“It’s something that’s been here for 100 years,” manager Dale Sveum said of the brick walls. “We’re getting back into the essence of Wrigley and the bricks and the ivy.”

Sveum isn’t going to tell his young first baseman to take it easy, either.

“That’s not the way you can play,” Sveum said. “You definitely don’t take aggressiveness away from people. That’s just the way you have to play the game.”

Rizzo, definitely lucky to not get injured, said he’s made some crazy plays before.

“There’s plays like that where your instincts take over,” he said. “Last year, before I got called up, I slid into stairs at [Triple-A] Iowa trying to make a play. It’s something where instincts take over and [Travis Wood] was out there pitching his tail off and you just want to make plays.”

He’s going to keep hustling after balls.

“I’m not going to not sell out, no matter what,” Rizzo said. “It doesn’t matter if I get hurt, I get hurt. It’s not like I’m not going to make the play because I’m scared.

– Carrie Muskat

5/3 Exclusive Topps cards set on tap today

Today’s a big day at Wrigley Field as fans can start collecting a limited edition of Topps baseball cards. The Topps Company and the Cubs have partnered to create an exclusive, 82-card Topps Archives set, featuring current and former Cubs players on classic card designs. The player and design pairings are unique to the set. The cards will be given away in four installments, starting today. Other dates are July 5, Aug. 2, and Aug. 30. Today’s packet features Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Andre Dawson and Ron Santo plus Shawon Dunston and Anthony Rizzo.

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