Results tagged ‘ Wrigley Field ’

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,, 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, 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.

5/1 Ricketts: “We’ll consider moving”

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts says the team may have to move out of Wrigley Field if they cannot get approval for more signage in the outfield, including a 6,000-square foot video scoreboard proposed for left field. Ricketts discussed the Wrigley renovations at a City Club of Chicago breakfast Wednesday. He said the Cubs hope to get $20 million annually from the new outfield advertising. The signage is opposed by rooftop owners who feel it will block their views.

“I’m not sure how anyone is going to stop the signs in the outfield but if it comes to the point that we don’t have the ability to do what we need to do in our outfield then we’re going to have to consider moving,” Ricketts said. “It’s as simple as that.”

There are no plans to raise ticket prices now, Ricketts said.

“We have to generate revenue,” said Crane Kenney, Cubs president of business operations, at the event. “We have to catch up to our large market competitors on ballpark revenues so this project has to work from a financial perspective as well.”

Ricketts said the team will file its proposal with the city on Wednesday. The Cubs have proposed a $300 million renovation plan for Wrigley Field and an additional $200 million plan for the neighborhood that will be completed over five years.

– Carrie Muskat

5/1 Proposed Wrigley Field plaza

130104 WF 100 Concept StudyRev

4/30 Cubs unveil more Wrigley plans

The Cubs revealed the first detailed look at the entire renovation project to selected media outlets Tuesday, including the proposed 6,000-square foot video scoreboard proposed for left field. The video board will be three times larger than Wrigley Field’s center field scoreboard, and also will have built-in light banks to address a shortage of outfield lighting. The Cubs also want to add a 1,000-square foot see-through sign in right field, similar to the Toyota sign now in left. The Cubs also showed other key elements of the project, which include a seven-story hotel, a six-story office building, and an outdoor plaza. The $300 million renovation plan and $200 million neighborhood redevelopment plans are projected to be completed over a five-year period.

The Cubs’ renovations will begin this offseason with removal of 3,500 seats to open up 25,000 square feet for the home clubhouse, batting tunnels, video rooms and training facilities. That would be double the current space.

“This is a historic restoration,” Crane Kenney, Cubs president of business operations, told select media Tuesday. “This is not a renovation. This is not trying to make Wrigley new. It’s actually trying to make Wrigley old.”

The Cubs and city officials have agreed on 40 night games, more late afternoon games on Fridays, and weekend closings of Sheffield Avenue for street fairs on game days. All have agreed in principle on the left field video board, right field signage, additional signs inside Wrigley and the hotel.

Note: To see the proposed changes to Wrigley Field, you need to check out the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times or Crain’s Chicago Business websites. We hope to have the artist’s renderings later Wednesday on

4/23 Cubs summer camp

Cubs Summer Camps will return, starting the week of June 24. There will be six one-week sessions to run consecutively though the week of Aug. 5 in Lake Forest, Riverside, Palatine, Niles, Naperville and Evanston. The camps are available to boys and girls between the ages of 5-13, with each camper receiving a full Cubs uniform. In addition to on-field skill development and professional instruction, campers will have the opportunity to take a guided tour of Wrigley Field and either meet with a current player or take a photo inside the clubhouse. For the first time, instructors will utilize video analysis for older campers in an effort to further develop their fundamental baseball skills. For more info, including Cubs Summer Camps enrollment forms, visit

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

4/15 Cubs renovation plan

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.


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