SBD/Jan. 17, 2011/Franchises

Ricketts Family Lays Out Plans For Cubs During Annual Convention

Ricketts says he regrets plea for public funding of Wrigley renovations
Cubs Owner the Ricketts family at the Cubs Convention over the weekend continued to pledge to "pump all profits back into the team and to seek an All-Star Game -- possibly 2016," according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. The Ricketts also expressed "growing confidence" in GM Jim Hendry. Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts said that one regret from his tenure as owner was the "ill-advised, poorly timed plea for public funding for Wrigley renovations." Ricketts: "I think we lost control of the dialogue a bit. From our standpoint, it was just a discussion with a handful of people about what we could do for next year, and I think once the media got a hold of it, it wasn't a fully baked solution." Meanwhile, the Cubs said that they have "struck a deal with AT&T to make $5 million in upgrades to the Wi-Fi capacity at Wrigley Field, turning the ballpark into a hot spot" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/16). The Cubs also said that fan surveys "revealed more than 60 percent would like a video board to complement the traditional hand-operated scoreboard" at Wrigley Field (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/16). MLB.com's Carrie Muskat reported Tom Ricketts, Cubs BOD members Todd Ricketts and Pete Ricketts and Cubs VP/Player Personnel Oneri Fleita today will head to the Dominican Republic "to finalize details for a new academy in Boca Chica." The Cubs "are hoping to complete the facility by 2013." Also, the Cubs' new Spring Training facility in Mesa, Ariz., "most likely will not be ready for Cactus League play until 2014" (MLB.com, 1/16).

HONORING A LEGEND: The Cubs Saturday announced that the organization will honor late 3B and radio analyst Ron Santo with a statue of his likeness, only the fourth of its kind at Wrigley Field, and will remember him with a patch to be worn by players and coaches throughout the '11 season. The statue will be unveiled at a to-be-determined Wrigley Field location on Ron Santo Day, which will take place Aug. 10 in conjunction with the Nationals-Cubs game. The patch will debut during Spring Training (Cubs). In Illinois, Bruce Miles noted Tom Ricketts' announcement of both tributes was "met with great applause" at the convention (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 1/16). 
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