SBD/January 17, 2012/Facilities

Cubs To Ask For City Approval For 75-Foot Electronic Sign At Wrigley Field

Cubs execs say that the new sign does not affect any historic features of Wrigley Field
Cubs General Counsel & Exec VP/Community Affairs Mike Lufrano yesterday said that the team will ask the Commission on Chicago Landmarks next month “for the go-ahead to put up a 75-foot electronic sign in right field at historic Wrigley Field if the city insists that approval is required,” according to Fran Spielman of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Lufrano said, “It doesn’t affect any of the historic features. It does not change the bleacher height or the outfield wall.” He added, “We’re happy to work with the city if they believe it does (require Landmarks Commission approval). If they ask us to go to the meeting in February, we’ll be there.” Sources said that Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration “has signaled its desire to go through the Landmarks Commission.” Sources added that Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney, who “opposed the Toyota sign installed above the left-field bleachers” in '10, has told the Cubs “he has no plans to oppose the sign.” Because of its “long rectangular shape, the new LED board is not expected to be used for video-replay,” but it could be “a prelude to a host of team ideas to squeeze more money out of Wrigley” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/17). The Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan said of the sign and new patio area at Wrigley Field, “I’m okay with the idea of changing it, but just the rendering didn’t look very good." Sullivan: "Just be honest about it. You’ve got the big Bud ad there, it’s for advertising. They say, ‘Oh, the fans want more graphics, stats.’ No they don’t. It’s purely a revenue-enhancer. Just come out front and say that" ("Chicago Tribune Live," Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 1/16).

MORE CHANGES NEEDED: YAHOO SPORTS’ David Brown wrote the Cubs “are playing catch-up” installing a premium patio area and the 75-foot long LED scoreboard at Wrigley. It is “a nice project to keep the Cubs busy, but what Wrigley needs is a major renovation from foul pole to foul pole.” Brown: “Newfangled stuff in Wrigley Field? Say it ain't so! In all honesty, it needs to be so, to maximize revenue streams.” He added, “Bigger concourses. More suites. Expanded player clubhouses and team offices. A second elevator. But again, that's big money. As long as Wrigley doesn't collapse upon itself, it will have to wait” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/16).
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