SBD/April 26, 2012/Facilities

Teams Say New Wrigley Field LED Board Making It Difficult To Warm Up Bullpen

Cubs say background color on ads that were causing problems has been changed
Although the new LED scoreboard under the right-field patio at Wrigley Field has been a "financial breakthrough for the Cubs organization," some opposing teams are complaining that the board "can get so bright during night games it makes it difficult to warm up their relievers," according to Paul Sullivan of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Cardinals bullpen C Jamie Pogue said, "The numbers are white, and the ball is coming out of there, so it's really difficult to see." The Brewers voiced "similar complaints during the two night games on the first homestand at Wrigley." A Cubs spokesperson said that they are "aware of the Brewers' complaints but said the LED board 'is not an issue.'" One of the problems was a "white background for ads of one of the Cubs' sponsors." The spokesperson said that the background color "has been changed on those ads." The Cubs tested the conditions when the LED board was put in place before the season, and "found no reason to change the brightness." The Cardinals "have not lodged a formal complaint" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/25). Pogue said that he has "already seen a change" since the issue first went public Tuesday. He noticed yesterday that "head shots were on both edges of the video board, taking them out of the line of sight of the bullpen catchers." The head shots were moved during the Cardinals series "not only to help with bullpen vision issues but to also help more fans see the pitch count." The Cubs will "review all other concerns" during the team's upcoming road trip (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 4/25).

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE: In Chicago, Greg Hinz noted that while things are "still moving around" in talks about how to rebuild/renovate Wrigley Field, the public is "being asked to put in both less and more than you might suspect." On the table is a $500M or so plan, which includes $300M to "reconstruct the nearly century-old Wrigley and $200 million for the 'Triangle' parking, entertainment and multiuse structure off the west wall of the ballpark." Cubs Owner the Ricketts family "and/or the team would pay for the Triangle building." That means $300M "is needed for the ballpark proper." Half of that "would come from the team, presumably in increased revenue from more signage inside Wrigley and retail and other entertainment." The other half "would come from $150 million or so in bonds to be retired with increased revenue from the existing city and Cook County amusement taxes on ticket sales." The team also wants a 50% "cut of any increase in amusement tax revenue growth" above 6%. And unlike the bonds, which "would be retired in 30 or 35 years, that would be forever" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 4/25).
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