SBD/January 25, 2013/Facilities

Examining Likelihood Of Cubs' $300M Wrigley Field Renovation Proposal

Concessions will have to be made for the Cubs renovation plans to go through
Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts' $300M Wrigley Field renovation plans this week created "a sense of momentum even as competing interests continue to try to wring out the best deal," according to a front-page piece by Sachdev, Dardick & Byrne of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Sources said that there "could be something for everyone in the plan, but concessions will have to be made to get over the hump." The talks have placed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel "in the role of a deal broker." A source said that Emanuel is "prodding all parties to move quickly." New signs around Wrigley Field are "a sticking point." Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney has "come out against more advertising signs if they block views from neighboring rooftops." Another "contentious issue" is the possibility of more night games and concerts. The Cubs are "currently limited to 30 night games a year," but the team is "looking for as many as 11 more." Neighborhood groups are "willing to allow three more." The team "can hold three concerts, but wants more." Neighborhood groups said that "one additional concert would be OK." A source said that while additional night games are "considered a part of the larger discussion on renovating Wrigley, the mayor is open to considering the issue as early as next month" because of the scheduling needs of MLB. Tunney said that he "would support more night games if the team addresses the quality-of-life issues such as traffic congestion." Sachdev, Dardick & Byrne write that a Cubs deal is "even being talked about, much less optimistically, is quite a turnaround." The breakthrough came "when the team removed taxpayer funding from the equation." Sources said that more signs "could generate" an additional $10-20M a year in revenue (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/25).
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