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SBD/May 1, 2013/Facilities
Cubs Unveil Wrigley Field Renovation Designs; Outfield Scoreboard Remains Hot Topic
Published May 1, 2013
VERY NECESSARY: Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts today said that the team needs "the millions in revenue that Wrigley Field renovations would generate or the team will have to consider moving." Ricketts: “If we don’t have the ability to generate revenue in our outfield, we will have to take a look at moving. There is no question." He added that the "possibility of moving is not a threat." Ricketts said, "We are committed to working this out. We've always said we want to win in Wrigley Field. ... All we really need is to run a business like a business and not a museum" (SUN-TIMES.com, 5/1). Ricketts: "It's about growing revenues to be competitive with the large market clubs and give us the flexibility we need to be as competitive as possible and I think this proposal gets us there.” He added, "We're talking about 2,100 jobs, we’re talking about hundreds of millions in economic development. We're already the third largest tourist attraction in the state. Hopefully, we'll maybe get to second if we improve the park a little more. It's a great deal for the city's economy and it's a great deal for our fans and a great deal for the neighborhood" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 5/1).
SUPER SCREEN: In Chicago, Fran Spielman writes the "sheer size of the video board -- three times larger than Wrigley’s iconic center-field scoreboard -- might be expected to overpower the outfield." But Kenney yesterday "sought to minimize the impact and understate the blockage on rooftop clubs" by offering a panoramic view of the screen. The sign in right field "displayed the illuminated words 'Wrigley Field,' as a place-holder for a sponsor." Kenney said that he has "no idea how many of the rooftop clubs would have their bird’s-eye view of the stadium blocked or impaired by the two new outfield signs." He added that both signs are "strategically positioned in front of buildings with no rooftop seating." Meanwhile, Spielman notes the renovation will be "completed over a five-year period to eliminate the need for the Cubs to play elsewhere." The first year will "focus on removing 3,500 seats to make room for 25,000 square feet of clubhouses, batting tunnels, video rooms and other player amenities." That is "double the current space" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/1). Also in Chicago, Danny Ecker notes the jumbotron sign "will include light towers on either side, something players requested in a roundtable discussion" with Kenney (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 5/1).