SBD/June 27, 2013/Facilities

Wrigley Field To Get Landmark Commission Approval For Some Elements Of Upgrade Plans

Wrigley Field's proposed outfield signage changes continue to be an issue
Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney yesterday sent a letter to the Cubs saying that if the organization "wants his support" for its $300M Wrigley Field renovation plan, it will "need to cut by one-third the size of a left field video scoreboard and greatly reduce the size of a requested right field advertising sign," according to John Byrne of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Tunney's plan would see the Cubs "reducing the left field Jumbotron from 6,000 square feet to 4,000 square feet and the right field ad board from 1,000 square feet to 650 square feet." He said that he spoke to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel about "those and three other specific changes he wants to the Cubs plan before sending the letter to team officials." Cubs VP/Communications & Community Affairs Julian Green reiterated the team's position, saying if team Owner the Ricketts family is to invest $300M in Wrigley upgrades, and another $200M for a hotel as part of the project, then "all elements" of the plan must be in place. But Tunney said that the team also will "need to get rid of a request for a pedestrian bridge over Clark Street," which Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts wants to "connect the ballpark to the hotel." Tunney: "I don’t think there’s a functional reason to put a bridge over Clark Street. To transport 175 hotel guests?" He said that he sent the letter yesterday, in advance of today's Commission on Landmarks meeting to consider the plan "because he needed to let his constituents know where he stands" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/27).

MEETING IN THE MIDDLE: In Chicago, Fran Spielman reports the Landmark Commission will "hold off on outfield signs, but give the Cubs the go-ahead Thursday to extend outward the right- and left-field walls of Wrigley Field, build a new western entrance, remodel the dug-out and build a new Captain Morgan Club." Sources said that the decision to "postpone until a regularly-scheduled July 11 meeting a vote on the two most controversial elements of the Wrigley project -- a 6,000 sq.ft. video scoreboard in left-field and a 1,000 sq.ft. see-through sign in right -- is a concession" to Tunney. The delay "gives him two more weeks to try and wring those concessions" out of the Cubs, provided Emanuel "stands behind him" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 6/27).
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