SBD/July 15, 2013/Facilities

Cubs Face Tough Task Getting New Wrigley Videoboard Ready For '14 Season

Wrigley Field's video board would require a full-time production staff
The Cubs are "hopeful to get the new jumbo-size video board installed in Wrigley Field in 2014, but there's no certainty they can get it done in time," according to Paul Sullivan of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The Chicago City Council "must approve the entire renovation project," but the team still has to "go through the Planning Commission before the city council." Cubs VP/Communications & Community Affairs Julian Green said, "By the time you get through that, that puts us late in the year. After that's done, you still have to put out a request for proposals for a (video board manufacturer). We have not decided on the company that gets the contract. After that process, which could be lengthy, then go through the specs of what a potential video board will look like." Green added that the Cubs would "have to hire about 20 people to run the board, including a project manager and a producer for 3 1/2 to 4 hours worth of content per game." He said with 22 weeks between the end of this season and Opening Day '14, it was a "pretty aggressive timeline," and it would be "pretty tough to get a video board installed." Green: "We know we have to get it right, so 22 weeks is not something you want to play around with, because it's going to live with us for the next 100 years" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/14). Green said that the Jumbotron will require a "full-time video-production staff" (SUNTIMES.com, 7/13).

WINDY CITY POLITICKING: In Chicago, Greg Hinz wrote there are "lots of indications" that Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney "intends to fight to the end the plan to rebuild Wrigley Field, taking it to the City Council floor, even though Mayor Rahm Emanuel almost certainly will beat him there." Sources said that Tunney has "begun calling his colleagues and asking them for help in a political shootout on the City Council floor that could occur by the end of the month." Compromises "may be possible on the hotel proposed for the west side of Clark Street." The battle over the renovation plan will be played out "through the Chicago Plan Commission meeting set for next week, and then at the City Council." There, it will be "the mayor against the alderman, citywide needs against local needs, aldermanic prerogative against mayoral influence" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 7/12).

STILL FRIENDLY: ESPN CHICAGO's Jon Greenberg wrote of the renovation plan, "While everyone goes crazy over the details, we forget why people come to Wrigley Field." Greenberg: "It isn't the baseball ... It's the experience, telling people you were there, feeling like you're a part of something bigger than yourself. I don't think a scoreboard or a neon sign will change that." The venue itself is the "star of the show" (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 7/13).
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