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SBD/February 20, 2014/Facilities
Wait 'Til Next Year? Cubs Aiming For Season's End To Begin Wrigley Field Renovations
Published February 20, 2014
HOME SWEET HOME: In Chicago, David Haugh writes Ricketts, while "showing a hint of annoyance ... did his best Wednesday to discourage a compelling debate in Chicago everywhere outside his office." The "curt response came after a reporter asked Ricketts at what point he would consider moving the Cubs out of Wrigley Field." Had Ricketts "ever exercised the leverage relocation offered him -- and meant it -- the rooftop owners likely would have relented." His "affection for Wrigley is no act, which brings his heart as much as his head to the negotiating table." Ricketts "met his wife, Cecilia, in the bleachers" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/20).
J'ACCUSE! In Chicago, Gordon Wittenmyer reports Ricketts yesterday "adamantly denied" his family is "taking profits at the expense of spending on the baseball operation." Ricketts: "Profit-taking? I'm not even sure what that means. Of course not. Absolutely not. That's ridiculous." But Wittenmyer notes Ricketts "fell far short of explaining where the fifth-highest revenues in the sport are being spent as the baseball operation ... deals with a decade-low payroll." If the Cubs are "waiting for revenue-producing changes to Wrigley Field that are still held up by 'ongoing' negotiations with rooftop owners -- along with increases in local TV and radio deals that are 'too early to predict' -- it’s going to be too late." Losses in attendance at Wrigley Field this season -- which could exceed $22M "if internal projections of a 300,000 decrease are accurate -- will be offset by nearly half by the new Budweiser sign" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/20).