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SBD/May 23, 2014/Facilities
Ricketts Seemingly Asking For Litigation With Wrigley Revisions After Rooftop Impasse
Published May 23, 2014
SO SUE ME: In Chicago, Rick Telander writes the fact that the Cubs have revealed these revisions indicates team execs "have figured out some legal loopholes and discovered how Chicago works." The Cubs "decided, after getting lawyered-up, to launch a hell-for-leather stampede." Telander: "Maybe this plan will work. Maybe Mayor Rahm Emanuel will ram it down voters’ throats before election day in February. ... Or maybe [Cubs Chair Tom] Ricketts just has said, screw it, we’ll pay them off" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/23). Also in Chicago, Greg Hinz cited sources as saying that prior negotiations between the Cubs and rooftop owners eventually "moved to a buyout," but "there was no agreement." One source said that the rooftops wanted $250M, but the Rickettses "were prepared to pay only" $50M (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 5/22). The CHICAGO TRIBUNE's David Haugh writes with the video was a "remarkable scene to see the chairman of a professional sports team in that shabby setting going to such great lengths to prove Chicago's baseball cathedral really is a dump" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/23). ESPN CHICAGO's Jon Greenberg wrote a new Wrigley "will only help this team win and give the fans some well-deserved happiness." Greenberg: "I'm all for it. But I'll celebrate the end of this saga when a shovel hits the ground. Until then, it's just talk to me" (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 5/22).
PLAYER REAX: In Chicago, Gordon Wittenmyer notes Ricketts' "latest media blitz ... was met in the Cubs’ clubhouse with 'excitement,' optimism and in some cases skepticism about what it will mean for the team’s competitive future." Most Cubs "won’t be around long enough for it to matter" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/23). Former Cubs and current Padres P Andrew Cashner said of Petco Park, "We're spoiled here. We have some of the best facilities in baseball. And Wrigley (Field), it's a dump." Cubs CF Ryan Kalish, who played with the Red Sox in '10 and '12, said, "Fenway is historical and old, but it's more upgraded. ... Wrigley is awesome, but it's outdated for the players" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/23).