In Chicago, John Byrne reported city Mayor Rahm Emanuel yesterday “wouldn't discuss how much say" opponents of Cubs Owner the Ricketts family’s plan to pay for renovations to Wrigley Field “should have in shaping it.” Emanuel said, "We're at the point there will be no taxpayer subsidies for a private entity. ... I'm not going to negotiate in public, but there's a lot of effort being made to finish this up" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 1/23). ESPN’s Pablo Torre said of the proposed renovations, “The only reason I even get up off the couch to go to sporting events ... is to actually bask in the history and the stench and the old atmosphere of these stadiums. I don’t want Wrigley to change at all.” The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan said, “They don’t have to change it. Just do what you did at Fenway where they did not disturb the character of the ballpark while improving it to the tune of $100 million worth of renovations over the last ten years. The blueprint is Fenway. It can be done” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 1/23).
SURF'S ON: In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis reports the Dolphins yesterday “got the first indication of public support for funding renovations of Sun Life Stadium" with a resolution passed by the Miami-Dade County Commission. The resolution, which “passed 7-4 endorsing a 1-cent increase in the county bed tax and a $3 million-a-year rebate from taxes on sales of goods and services sold at Sun Life Stadium, is non-binding” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 1/24).
INDIANA JONES: In Indianapolis, Dana Hunsinger Benbow notes Bankers Life Fieldhouse updated its menu to include “nearly 40 new items,” with suites offering “even more options.” There are “nine gluten-free items, 12 new kinds of beer and gourmet cheese platters from local farms.” But some of the prices “aren't all that gourmet,” as prices are “anywhere from a few bucks to $12.” Exec Chef David Harvie said the goal was to "highlight locally produced, seasonal ingredients and fresh, bold flavors" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 1/24).
UN-SPORTSMANLIKE? A K.C. STAR editorial states of a '10 deal between the city and Wyandotte County, and MLS Sporting KC and Cerner Corp., "It's discouraging that Sporting KC and Cerner have so far failed to keep their pledge to privately finance construction of a $35 million youth soccer complex in Wyandotte County Park along with three recreational soccer fields." The fields were “supposed to be ready for play by the end of 2012; no work has even started.” This is a “breach of faith with the county’s residents” (K.C. STAR, 1/24).