Wrigley Field Videoboard A Sticking Point In Upgrade Negotiations With City
A key "sticking point in the negotiations over the rehab of Wrigley Field is whether to allow the Cubs to erect a giant video screen," as the team is seeking a 6,000-square-foot display that would be "about triple the size of the iconic center-field scoreboard," according to sources cited in a front-page piece by Sachdev & Dardick of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The sources said that the debate is focused "more on the size and placement of a Jumbotron-like screen than on whether it would be allowed at all," with Cubs Owner the Ricketts family "rejecting anything smaller than 6,000 square feet." The sources also said that city officials have "suggested a video screen of about half that size, but the Cubs have said no." They added that the video screen's location also is a "significant issue." Since the Cubs "have not suggested moving the center-field scoreboard, which is protected under Wrigley's designation as a Chicago landmark, a video screen would have to be placed behind the bleachers in either right or left field." A screen as large as the Cubs are proposing could "potentially block views from rooftop businesses." The current scoreboard was built in the late 1930s and is "about 2,025 square feet." Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday said of Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts' April 1 deadline for a deal to renovate Wrigley Field, "We're not there yet ... but I think there's enough wins there for everybody to declare a victory and have enough to go forward." Emanuel said that he "isn't worried the Cubs might accept a recent offer of free land from Rosemont to build a ballpark" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/29). Ricketts family spokesperson Dennis Culloton said of possibly failing to reach a deal by the deadline, "Our focus is on getting a deal done with the city. ... I'm not gonna speculate on that" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/29).