Ricketts Could Be In Line For Big Tax Breaks If Wrigley Gets On Registry Of Historic Places
The Cubs have "filed initial paperwork that would open the door to Wrigley Field winning a coveted spot in the National Register of Historic Places" now that their $500M renovation plan is in place, according to a front-page piece by Ameet Sachdev of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Being listed puts team Owner the Ricketts family "in line for a significant financial reward: federal income tax credits on the work done to refurbish Wrigley Field." The government help would "basically reimburse the family for some of the $300 million it plans to spend on the stadium." The historic-preservation tax credit is "equal to 20 percent of qualified rehabilitation costs." It is "unknown how much of the Wrigley work would qualify for the tax break." The Red Sox "spent about $285 million to upgrade their stadium, a 10-year project that was completed" in '11. Reports estimated that the team was "eligible for $40 million in tax credits." Cubs VP/Communications & Community Affairs Julian Green said that the team "plans to seek tax incentives for historic preservation if the Cubs win city approval for their proposal to upgrade Wrigley and develop adjacent property." It is "unclear whether the proposed renovations could run afoul of the requirements of the historic-preservation tax credits." Fenway Park is the "most high-profile example of the benefits of the tax credit" in the sports world. The federal landmark designation is, "for the most part, honorary and is independent of the Chicago landmark status conferred on Wrigley in 2004" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/18).
HEALTHY DOSE OF SKEPTICISM: In Chicago, Rick Morrissey writes any success the Cubs have is "not going to be tied" to the new video board that will be installed at Wrigley as part of the renovation. It is "going to come down to" what President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein does, and "more likely than not, it won’t matter how much money he’s holding in his hand as a lure" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/18). In Illinois, Mike Imrem wrote of Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts' claim the team will win the World Series if the renovation deal goes through, "Sorry, but I just can't believe Ricketts on this one. I already must accept too many of life's mysterious treasures on faith, among them girls, golf and God" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 4/17).