Testing The Waters: Cubs To Install Mock-Up Of Large Budweiser Sign In Right Field
The Cubs next week will "install a mock-up" of the 650-square-foot Budweiser sign that will be erected in the right-field bleachers at Wrigley Field as part of the team's deal with the beermaker, according to a source cited by Noel & Sullivan of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. While it is "questionable whether construction" on the $300M ballpark renovation plan will begin this offseason as planned, the Cubs "have the go-ahead to install the sign either way." Cubs VP/Communications & Community Affairs Julian Green said, "We could potentially put up the sign by 2014 (before construction begins)." Noel & Sullivan noted the Cubs are "running out of time to start the first phase of their Wrigley renovation plan, which is expected to take place over five offseasons." Meanwhile, A-B spokesperson Ana Serafin said that it "had not been determined which Anheuser-Busch brands would be available, or in what quantity, but suggested the brewery's 'Chicago-influenced beers' would be obvious candidates." The deal is a marketing agreement only, but it "gives Budweiser ample muscle when it comes time to set the Wrigley Field beer menu" for '14 and beyond (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/7). ESPN CHICAGO's Bruce Levine noted the mock-up sign will "simulate what rooftop owners will look through" when the renovation of Wrigley Field is completed in '18. The sign will "be in place to show Budweiser how the large display will look," giving the team's "main advertiser some input toward creativity and engineering of the permanent sign." A source said that Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts and his family are "looking for video board partners to defer the cost of the project that will go up, most likely in late 2014 or early '15" (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 9/7).
BLEACHER CREATURES OF HABIT? In Chicago, Dan McGrath wrote under the header, "As Cubs' Season Slips Away, So Do Attendance Figures At Wrigley Field." Fans have "stopped flocking to Wrigley Field like indiscriminate lemmings." This year marks the team's "fourth straight season of declining attendance" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 9/8).