A half-billion dollar deal on Wrigley Field renovations has been reached! Early in this young MLB season, the talk hasn’t been about baseball but business negotiations instead. And it’s easy to understand why, most experts have the Chicago Cubs projected to lose 90+ games this season. So the ballpark seems more interesting than the results of the 2013 season.
Crain’s Chicago reports the Chicago Cubs and city officials have reached a deal on Wrigley Field renovations. Crain’s Danny Ecker writes:
After weeks of intense negotiations, the Chicago Cubs, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney have finalized an agreement that will spur the team to begin its five-year, $500 million plan to renovate Wrigley Field and develop property around the stadium.
Since Chicago Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts is BFF with Wrapports Chairman Michael Ferro (who own the Chicago Sun-Times) I thought the second city’s second paper would break this story first. There is a huge public relations battle being fought right now between the Wrigleyville rooftop owners and the Chicago Cubs. In their last press release, the rooftops association looked desperate and defensive.
So it will be interesting to see the rooftops response to the Wrigley Field renovations deal. The agreement will relax game day restrictions and gives the ballclub more freedom. Of course, this still has to pass through city and community approval.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s public statement: “This framework allows the Cubs to restore the Friendly Confines and pursue their economic goals, while respecting the rights and quality of life of its neighbors. I want to thank the Ricketts family for their commitment to Chicago and commend all parties involved for making this agreement without the use of any taxpayer money.”
The Wrigley Field renovations deal will include changes to: ballpark signage, parking, beer sales, concerts/events at the ballpark, traffic and much more. A video board can be erected in left field. The number of night games can (and most likely will) increase from 30 to 40. Beer sales are potentially extended an hour. The Ricketts family will be allowed to develop a building on property adjacent to Wrigley Field. The Cubs will have a 1,000 new parking spots available off-site via shuttle. They can build their Sheraton now across the street.
And for those who love to imbibe, the Captain Morgan Club is now open to doubling it’s size.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker