A League of Her Own

Wednesday Headlines: Ricketts Hits the Campaign Trail

This is what Wrigley will look like next year
(Handout Photo, Chicago Tribune, November 16,  2010)


Tom Ricketts got resistance from some important people regarding his siphoning of Cubs tax revenue to fund Wrigley renovations. So he took to the airwaves to push his plan, with some unlikely allies of big business.

Flanked by representatives of unions and civic groups, Ricketts tried to dispel any suggestion that his proposal would cost the public unless they come through the turnstiles any money at all.

This is not a new tax, not an increased tax and a tax only paid by people who come to Cubs games and buy Cubs tickets," he said. "Taxpayers are being asked for nothing."

Except for expected revenue to be taken from the state budget. So why trot out union representatives?

The overall $400 million renovation plan for the 96-year-old stadium would include a major overhaul of aging clubhouses, among other things. Ricketts contends the work would create 1,000 construction jobs and those would give way to hundreds of permanent jobs, generating more than $450 million in tax revenue for Chicago, Cook County and the state over the next 35 years.


What would the renovations look like?

"You'd love if you left the building for a year of playing time, (then) you wouldn't have to re-excavate it," Kenney said. "That's one of the reasons the project costs a little more because if you want to keep playing here through the various construction projects, it's a little more expensive. "

The biggest endeavor involves the home clubhouse, which would expand to an area beneath the spot left fielder Alfonso Soriano currently patrols. The original idea in 2001 was to build an underground clubhouse annex in the Triangle building with state-of-the-art batting cages.

The Cubs eventually decided that would mean too long a walk for players, and engineers convinced them a clubhouse could be built under left field over the course of three offseasons. An excavation project will begin next week to see how far they have to dig to reach bedrock.

And the triangle building?

"The Triangle building, the concept, has been a drawing forever," Ricketts said. "And we're trying to get over that. Once we know we have the resources to set aside, so we can get the park to where it has to be so it can exist for 50 more years, we're going to be sitting down with the community and neighborhood groups to understand what's missing for them and the families here at Wrigleyville."

Restaurants, concessions and parking are a given, but a Cubs museum and a hotel are only possibilities, Kenney said. A pedestrian walkway with a retractable roof, referred to as "Cubs Alley," would be similar to Yawkey Way, a street adjacent to Fenway Park that closes to traffic on game days, creating a lively street-party atmosphere.

To round out today's headlines, Jim Hendry is excited about the prospect of trades this winter. 

''I got the sense from conversations with other GMs that there seems to be a lot of intent toward trade talks,'' he said. ''Not anything real specific, but a lot of that dialogue I thought was kind of plentiful. Usually this time of year, people are trying to get out of the gate and sign that quick free agent.

''A lot of guys were interested to see if there were matchups on trades right away.''


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44 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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Hey--that drawing looks neat!

I'm off to try to make it through my awful, horrible, terrible no-good day. If I get through this, It'll be downhill for the rest of the week.

AndCounting said:

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You're really personalizing hump day, aren't you? It's Wednesday for the rest of us, too, you know.

AndCounting said:

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I think the marquee in the banner needs to be purple like in real life.

plamorte said:

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good idea, reminder me tomorrow, I left my flash drive with the files for it at home! And prob should do something new with the standings, DeRosa's 15 min are up...

plamorte said:

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reminder/remind, same thing

JulieDiCaro said:

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we should change the banner marquee to purple

JulieDiCaro said:

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oh . . i get it now. nevermind.

Doc said:

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The Cubs should just change their team colors to purple. Blue, white and red have gotten us nowhere for 102 years. Time to switch it up a bit.

Doc said:

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hmmm...that gives me an idea.

FrankS said:

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What? You're going to post over at BCB about the Cubs being cursed by the color BLUE? Let's change it to cyan, then we can have BCC!

JulieDiCaro said:

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PINK!!!!

Doc said:

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It's better than blue.

Edelweiss said:

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No Major League Baseball team has purple and gold for colors, though several football teams do. That would look sharp, and would match the beads the fans wore up until the end of last year.

sloan peterson said:

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Add green, and black to it and you might have something: the official Cubs Color- a bruise!!

FrankS said:

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Or they could have like a color wheel effect where the color changes from red to purple to blue to green to pink like they used to do on artificial Christmas trees years ago.

sloan peterson said:

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Just make the Cubs colors act like a mood ring-blue when winning,black when losing...

Doc said:

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I might be a fool (shut up, smart ass)...but what is the significance of the 1916, 1942 and 1949 seasons that are displayed on the banners in that rendering?

jarowcliffe said:

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I think its an evolution of the logo

gravedigger said:

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Oh, you fool.

Doc said:

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shut up, smart ass.

Doc said:

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Can someone explain to me why, exactly, the Triangle Building isn't to be physically attached to the ballpark? And don't give me this "Cubs Alley" bull crap...you know what Cubs ally is? It's call Clark Street. Attached the damn building to the ballpark.

AndCounting said:

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Believe it or not, I know from experience that attaching a new building to an old one is more trouble than it's worth. My old workplace expanded a little bit and tried to incorporate a new building into their campus and connect it to the old ones. They managed to make it work, but it was a nightmare and cost them a ton of extra money.

Doc said:

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It can be done...and the Packers did a good job of it when they built the atrium next to lambeau field. I just seems like that "Cubs Alley" is a huge waste of space that could be easily used for more offices and such...maybe even creating enough space so they don't have to dig out space under the field for the Cubs clubhouse.

flyball said:

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I respectfully disagree

I recommend visiting the new addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum for an example of a great addition that doesn't need to be incorporated into the current

construction costs a ton of money, people just don't realize how much

AndCounting said:

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I'm not sure who or what you're disagreeing with. It looks like CN ate one of your sentences.

flyball said:

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I disagree that building an addition to a building is more difficult or more costly than tearing it down and building a brand new building

AndCounting said:

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Okay, but that's not what I was saying. Building a free-standing building near an old building is a lot easier (and cheaper) than building it and connecting it to said building, especially when the original building is 100 years old and confined to the infrastructure of a city block.

And my point about a ton of money was that it did cost a ton of EXTRA money to correct the problems they didn't foresee when they attempted to connect the new building to an old building. But I wasn't suggesting tearing down anything.

flyball said:

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so you are suggesting 2 separate buildings? existing Wrigley and a separate building?

AndCounting said:

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I'm not. The Cubs are. That was Doc's original comment that started this: Why isn't the Triangle Building going to be physically connected to Wrigley? I think that would be more trouble than it's worth.

gravedigger said:

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Cmon man its Cubs Alley

Doc said:

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Yep, it's a dark and creepy place where the Cubs mug you and rape the hope out of you year after year.

Teebob2000 said:

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I guess I never put together that family patriarch and asshat extraordinaire Joe Ricketts is one of the founders of the "Taxpayers Against Earmarks" group, formed to curtail gov't spending, which is SO ironic that his family is looking for $300M from the state...

Sorry if this point has already been covered in previous posts/threads, but I've been on again/off again...

sloan peterson said:

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That is news to me-Thanks Teebob!!

Doc said:

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Tim over at Aisle 424 did a post on this.

flyball said:

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hahahaha

plamorte said:

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Goodbye Micah ;(

Doc said:

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No more Hufflepuff to kick around. That sucks. Now we truly have no one to play first base.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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I'm telling you, Doc. You need to come out of retirement and play first. You are a left-handed power hitter, right?

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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I think he's a switch-hitter, but his lefty splits are much better.

Doc said:

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I said before, I don't think the Cubs should sign an aging veteran like me. I am actually a switch hitter (shut up, Gravedigger), but I throw right handed which is a disadvantage as a first baseman.

Besides, I'd have to learn the position. Never played first base. Second, Third, center and catcher...never first.

I think if the Cubs were to get a switch hitting veteran first baseman, it should be Lance Berkman. He'll be cheaper than me (shut up, Gravedigger).

Edelweiss said:

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The Cubs already have a switch hitter, but he only bats righty.

JulieDiCaro said:

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What happened to Micah? I've been on trial all day!

Doc said:

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Hufflepuff decided the Cubs weren't good enough for him and decided to play in Japan in 2011.

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