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Wrigley Renovation Is Music To My Ears, But Ricketts Hitting All The Wrong Notes With Fans

empty_wrigley.jpg

 I've been on board with a full-on renovation of Wrigley Field (and when I say 'full-on,' I mean knocking down everything but the ivy, the marquee, and the scoreboard and starting over.) I hadn't been all that fired up about a Fenway-esque renovation until I got the chance to check out Target Field this Spring and came home 5 different shades of green with envy.

So I was exicted to see today that the Ricketts and I seem to be ont he same page on this issue:

The owner of the Chicago Cubs is asking the state to help finance more than $200 million in renovations at Wrigley Field that will ensure the team stays at the historic ballpark for the next 35 years.

The Ricketts family, which purchased the team last year from Tribune Co. in a deal valued at $845 million, has pledged that the project will not be financed by new taxes or an increase in existing taxes.

The family's plan calls for the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, which owns U.S. Cellular Field, to float up to $300 million in bonds. The bonds will be paid over 35 years through amusement taxes that Wrigley Field customers already pay.

While Illinois taxpayers are going to be understandly hesitant to embrace state money going to renovate an already wildly-popular stadium while dealing with an $11 billion budget deficit, the bottom line is that Wrigley Field and the Cubs bring in enormous amounts of money to local businesses every year. Bars, restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, and local merchants all benefit from Wrigley Field. The more Cubs fans are in the area, the more money local merchants make. The more money they make, the higher the taxes they pay. The more taxes Illinois collects, the better it is for everyone in the state.

And lest you're one of the "purists" who doesn't want a hair on Wrigley's head touched or altered in any way, do yourself a favor and take a trip up to Target Field in Minneapolis. It will cure you of the Wrigley-is-perfect-the-way-it-is-itis right quick. Beautiful wide concourses, stairs and ramps that don't force you to take your life in your hands every time you go up or down, two different light rail lines that drop fans off within feet of their seats, an unbelievable variety of restaurants and bars. . .  and that's before I even start talking about the intimacy of the setting and the beauty of the field.  

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2009 League Of Her Own Get-Together

Immigration March in San Diego, April 9, 2007

Why yes, we DO have quite a few immigrant readers here at LOHO. Muchas gracias for asking!

Hey kids, only a few days left until the 2009 LOHO get-together, which will take place Saturday, June 13, 2009 at the Cubs/Twinks game. To attend, all you have to do is get your grubby little hands on a bleacher ticket for the game. Then, meet up with cubbiejulie and the rest of the crew at Murphy's Bleachers (right across the street from Wrigley) at 10:30 am on gameday.

We'll hang out for a while (you'll see us, we'll be clearly marked) then all head across the street together to choose a bleacher destination to our liking. Everyone is welcome to attend, especially those lurkers we haven't met yet!

Tickets are still available on Stub Hub, and there might be a few floating around here as well. If you need a ticket or have a ticket, pipe up! We'll do our best to get you there!

Group Hug/Tuesday Morning Headlines


You know, we're still in beta testing
 
It's been an eventful week here at LOHO. We broke up an ugly losing streak, saw our beloved Z crackup at home plate and earn a suspension, made the big move over to the new digs, and currently have round-the-clock search parties out patroling the waters around the new site for stragglers lost in the shallows.
 
Let's all sit down for a moment, shall we?
 
It's no secret that there's been a bit of teeth gnashing over some of the changes to the site during the move. Some people don't like the way the comments are formatting (i.e., no nesting, no "new comment" designation), others are distressed about not knowing "who's online" at any given time. Still others are lost without a sidebar.
 
I feel you.
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