There will be some changes in Wrigley Field the next time you see it.
There may be a lot more changes in store as Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he’s in the “final stages” of negotiating a deal with the team to pave the way for the renovation of Wrigley Field.
The mayor did make one stipulation. The Cubs would need to invest any assisted money in Wrigley itself rather than projects such as the long rumored triangle building
“Whatever we do to enhance the value of Wrigley Field, it will be to make sure the private owners enhance the value at Wrigley Field,” the mayor said at an unrelated event on the Far South Side.
“I will not put my money in their field so they can take their money and invest around the field and get greater economic value.”
The Cubs did not have any response to the Mayor’s demands according to the report.
Tom Ricketts has taken the stance that the city let the Cubs use $200 million dollars worth of the city amusement tax dollars towards other projects other than the stadium alone. It doesn’t sound like that is going to fly with city hall.
However, it does sound like Emanuel is up for fixing what actually needs to get fixed at Wrigley. Even if that happens, the city may have to relax some of the ballpark’s landmark status.
The City Council landmarked “historic elements” of Wrigley in 2004 as part of an agreement that paved the way for 12 more night games. The designation covered the exterior and marquee sign at Clark and Addison, the quaint center field scoreboard and ivy-covered brick walls and the uninterrupted sweep of the bleachers and grandstand.
During the 2008 negotiations over the Tribune Co.’s failed plan to have the state acquire and renovate Wrigley, Cubs executive Crane Kenney argued that, “If you’re going to restore and maintain the facility, you’re going to have to take parts of it down and rebuild it, just like we rebuilt the bleachers two years ago. Landmarking authorization doesn’t let you do that.”
As far as changes you can see now, the new right field Budweiser Patio and 75-foot LED board will be ready come opening day.
"The Noodle" structure has also returned and will be outside the new “Cubs Store” at Clark and Addison.
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