The big news surrounding the Cubs is of course the Wrigley renovation deal that apparently will be announced on Opening Day Monday.
The Sun Times broke the story and Dave Kaplan of Comcast cites a source that speculates the value of the Cubs could double in result.
Multiple experts told me Friday morning that by 2017, the revenues will increase so dramatically that the franchise will probably double in value since the Ricketts family paid $845 million in October of 2009 for 95 percent of the team, Wrigley Field and a stake in Comcast Sports Net Chicago.
The deal reportedly will allow an increase in the number of night games from 30 to 40, or potentially, close to 50. The Cubs will finally get their jumbotron as well as increased signage in the stadium.
This deal seems to be getting settled without the approval of the rooftop owners, however. They were a focal point in the negotiations and we haven't heard the last from them. It makes me wonder how much Alderman Tom Tunney promised them in this deal.
Statement from Beth Murphy, owner of Murphy's Bleachers and spokesperson for the Wrigleyville Rooftops Association:
"We reserve judgment until said proposals are publicized, however we are deeply troubled that 16 small businesses were not party to talks where their contractual rights were at stake. Rooftop owners reserve the right to use any and all means necessary to enforce the remaining 11 years of our 20-year contract. We support a renovated Wrigley Field, but the neighborhood and its businesses should be partners in the debate as we have over the last 30 years."
Now that the off the field issues are almost settled lets look at tonight’s preview.
Cubs at Braves 6 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Plus
Today’s line up vs. Mike Minor:
1. Dave Sappelt CF
2. Starlin Castro SS
3. Anthony Rizzo 1B
4. Alfonso Soriano LF
5. Scott Hairston RF
6. Welington Castillo C
7. Brent Lillibridge 3B
8. Alberto Gonzalez 2B
9. Scott Feldman P
What to watch for:
- John: My guy to watch today is Scott Feldman. If he can survive the Upton brothers and the rest of that Brave line up, it may go a long way in his bid to stay in the rotation with a Matt Garza return looming.
- Tom: I’m hoping Alfonso Soriano can get himself started. He has had some monster games in the ATL and his bat is sorely needed. Have to say I will have one eye on a closing situation to see how it plays out.
- Felzz: Scott Hariston, I'm going to kid myself into thinking that the Hariston/Schierholtz platoon is a competitive one and that playing time might be weighted based on performance. If this is the case, and it most likely isn't, then Hariston should be motivated by Schierholtz's heroics to step his game and match Nate the great hit for hit.
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