This morning, Bruce Levine had two guests on his radio show talking about the ongoing Cubs-rooftops shenanigans. One of the possibilities that appears to have surfaced is that the Cubs may buy out the rooftops, and it almost sounds like the only hitch is the price tag. In the event that the Cubs CAN buy out various rooftop clubs and build out their ballpark (since it's an expansion, not a renovation, mind you), this lends itself to many wonderful possibilities. I fantasize a LOT, from my insane idea to just build a new Wrigley Field on an island in Lake Michigan to the various ideas that have worked for other ballparks.
One of the ideas that I had was similar to the proposed patio over Sheffield Avenue. The most recent renderings make it look like an eyesore, but done right, this might not be too bad. There would be room underneath to do street fares and still allow buses and emergency vehicles to go through, similar to the elevated "El" tracks around the Loop. If the Cubs can possibly buy out a few (or all) of the rooftops on Sheffield, they may be able to build a contiguous platform across the street to connect directly to the rooftop buildings. The rooftops could also have amenities etc. inside for patrons and fans. An additional benefit is that the Cubs could connect the Addison Red Line station through a rooftop building and have it lead directly into the ballpark through a new "patio" gate in order to alleviate traffic through that station (if you are a frequent CTA user, you know what I'm talking about).
The other thing I thought about was an extension of the first idea, where the rooftops and their seats would be incorporated into the park environment like at Petco Park (San Diego Padres) and Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros). In this sense, the Cubs could retain their unique rooftops while controlling the tickets therein. They could convert them into luxury suites or rooftop boxes since most fans say they don't really watch games from the rooftops anyway (something about drinking and partying). I've attached a couple of pictures below to illustrate what I'm talking about.
I realize that these changes would take some getting used to, and nobody should take my word for gospel right now because there's no guarantee that the rooftops would even accept a buyout of any price; this is just an idea we're speculating about based off a brief radio interview. There are some rumblings out there that the buyout scenario could be real, as you can see from the tweet below from friend of the blog Tom Loxas:
Sounds like Ricketts needs to make a deal (buy out?) of a specific Waveland property. Should have more on Monday.
— TomLoxas (@TomLoxas) February 1, 2014
If in fact the Cubs are successful in their bid to "expand" the stadium (and we're cautiously optimistic that this will be the case), having almost full control of the areas surrounding Wrigley Field could be very beneficial to the overall Wrigley experience. Here's hoping!
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