Report: Cubs Receive Preliminary Backing from Mayor’s Office on Wrigley Restoration Plan

According to a report from Crain’s Chicago Business, the Cubs have received at least preliminary backing from Mayor Rahm Emanuel after extensive negotiations between team officials and top aides to the mayor. The Cubs unveiled their $300 million project to restore Wrigley Field during the Cubs Convention.

According to the report, “the plan still faces one huge obstacle: owners of the rooftop clubs adjoining Wrigley Field” and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th). The rooftop owners oppose “any deal that involves increased signage inside the ballpark that could block views from the rooftops.”

Without the increase signage, the Ricketts family would not be able to generate the necessary funds to pay for the restoration project. The Cubs announced at the convention that the Ricketts family would pay for the restoration project, without asking for public subsidy, but they need the city to remove some of the restrictions that prevent the team from generating the revenue to pay for the project.

According to the report from Crain’s Chicago Business, the Ricketts family “needs perhaps $45 million a year in new revenues to retire the bonds needed for the work and to pay for increased operating expenses for the modernized stadium.”

The Cubs would like to increase the number of night games and to be able to move Friday afternoon start times from 1:20 to 3:05. The Cubs would also like to add more signage and one of their proposals includes the addition of a jumbotron, which could bring in $10-$20 million a year.

The rooftop owners are opposed to the Cubs adding signage, especially a jumbotron, and according to the report from Crain’s, Tunney is opposed to amending Wrigley Field’s landmark status.

The report indicated that the Cubs need a decision by around Opening Day if they are to proceed with their plan this year.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax