Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Ricketts Threatens to Move Out of Wrigley If Signs Are Not Approved

Tom Ricketts met with the media on Wednesday morning at the City Club of Chicago to discuss the Wrigley Field Restoration plans that were released Tuesday night.

For the first time publically, Tom Ricketts has threatened to move the Cubs out of Wrigley Field if they are not able to add the signs inside Wrigley Field necessary to generate the revenue to restore Wrigley.

Tom Ricketts addressed a number of subjects, plus what the impact of the restoration deal being approved will have on the Cubs’ baseball budget.

Here are numerous reports that were tweeted during the press conference from David Kaplan, Patrick Mooney, Gordon Wittenmyer, Danny Ecker (Crain’s Chicago Business) and Serena Dai (DNAInfo Chicago.com).

I recommend taking the time to read all of the information from this morning’s press conference.

  • Ricketts says that the new Wrigley will generate 94 million in additional revenue for the community and city.
  • Says Cubs spend 15 mil in deferred maintenance on aging baseball stadium.Says only Yankees pay more amusement taxes than Cubs
  • Ricketts digs at Wrigley rooftops use of Groupon to sell tickets
  • Says that not only do Cubs have restrictions that no other team has but that every other team in division has a new publicly funded stadium.
  • Says “I knew the problems when we bought the team. That doesn’t matter. The problems still have to be addressed.”
  • “Just let us run our business like a business. We want to win and run our business without outside influences having a voice in our business”
  • Ricketts says Cubs are looking for $20 million annually in new outfield advertising.
  • Ricketts says he hopes public keeps an “open mind” in hearings
  • “We have utmost respect for public process and we thank Mayor Emanuel for his support. We hope City Council acts quickly to approve our plan.”
  • Ricketts says players have complained that Wrigley weight room is smaller than their home gyms, calls facilities “third class”
  • “We don’t want to fix what isn’t broken. The view remains the same.”
  • “Signage we are proposing would be with minimum of impact on our rooftop neighbors.”
  • “Our plan is to create a family friendly plaza outside park that will be a benefit to community and provide a venue for multitude of events.”
  • “We’re going to have to consider moving” if can’t do signs
  • Ricketts: if it comes to a point where we can’t do what we want to do, we’ll have to consider moving. (Crowd murmurs)
  • “If we cannot get approval for this plan and our signage plans are blocked we will then consider moving out of Wrigley Field”
  • Ricketts: no plan to raise ticket prices now
  • Ricketts: two rooftops on either side of jumbotron will have minimally impacted views
  • Ricketts: I like all the people that own the rooftops
  • “We need to control our relationship with our sponsors. That’s why we don’t want signage across the street on the rooftops.”
  • Beth Murphy: We still have a lot of work to do
  • Murphy said they need to meet with neighborhood groups and team to discuss signs
  • Beth Murphy, representing rooftops, says there’s a lot of work to do with Cubs: “I’m confident in our contract.”
  • Beth Murphy, rooftops spokeswoman, on Ricketts threat to move: I don’t think it would be a wise decision.
  • Rooftop rep asked if they would take team to court:”I know you all want me to say that.We still have work to do with the Cubs
  • “We are very confident in the legality of our signage plan. We are not making a threat to move. The fact is we want to win in Wrigley Field.
  • Keep my talk about moving in context. We want to win at Wrigley. We also need to run our business.”
  • I am not frustrated. It’s been longer than I originally anticipated but I understand it is part of the process process.”
  • Moving is not a threat. It is a fact that if we don’t have outfield signage we cannot make the financials work. That’s it.”
  • “It’s a big leap to take our proposed plaza and call it Times Square. Yes, there will be signage on plaza but that’s part of sponsorship.”
  • “We anticipate increasing spending on the baseball side as soon as we know what we can do with this plan.”
  • “We need this revenue to compete. That is a fact.”
  • “We’re doing everything we can to build winning baseball team and winning organization. We are building a minor league system and it will pay off.”
  • Ricketts says team’s enormous debt “doesn’t affect the urgency of the process.”
  • Cubs to meet with rooftops in next few days. Signage made focus but number of asked night games, hotel height, etc still critical too

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