The Cubs received unanimous approval from the City Council on Wednesday on their five-year plan to restore and renovate Wrigley Field. The Cubs received the go ahead on the $500 million development of the park and surrounding land.
The Cubs still have to work out issues with the rooftop club owners. Once those negotiations are completed, the team will be able to begin the project.
According to a report from Jon Greenberg, the Cubs said they will not “spend a nickel” until they are certain the rooftop club owners will not sue. A rooftop spokesman gave a “no comment” to Greenberg when he asked about the possibility on Wednesday which leads one to think a lawsuit, or at least the threat of one, is coming soon.
In a statement released by the team, the Cubs still need “resolve the outstanding issues with the rooftops and adjust the night-game ordinance to meet Major League Baseball requirements.”
The Cubs plan on beginning the project as soon as the last regular season game is played at Wrigley Field. The Cubs wrap up the home part of their schedule on September 25 against the Pirates.
Ald. Tom Tunney was reportedly rather animated during Wednesday’s meeting with the City Council. The alderman told the Cubs they better “honor their commitments to local residents if they want to avoid one.”
Mayor Emanuel closed the meeting by reiterating that there’s “not one single taxpayer going to back this up.”
The project includes:
- Restoration of the exterior of Wrigley Field (1930s appearance)
- New Clubhouses (home and visitor)
- New Training Facilities (home and visitor)
- New Concourses and Concessions
- (1) 5,700 square foot video scoreboard in left field
- (1) 650 square foot see-through sign in right field
- 175-room boutique hotel that includes a 40,000 square-foot health club
- 74 parking spaces
- A six-story office building with advertising on the south and west faces that includes a 117-foot clock tower
- An open air plaza with seven ad bearing steel towers and a four screen digital advertising board that would be turned off between 11:00pm and 6:00am
- 35,000 square feet of ads between the hotel, plaza and Captain Morgan Club
The pedestrian bridge remains part of the approved plan but has been “deferred indefinitely” and the hotel entrance will be negotiated at a different time.
According to the Sun-Times, Mayor Emanuel “engineered a 10-year moratorium on outfield signs – the duration of the Cubs’ revenue-sharing agreement with the rooftop club owners – beyond the two he already approved.”
The Cubs are also exploring ways to further limit the blocked views of the rooftop club owners by moving the see-through sign in right field “behind a deck that would hover over Sheffield.” In order to move the sign back, the exterior footprint of Wrigley would have to be moved back two times as much as in the original plans. The team’s original plan called for the exterior footprint to move back 8-10 feet.