Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Cubs Expect to Receive Approval from City on Revised Plan

Wrigley Plan - 052714According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs revised plan for Wrigley Field is expected to be on the Landmarks Commission agenda for July 10 and Landmarks will approve the team’s new plan that includes seven outfield signs and two video scoreboards. The Cubs removed the expansion of the proposed bullpen doors and that small change appears to have pleased Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Landmarks Commission.

Fran Spielman talked with Julian Green, the Cubs spokesman, about the situation earlier this week.

Green said, “We’re not prepared to lose another year and jeopardize delivering on the promises we made to our players, out fans and out [advertising] partners. We believe the revised expansion plan fits within the guidelines of the Landmarks Commission. We’re confident we’ve addressed all of the outstanding issues and should be going through with our revised plan on July 10. We took the widening of the bullpen doors off the table. The only material change was those doors.”

PrintPart of the Cubs revised plans to restore, renovate and expand Wrigley Field is moving the bullpens from the current, and traditional, locations in foul territory in left and right field to underneath the bleachers. The Cubs proposed expanding the size of the opening that will be created when the metal doors are removed to add visibility for the pitchers warming up in the bullpens. The Cubs cannot touch the bricks, ivy or outfield doors without approval from the Landmarks Commission. And the expansion of the proposed doors was not in the revised plans the Cubs worked on with the City. The size change on the doors caught the Mayor off guard and the meeting with the Landmarks Commission was pushed back for a month.

Fran Spielman contacted Ryan McLaughlin, a spokesman for the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association, he had no comment about the Cubs meeting with Landmarks next week or the lawsuit being dropped against Marc Ganis. The rooftops filed a lawsuit against Ganis, a stadium financing consultant who once advised the Cubs’ prior owner, the Tribune Co. According to the report, the rooftops “accused Marc Ganis of making false and defamatory statements about them, in violation of their revenue-sharing agreement.”

Wrigley Field Restoration Updates
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  • Denver Mike

    Right or wrong, contract or not, the rooftops seem to be losing the battle at every turn, and I expect that to continue. Maybe they should’ve been more willing to negotiate, and drop the insane demands like wanting the Cubs to extend the contract another 20 years, or putting the Jumbotron on the building across the street. I hope all of the signs and video boards are approved, and the rooftop owners end-up with little/nothing at all. Then Ricketts can buy them up at pennies on the dollar, and do what he wants with them. Parking lots sound good to me! :)

    • TheWrongGuy

      “Then Ricketts can buy them up at pennies on the dollar, and do what he wants with them. Parking lots sound good to me! :)”

      Parking garages would make better since, but yes more parking is much better idea.

      • Denver Mike

        Haha … 6 of one, half dozen of the other … same thing

  • John_CC

    Heaven forbid they change the design of the serious health and concussion risks that are steel doors in the outfield wall! They are historic health risks!

    • Denver Mike

      I would hope if they don’t let the Cubs enlarge the doors, they would at least let them change the steel doors to a chain-link or something transparent and more forgiving. I would rather smack a chain link fence than a reinforced steel door, and it would give the bullpen pitchers some light and a view of the field. I’ve been under those bleachers back there and it’s pretty dark and nasty.

      • John_CC

        I imagine they’ll open them to the street…I hope.

        Safeco in Seattle did really cool stuff with the bullpens. They are against the outfield wall but you can hang out right above them and watch the game and the guys in the pen. Then there is a concession area under that area where you can watch the pitchers warm up right there. It’s really cool. It’s a beautiful baseball park all the way around.

        • Denver Mike

          Yeah, you’d have to figure they’d find some way to open them up to the natural light and give the fans a view as well. I’m really looking forward to this getting under way, as I think if the end product comes even close to the rendering that it’s going to be a pretty impressive sight to see.

    • Tony_H

      What about the brick? The steel doors are just one very small part of the outfield wall.

      • John_CC

        I understand, I am just bringing up how ridiculous the contention with the doors specifically is. The brick and ivy is problematic but honestly a huge park of the historic charm of Wrigley. But a couple steel doors?

        • Tony_H

          I know, but they have to pick their battles.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        I actually thought about this the other day. I think you could put up fake/faux brick..made of some sort of shock-absorbing material, then reattach the vines over it. win win.

        • Denver Mike

          I just had a brilliant idea. Imagine if the bricks were deemed unsafe, requiring the Cubs to replace them with something padded and put the ivy over that like you suggested. The Cubs love auctioning “authentic” crap online at insanely high prices as it is…if the Cubs were to auction off the outfield walls brick by brick there would be insanely wealthy fans around the world bidding for them. I’m willing to bet it could pull in enough money to pay for the next Tanaka by itself! Who needs a new TV deal?!

  • deniojct

    When the RoofTop’s contract ends you can bet that it will end up in court and the politicians take the RoofTop’s side of the argument.. I can see the Cubs being forced into renewing their contract… It’s all part of the history of Wrigleyville..

    • Denver Mike

      Not sure what you mean here. When the rooftop contract ends, there will be nothing to go to court about because the Cubs can do whatever they want. They likely will go to court in the short term, because of the contract, and the rooftops will likely lose because this is considered “expansion” which the contract allows.

      • deniojct

        They generate a lot of tax revenue for the city and the Cubs will be taking away their business (no matter how they got it).
        When you put a pack of lawyers and politicians together I will bet the Rickett’s won’t be happy with the results…

        • Denver Mike

          I’m no fan of politicians and lawyers either, but I have to give credit to the City thus far as they have been very supportive of the Cubs efforts to this point. Aside from a few small points like the pedestrian bridge and outfield doors; they have approved the hotel, “branding arch”, additional signs and video boards, given up parking lanes to allow for the outfield walls to be moved back, not to mention they are approving all of this under the guise of “expansion” which is the loophole that allows the Cubs to essentially flip the rooftops the bird.

          The fact is that Ricketts is investing over $550MM of his own money into the city, and in turn generating more revenue (tax $$$) than the measly rooftops will ever contribute. I have to believe that alone will make any demands of the rooftops owners fall on deaf ears in the end. Heck the rooftop lawyers couldn’t win a defamation lawsuit against a PR consultant, which leads me to believe Ricketts lawyers will have their way as well.

          Just my $.02

        • Tony_H

          The rooftops are not looking forward to the end of the contract. They will be out of business if they haven’t sold the property to the Cubs by then.

          And in the grand scheme of things, it is not that much tax revenue.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    except to satisfy their need to be seen as in control, I would love to hear the reasoning that Rahm or LC would have on why they are against widening bullpen doors. Who, exactly, would that offend or hurt? It is all just silly.

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