According to a report from the Tribune, the Cubs might not have enough time to get the recently approved jumbotron installed in left field in time and working properly for Opening Day of 2014. The Cubs are “sensitive to fans who may be skeptical about the addition of a giant video board in left field” according to the report and the team is not looking to rush the process.
The Cubs cleared a major hurdle in the process last week when the Landmarks Commission unanimously approved the addition of a 5,700 square-foot sign in left field that would feature a 4,560 square-foot video screen, a 650 square-foot see-through sign in right field and a sign matrix that will guide future stadium advertising could be added to Wrigley Field.
But the team still must receive approval from the Chicago Plan Commission, the city’s Zoning Committee and the City Council. The Cubs are scheduled to meet with the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday (July 18).
So the team has to wait for all of the approvals before they can move forward with the jumbotron which will likely cause a delay in having it up and ready to go in time for Opening Day.
The Tribune reported the Cubs are “still on track” according to spokesman Julian Green but after the team receives all of the necessary approvals, they still “have to put out a request for a video board manufacturer” and that process can take some time. Once the team decides on the right company, then the design process would begin. Julian Green told the Tribune the jumbotron would require around 20 people to run the board, a project manager and a producer for the amount of content it would take to produce for the length of an average ballgame.
Green called the 22 weeks between the end of this season and Opening Day of 2014 “a pretty aggressive timeline” and it would be “pretty tough to get a video board installed.”
The Cubs have sent marketing department staff to other ballparks to see what those teams are doing with their jumbotrons. Green pointed out that Tom Ricketts has promised the content on the jumbotron will be baseball related content and not kiss-cams.
It appears that Ald. Tom Tunney is not done fighting to keep the Cubs from adding the large outfield signs. Tunney was not happy about the Landmarks Commission vote last week and according to a report from Crain’s Chicago Business, Tunney “intends to fight to the end the plan to rebuild Wrigley Field.”
According to Greg Hintz, Tunney has “begun calling his colleagues and asking them for help in a political shootout on the City Council floor.”
A lot was made last week when news surfaced the Cubs received approval from the Landmarks Commission to place advertising on the clock on the centerfield scoreboard and along the top of the outfield wall. The advertising locations were approved as part of the Cubs “master sign program.”
As the report in the Tribune pointed out, the Cubs asked for everything they could while receiving approval from the Landmarks Commission. And just because they have been given the okay, it does not mean the team and the Ricketts family is going to litter Wrigley Field with signs.
The request to add the signage should have been expected with what the team has to go through in order to renovate Wrigley Field. It is a lot easier to ask for permission now then to go back to the Landmarks Commission down the road.