Cubs Push Forward With Wrigley Renovation Plan

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Team officials release new renderings of renovated Wrigley Field, don't believe rooftop owners will prevail in courtroom battle. NBC 5's Susan Carlson reports. (Published Tuesday, May 27, 2014)

    The Chicago Cubs organization released more information Tuesday on its plan to move forward with renovating and expanding Wrigley Field, despite opposition from the adjacent rooftop owners.

    At a news conference, business operations president Crane Kenney reiterated the team's stance that they were finished with negotiating.

    The new plan increases the cost of the project from $300 million to $375 million on Wrigley Field upgrades, which doesn't include the planned additions outside of the stadium, including a hotel.

    Cubs' Plans Ensure Court Battle

    [CHI] Cubs' Plans Ensure Court Battle
    Chicago's City Council approved the Cubs' $500 million renovation plan last summer, but it has been stalled by opposition from the owners of the 15 rooftop venues. NBC Chicago's Lauren Petty reports for the NBC 5 NEWS at NOON on May 22, 2014. (Published Thursday, May 22, 2014)

    The Cubs plan to add five more outfield signs, in addition to two that have already been approved. The controversial jumbo screen in left field will be reduced in size and a brand new video board is planned for right field.

    The team will seek approval from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks on June 5, and if that's successful, the new signs could be up as early as next season.

    Cubs Owner Plays Hardball with Rooftop Owners

    [CHI] Cubs Owner Plays Hardball with Rooftop Owners
    The Cubs end negotiations with rooftop owners and submit a new plan for Wrigley renovations. NBC 5's Anthony Ponce reports. (Published Thursday, May 22, 2014)

    A new players' clubhouse is also planned for a new Wrigley Field's basement that will be created by digging out a basement under the parking lot on Clark.

    "The new clubhouse is second only in size to the Yankees," Kenney said.

    The team plans to break ground on a new year-round Cubs Plaza in July, which doesn't need city approval and could be completed as soon at 2016.

    The Cubs also want to add 300 more seats to the Budweiser bleachers and new outfield lighting to eliminate shadows on fly balls, which has long been a complaint by players. "Hopefully is will decrease it, especially the dark spots in let center and right center fields," said Carl Rice, VP of baseball operations.

    Team officials are anticipating a legal fight from the rooftop owners, but believe the contract requiring their approval for any stadium changes expired in 2012, and don't anticipate it will get held up in court.

    Rooftop owners spokesman Ryan McLaughlin says they will not have an immediate comment regarding Tuesday's developments, but said last week they plan to fight any new proposals in court.

    The rooftops have a contract with Cubs that runs through 2023 requiring them to pay the team 17 percent of their gross annual revenue. The rooftop owners fear the signs and additional seating will block their views of the field.

    Ald. Tom Tunney did not have an immediate comment Tuesday, but said last week that he was opposed to any additional signs.