Cubs Pitch the State for Renovation Help - NBC Chicago

Cubs Pitch the State for Renovation Help

Cubs owner wants help from the state to pay for Wrigley Field renovations



    Cubs Pitch the State for Renovation Help
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    A general view of Wrigley Field as the Chicago Cubs take on the Houston Astros on May 16, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois.

    Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts has a bold proposal to pay for renovations at Wrigley Field.

    Ricketts plans to ask the Illinois Sports Facility Authority, a state agency created in 1987 to help sports teams build and renovate stadiums, to lend up to $300 million in bond offerings to help cover the cost of a major stadium renovation that would begin after the 2011 season, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    Ricketts says the 96-year-old ballpark needs extensive renovations to keep up with other teams.

    "It's not about adding seats. It's about saving the stadium and making the fan experience better," said Ricketts to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Ricketts says the bonds could be paid back during a 35-year period by raising the state amusement tax, and a small increase in ticket and concession prices. So far, Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) has agreed to sponsor the bill in the fall, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    This is second appeal to the State to help finance renovations at Wrigley Field. Two years ago, the Tribune Co., then owner of the Cubs, proposed a plan financed by 30 years of sales and amusement tax growth, but it was shot down by Mayor Richard Daley.

    More on this topic in the Sun-times and the Chicago Tribune.