Cubs Unveil Updated Plans for Wrigley Field Renovations
Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs on Tuesday unveiled new plans for renovations to Wrigley Field that will add $75 million to the project, originally budgeted at $500 million.
Updated renderings were released less than a week after Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts indicated he had broken off negotiations with 15 neighborhood rooftop owners, who threatened to sue over a 5,000-sq-ft video board and other outfield signage included in original plans, approved by the city in 2013. Revised plans call for four additional signs and a second video board, which would further block views from surrounding rooftops.
Rooftop owners, who have spent millions adding bleachers and benches to their venues, contend outfield signage included in both original and revised plans would violate a contract that keeps sight lines open in exchange for 17% in gross revenues they pay the ball club. The contract extends through 2023.
For nearly a year, the Cubs and rooftop owners have attempted to reach a compromise on original plans. “We've explored everything, from acquiring them to new partnerships to new revenue splits,” Cubs business president Crane Kenney told reporters Tuesday.
Ricketts has said outfield signage is necessary to fund renovations to Wrigley Field and construction of office, hospitality and restaurant space on parcels adjacent to the ball park. Last week, he indicated negotiations with rooftop owners were “back to square one.”
The Cubs plan to proceed with renovations in July, though plans first must be approved by the Chicago Landmarks Commission.
In addition to more signage, the Cubs have added a 30,000-sq-ft- below-grade clubhouse, a 200-seat restaurant and a 200-seat auditorium to the project.