Here’s What’s Happening With the Wrigley Renovations

A big screen. Better bathrooms. And new shaded concourses clad in a 1930s finish.

photo: courtesy of the chicago cubs

A rendering of the proposed renovation for Wrigley Field.

Last time Whet checked in on the Wrigley Field rehab plans, the Ricketts Clan, Mayor Emanuel, and Ald. Tom Tunney had reached a preliminary deal, worth roughly $500 million, to spruce up the Cubs’ century-old baseball stadium.

Yesterday, Cubs management released to the media renderings of the proposed changes. They’ll submit detailed plans to the city today with the hope that the project will be approved by the end of the season, allowing for work to begin on the multi-year renovation this fall.

If it doesn’t go through? This morning, Chairman Tom Ricketts told reporters that he might just have to up and move the club elsewhere.

The idea, at least in theory, is to add modern amenities (and new space for advertising) without losing the park’s “sense of history.” CSN Chicago has posted pictures of the mock-ups here.

In left field, there’d be a controversial 6,000-foot video screen—three times larger than Wrigley’s manual scoreboard—topped by lights to help illuminate the dim power allies. In right field, the Cubs would add a 1,000-square-foot see-through sign. Four additional signs would ring the outfield wall.

Bathrooms would be expanded and player areas (like the strength and conditioning room) improved. And the stadium concourses would be retrofitted with green terra-cotta canopies and wrought-iron fencing, using material that adorned Wrigley’s exterior in the 1930s.

Outside, a seven-story hotel would include some 35,000 square feet of advertising, and an open-air plaza would feature seven ad-bearing vertical stylons. Without the ad revenue or a public subsidy, MLB’s most profitable (albeit indebted) team claims, they wouldn’t be able to afford a facilities upgrade. The neighboring rooftop owners, who could hold a deal up in court, hint there is a lot of negotiating left to do.

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