The Chicago Cubs and the city have settled on details of a $500 million renovation for Wrigley Field, incorporating an electronic video screen that is nearly three times as large as the one currently atop the centerfield bleachers of the 99-year-old ballpark.
“This framework allows the Cubs to restore the Friendly Confines (of Wrigley) and pursue their economic goals, while respecting the rights and quality of life of its neighbors,” Emanuel said.
Most of the 24 ballparks built or substantially renovated over the last 21 years were at least partially funded by taxpayer money, according to SB Nation.
While it has been long overdue, renovations to the ballpark don’t win championships. Why should this extreme amount of money be devoted to a ballpark’s renovations when it could go to other resources in the city?
As a die-hard Cubs fan, I would love to see these renovations to the ballpark, but I am being realistic—this won’t change the team’s performance.
“If this is approved, we will win the World Series,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said, indicating to the agreement to make drastic changes to Wrigley Field and the nearby neighborhood over a five-year period, which is expected to begin in October.
The developments are aspiring and include ballpark renovations, a 175-room hotel, a mixed-use building for office space and retail, a pedestrian bridge, a plaza and additional off-site parking. In addition to new structures, the Cubs plan to move outfield walls and add a 6,000 square foot Jumbotron to left field, according to Bleacher Report.
There are some positives to this renovation, including the benefits to the business aspects. This project will increase job opportunities during the renovation and after. The renovation will also influence the neighborhood, Wrigleyville, where the ballpark is located.
Is it possible the positives will outweigh the negatives? Can this renovation make baseball’s most infamous losers competitive again? Time will tell, hopefully in Rickette’s and Emanuel’s favor.
- Ricketts: Cubs will win WS in new Wrigley (espn.go.com)
- Cubs reach Wrigley Field renovations deal with the city! (thesportsbank.net)
- CSN: Wrigley Field to get $500 million facelift (csnchicago.com)