The Cubs and city of Chicago are on the precipice of a deal that will keep fans singing during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field for the foreseeable future as well.
According to Dan Gelston of the Associated Press, the team and its home are on the precipice of a $500 million renovation deal for the historic ballpark:
Dan Gelston @APgelston
AP Sources: Cubs and city are close to $500M agreement on Wrigley Field renovation2013-4-5 22:26:50
While there is no word on when the renovations will begin, this agreement has to come as nothing short of a relief for those in the Windy City.
The Ricketts family unveiled plans in January that would help modernize Wrigley Field. With the purpose of generating more revenue for the team at heart, the Cubs’ majority owners proposed some of the most sweeping changes in history the Chicago landmark.
The renovation proposal included the addition of a jumbotron and improvements to amenities like press boxes, restaurants, clubhouses and other areas inhabited by fans. It also called for an adjoining hotel to be built, helping create revenue from fans who want to stay close to the ballpark.
However, this was not a deal without its fair share of hitches. The Ricketts family’s proposal called for the relaxation of Wrigley Field’s noted apprehension to advertising in the stadium. Though ownership offered to foot the bill for the entire Wrigley expansion, fans throughout Chicago were unhappy with the plan—especially those who have a view of the stadium from the famed rooftops.
According to Gelston’s report, the two sides apparently hashed out their disagreement. The Associated Press is reporting the Ricketts family will pay for all $300 worth of the Wrigley renovations, with taxpayers picking up an undisclosed amount of the $200 million hotel. Chicago has also agreed to allow the Cubs to play more night games, which tend to draw bigger crowds and attract more revenue.
Home of the Cubbies since 1916, Wrigley Field has become as synonymous with the team as heartbreaking postseasons. With any luck, this renovation will help end the latter while keeping the legendary park's legacy going far into the future.