Wrigley Field has been one of the most iconic ballparks since its creation in 1914, but now it’s giving Cubs fans a headache. Ever since the Ricketts family became owners of the Cubs one of their main goals has been to modernize Wrigley Field. At this point the question isn’t if the Cubs will renovate Wrigley, but when will they. Since creating their $500 million nearly two years ago the Cubs have been tied up in legal battles with rooftop owners, landmark commission, and the city of Chicago. Thought to be finished by the 2018 season now looks to be done around the 2020 campaign.
This debacle took another turn when the rooftop owners sued the Cubs a few days arguing the Cubs are not abiding to the 20 year contract they signed when the Chicago Tribune company when they controlled the Cubs. In this contract the rooftop owners agreed to give 17% of their revenue to the Cubs and the Cubs would not block their view. The original proposal included only two signs in the outfield (a jumbo torn in left and an advertisement in right field), but their current plan has seven signs in the outfield angering the rooftop owner and many fans.
For the past two years the Wrigley Field renovations has gotten more attention than the Cubs. Much of that is due to the Cubs poor play, but it seems that the renovation plan takes a new turn daily. The commotion has gotten so bad that the Ricketts family actually considered moving the Cubs to Rosemont so they could build a state of the art stadium. Don’t worry fans, the chances of that actually happening are about the same as the Cubs winning the world series this year.
Wrigley is not perfect, nothing is. There are several areas of the ballpark that could use some renovations, but putting up seven signs in the outfield might be a little extreme. Unfortunately for the Cubs and fans, the Ricketts are unwilling to spend big money on free agents until the renovations create revenue for the organization. Not only that, many feel the only way the Cubs could win a world series is if they renovate Wrigley or build a new ballpark…which could not be further from the truth.
Last time I checked the players were the ones that won, not the ballpark. Tom Ricketts himself has even said that the Cubs would win a world series with a renovated Wrigley Field. However, I find it hard to understand how a jumbo torn will help Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and the rest of the lineup play better.
The majority of the Cubs plan makes perfect sense to welcome Wrigley to the 21st century. At this point though, fans are tired of hearing about the plan and want to see results. The rooftop owners owners will not go down quietly and it will take some compromise on both sides to find a deal. Since the Ricketts took over the Cubs in October of 2009 they are 325-445, and their losing record is not Wrigley’s fault. It is time for the Ricketts family to start to producing results on and off the field because patience is starting to run thin. This winter will be the most important time of the Ricketts tenure, and look for some magic to happen.