4/4/2013 7:46 P.M. ET
Report: Cubs, city close to finalizing $500M deal
Wrigley renovation would include addition of jumbotron, new outfield signs
By Jason Mastrodonato / MLB.com
There may finally be a jumbotron at Wrigley Field.
And new outfield signs. And another parking garage. Perhaps some other renovations, too.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday evening that the Cubs and City Hall expect to finish up a $500 million deal by Monday's home opener that would include some changes to the 99-year-old ballpark, including the addition of a jumbotron (size yet to be identified) in left field. The park has long appeased the traditionalists.
There could be more night games at Wrigley, too, as City Hall sources told the Sun-Times that Mayor Rahm Emanuel could lift the 30-game ceiling to 40 night games or more each season. The addition of more concerts at the park is also a possibility.
A 300-space parking garage would be built on the gravel cemetery lot the team owns at Clark and Grace.
The agreement is also supposed to allow rooftop clubs around the park to operate for the 11-year duration their revenue-sharing agreement with the Cubs. The rooftop establishments reportedly created a plan to generate funding that would put digital signs on top of their own buildings, as opposed to adding them behind the outfield in places that could obstruct the view from the outside.
But the Sun-Times reports that Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has offered to bankroll a $300 million renovation -- without public funding -- and build a $200 million hotel development across the street, only if the city agrees to lift sign restrictions, add more night games and open Sheffield Avenue for street fairs on game days.
Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.