4/15/2013 3:57 P.M. ET
Details of Wrigley renovation plan outlined
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts revealed a $500 million renovation plan for Wrigley Field and the surrounding area of the ballpark on Monday. Here are the details:
Inside Wrigley Field
• Forty night games (baseball only), up from the current 30 night games. This does not include playoffs, All-Star Games, events outside the baseball season, events when fewer than 15,000 are expected to attend, games rescheduled because of weather or other cause or other events excluded under the current ordinance, which will be allowed as well. No Saturday or Sunday night games unless MLB schedules them for national TV purposes.
• Special ordinance for concerts (maximum of four), with no additional cost to the Cubs. These do not count as night games. Weekends permitted. Anything beyond four concerts will count as a night game.
• Six 3:05 p.m. CT starts on Friday, up from none.
• The Cubs will have flexibility to schedule smaller events in-season and to schedule offseason events at Wrigley Field without sacrificing a night game or incurring additional cost.
• One 6,000-square-foot video board in left field. The Cubs will choose the location, with the goal, where not inconsistent with the needs of the ballpark, of minimal impact on rooftops with whom Cubs have an agreement. The video board may be further cantilevered over the public street to help further minimize impact on rooftops.
• One sign in right field of 1,000 square feet in the style of the existing Toyota sign. Cubs will choose the location, with the goal, where not inconsistent with the needs of the ballpark, for the sign to have minimal impact on rooftops with whom the Cubs have an agreement.
• The Cubs will have discretion on all signage inside the ballpark not impacting rooftops, including, for example: center-field restoration; LED ribbon board along upper-deck grandstands; new fan deck in left field with signs; new sign on wall in right field; behind home plate.
• The city of Chicago will vacate the sidewalk and one street lane on Waveland Avenue (Sheffield to Clark) at no cost to Cubs, which will be incorporated into the ballpark, subject to a requirement to maintain eight feet of sidewalk. This will allow the left-field video board to be moved further north, thus minimizing sight-line impact on rooftops. It also increases the open space on the plaza by moving the office building further north.
• The city of Chicago will vacate the sidewalk on Sheffield Avenue (Addison to Waveland) at no cost to Cubs, which will be incorporated into the ballpark, subject to a requirement to maintain eight feet of sidewalk.
• New two-story Captain Morgan Club on Addison Street of at least 14,000 square feet, with merchandise store and space for visitors' clubhouse, will replace the existing street-level restaurant.
• New additions to the ballpark in left-field and right-field corners will allow more flexible space for Cubs fans, including connection points to bleachers and grandstands at height of current bleachers. The right-field addition will also include a ground-floor restaurant (an expanded version of the Sheffield Grill) opening onto Sheffield Avenue.
• Beer sales will be extended to the end of the seventh inning or 10:30 p.m. CT, whichever is earlier, and until the end of concerts for concert dates.
• Use of Sheffield Avenue for weekend home games between Memorial Day and Labor Day beginning two hours before games and ending at the end of the second inning. After plaza construction is completed, use of Sheffield Avenue will be reevaluated to determine if Sheffield or the Plaza is appropriate location for pregame activity.
• The city of Chicago will maintain and enforce, through 2023, current rooftop capacity limits, current rooftop height limitations and current advertising ban within the Rooftop District.
• A new hotel to accommodate 175 rooms, 75 parking spaces, food and beverage (including alcohol as appropriate), retail and a 40,000-square-foot health club (at corner of Clark and Addison). A pedestrian bridge with public access over Clark Street connecting the hotel and plaza at no cost (other than actual cost of construction of the bridge).
• Approximate 85-foot structure at north end of Triangle property to house offices, hotel meeting space, retail and a kids zone. Advertising will be allowed on south and west faces of building.
• Four-screen digital board with limited hours of operation (off from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. CT) to be erected in the Plaza. Can be used for advertising, viewing Cubs games, movies in the park and other purposes. The plaza, located west of the ballpark, will be used for public summer activity center and winter ice rink when not otherwise used for events. Ability to operate in the plaza, including sale of food and beverage, retail space, restaurants, special and recurring events, etc., to meet desired use. Alcohol allowed.
Outside Wrigley Field
• New parking plan: The Cubs will offer 1,000 free remote parking spots with shuttle to Wrigley Field for all night and weekend games. The program will be readjusted after three years if cost exceeds $100,000 and, if so, fee may be charged or costs of operating the lot may come from community infrastructure projects and investments.
• New comprehensive traffic management plan: New traffic lights will be installed on Clark Street. One traffic light (cost: $350,000) to be paid by the Cubs and two to be paid for from the existing CubFund.
• New public safety plan: Thirty additional safety personnel will be outside the park after games to ensure public safety (10 of which will be provided by Cubs). The city and the Cubs will explore new rules banning low-flying aircraft around Wrigley Field to protect the community from noise and other disturbances.
• The Cubs will contribute $1 million to School Street play lot funding effort ($250,000 to come from first year's infrastructure contribution).
The plan includes the following community benefits:
• A $1 million commitment to fund a new park and playlot at 1230 W. School.
• $3.75 million donated by the Cubs for community infrastructure and amenities ($500,000 per year from 2014-18 and $250,000 per year from 2019-23).
• A $500 million investment to create jobs, improve the community appearance, enhance the neighborhood and upgrade undeveloped, underutilized and unattractive existing space.
• An open-air plaza outside the ballpark with the ability to continue hosting an ice rink in the winter and add farmers' markets in the summer, free family activities and other community events.
• A premium hotel, in partnership with Starwood, that will include 175 rooms, plus a 40,000-square-foot health club with retail and food and beverage options for fans and for the community throughout the year.
• Free remote parking, replacing the current $6 remote parking fee. The team is exploring other parking solutions, including the ability to allow fans to access unused parking garages in the vicinity of Wrigley Field.
• Additional parking, including 100 new spaces in the Cubs-owned parking lot on Eddy Street and 75 below-ground spaces in the new hotel.
• A commitment to work with the Chicago Police Department and its special police detail unit to place additional officers on duty during Cubs events on Thursday to Sunday nights. The city, the Cubs and local businesses will work together with a goal of having 30 on- and off-duty officers to deter inappropriate behavior after games.
• A comprehensive traffic study to address new opportunities to reduce traffic congestion during Wrigley Field events.
• Continue the relationship with the Lakeview community, which included donations from Chicago Cubs Charities of $323,000 to Lakeview in 2012. Since 2000, the Cubs have supported more than $2.3 million in grants directly to organizations serving Lakeview.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.