The Chicago Sun-Times just isn’t going to let go of these anonymously-sourced Wrigley Field renovation rumors. Yesterday, Chicago Mayor Rahm “Three-Fingers” Emanuel had this to say on the subject of a Cubs ballpark redo and who’d pay for it:
“Wrigley Field is a great field. The Ricketts [family] purchased it. They have a responsibility that comes with it. We may make changes so they can enhance it. But we’re not gonna do that without consciously knowing who I sit there representing — and that is the taxpayers. … The package that comes together will come together when it’s ready to come together. But I’m there to be a steward for the taxpayers not one for the Ricketts family — and I know the difference.”
And the Sun-Times turned that into this headline:
Emanuel opens door to helping Cubs get more ad, sponsorship money
Yuh-huh. The paper then goes on to cite some of the rumored changes that it had previously reported (more ad signs behind the bleachers, street closings for fairs on game days) and some it hadn’t (“‘gateway’ archways that welcome people to ‘Wrigleyville: Home of the Cubs’ from various directions”), none of it attributed to any source.
The growing talking of a “Fenway plan” for Wrigley, meanwhile, has Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rosenthal reminding readers that since Boston handed over Yawkey Way to the Red Sox to use as a sort of outdoor concessions concourse, team owners have pocketed $45 million from the deal, while the city of Boston has collected less than $2 million in rent. So as much as we often laud the Fenway renovation deal as a well-designed plan using mostly private money, it’s important to remember the “mostly.”