More details of what Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts is seeking permission to do to Wrigley Field, courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times’ report on the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, which will meet this Thursday to discuss the plans:
In addition to the jumbotron in left and the see-through sign in right, the Cubs want: an LED “ribbon board” along the upper-deck grandstand; a new fan deck in left field with signs; new signs on the right field wall and behind home plate and a two-story Captain Morgan Club with even more signs.
Despite the landmark designation that covers Wrigley’s “historic elements,” the Cubs plan would also give the team “discretion on all signage inside the ballpark not impacting rooftops” and authorization to take out a lane of parking on Waveland and a sidewalk on Sheffield to extend the right- and left-field walls outward to minimize the impact of outfield signs on rooftop views.
The Cubs also want the go-ahead to restore Wrigley’s 1930’s terra cotta roof line and replace concrete slabs and chain-link fences with brick and ornamental iron.
That’s mostly stuff we’ve heard already, though if the ribbon board along the front of the upper deck was mentioned previously, I missed it. It’s also one heck of a lot of advertising, which depending on your perspective, either would bring the Cubs up to the level of many of their competitors, or would allow the Cubs to drastically modify a landmark building just so they could increase their profits beyond where they are already.
It’s not actually clear what the landmarks commission will be voting on this Thursday: “Is it the attached property or just everything inside?” asked Lake View Citizens Council president Will DeMille. “We know what’s in the planned development. But, we also understand they can amend that.” If nothing else, it’ll give an early indication of whether the commission is going to be mostly interested in rubber-stamping the plans of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who appoints the commission members, or whether it will be asking hard questions about how Ricketts’ plans fit with the building’s landmark designation, which is … what was it again? Oh, right, their job.