Ricketts now looking at shifting Wrigley Field wall 25 feet onto Sheffield Avenue

This is from WGN-TV so it’s all reported in sentence fragments, but it looks like Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts is trying another tactic in response to complaints about the view-blocking ad signage he wants to erect behind the Wrigley Field bleachers:

The Chicago Landmarks Commission approved a plan that would push back the right field wall even further.
The original plan was seven feet, but now it will be pushed back 15 feet.
Sheffield will have to be narrowed, and some parking will be eliminated.
The Cubs say this would minimize how much their new 650-square-foot see-through billboard above right field will block rooftop views.

This sounds like the return of the right-field party deck that was proposed by Ricketts this summer, then dropped in September, but which is apparently now back under consideration now that the rooftop owners are threatening to sue if they can’t see past the signage.

Al Yellon’s SBNation blog has a bit more on this, including that the total distance the outer wall may be moved is more like 25 feet, but still not much hard info. It’s pretty remarkable how the Chicago Landmarks Commission has rubber-stamped anything Ricketts has asked for without dissent, though; it’s almost like they know which side their bread is buttered on.

5 comments on “Ricketts now looking at shifting Wrigley Field wall 25 feet onto Sheffield Avenue

  1. The Landmarks Commission is filled with Emmanuel appointees…they ARE a rubber stamp committee devoid of any kind of dissent.
    That said, while the Chicago media continues to report on the delay of construction (the Cubs have yet to attain a single construction permit) due to what Rickett’s et al. have stated about wanting guarantees the rooftop owners will not sue them prior to beginning construction, I have yet to see ANY follow-up questions from reporters asking the seemingly simple question(s) of “OK, Mr. Ricketts, we get it about delaying construction on the outfield walls…but WHY the delay on breaking ground on the INTERNAL renovations to the Cubs clubhouse, the inner concourses, et al. that have NO bearing on Rooftop clubs threatening to sue???”

  2. It’s definitely a question that should be asked, but the answer is obvious: Clubhouses don’t make money, advertising signs do.

  3. Among the metaphors that come to mind when thinking on the political processes associated with the renovation plan, a “rubber stamp” is relatively far down on the list.

  4. Have the rooftop owners actually threatened to sue? Or have they just “not warranted they won’t sue” if Ricketts deliberately and wilfully breaks the terms of his agreement with them?

    The difference may seem subtle, but to me, the very fact that Ricketts requested this guarantee demonstrates that he knows he is about to break the terms of the contract/agreement the Cubs have with the rooftop owners.

    Maybe he should put his massive sign somewhere else. I have some suggestions if he can’t think of a suitable place…

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