Ricketts flat-out gives up on pretending Wrigley renovations are about anything but big honking ads

There’s yet another proposed addition to the Wrigley Field renovation plan, and dear lord:

20131121BrandSo that’s basically a wrought-iron-looking lit-up advertising sign that would stretch across the whole of Clark Street, serving the purpose of … well, of making Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts money. Previous plans for Clark Street included an ad-festooned pedestrian overpass, but that was shot down for reasons I’m really not clear on by local alderman Tom Tunney.

Leaving just the ads, though, is apparently A-OK with everybody, which makes sense given that this deal is increasingly turning into “I’ll build myself some new clubhouses and concessions stands if the city agrees to let me put ads on everything inside, outside, and within a couple-block radius of the ballpark.” It’s better than giving the Cubs cash, sort of — though it’s worth noting that if Chicago thinks it’s okay to put illuminate ad signage over its streets, it could sell them itself and keep the money for its own purposes — but on the other hand, dear lord:

20131121BrandThe Chicago Plan Commission voted in favor of the archway last Thursday; the city council is expected to rubber-stamp it in coming weeks.


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4 comments on “Ricketts flat-out gives up on pretending Wrigley renovations are about anything but big honking ads

  1. Neil, in addition to Mayor Emmanuel snarkily being named the Cubs MVP for pushing all this through his rubber stamp city council with little to no debate (as is the usual process for ANYTHING done in Chicago), you touched on the giant LCD billboards that will be lighting up the area highways & bi-ways…just this weekend I commented to my wife on the ongoing proliferation of LCD billboards that are along I-94, and their blinding brightness when seen late at night.
    I can’t imagine how many accidents might be caused by the monstrosities, but good luck proving the city’s liability, if we see an uptick in accidents near the electronic billboards.
    Will also be watching to see if these LCD billboards are placed in areas where they might face apartments/condos/houses…I imagine a scene reminiscent of Kramer’s apartment on “Seinfeld,” when the Kenny Roger’s Roasters sign went up!

  2. A) I took a botany class, don’t recall learning about the “Street Tree.”

    B) Funny thing about Kenny Rogers’ Roasters… Hadn’t seen any in ages and didn’t think they were still in existence. Until yesterday. During the Cardiff City – United match, they had KRR signage on the rotating ad boards along the edge of the pitch. Anyway after probably not seeing or hearing anything about them for a decade at least, that’s twice in two days.

  3. Kenny Rogers Roasters folded in the US but it’s big in Asia. A Malaysian company bought the brand and have been expanding rapid through Asia. I didn’t know they were also in Europe. After Kenny went on a late night talk show and chose a competitor’s chicken over KRR’s during a blind taste test, things went downhill in the US.

  4. Dan:

    I concur on the video signboards. In a city near where I live, a local university has erected a large sign which has, apparently, only the “Daylight” brightness level set up. Of course, they put it right next to a major intersection with multiple crosswalks that their students use regularly, and which city cops like to hang out by to nab people who are so blinded by the ad board that they cannot properly see the traffic light status.

    To the best of my knowledge, no-one has been run down and killed yet because of the ad board… but it really is just a matter of time. No doubt we’ll all be told how important it is to obey traffic laws when that happens, and there will be a new crackdown on distracted driving… unless what drivers are distracted by is a money spinning video ad board.

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