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LaSalle.St.Station Mar 1, 2008 6:30 AM

CHICAGO | Wrigley Field Redevelopment News
 
http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/nl/wrigmainf.jpg

Marcu Mar 1, 2008 6:36 AM

^ Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

LaSalle.St.Station Mar 1, 2008 6:40 AM

Zell wants Landmark protection ordinance revoked, and a name change to go along with it. I'm thinking otherwise.


Greg Couch had a great article in the sun times today.... spelled out what Zell Sells.....

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/couch...greg29.article

Chicago2020 Mar 1, 2008 8:26 AM

Cubs fans will not allow it.

Dr. Taco Mar 1, 2008 3:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago2020 (Post 3387882)
Cubs fans will not allow it.

he owns the building. Cubs fans can't do anything about it other than not go to the building anymore. And Daley is a Sox fan.

Zell's got a point with the naming rights. I seriously doubt the name will change, but I also doubt Wrigley is going to get away with not paying for the free advertising they've been getting for so long

the urban politician Mar 1, 2008 3:36 PM

^ Even Daley recognizes the iconic importance of Wrigley Field to Chicago, Sox fan or not

photoLith Mar 1, 2008 8:44 PM

WAIT just a second, are they planning on tearing it down? If so I hope people chain themselves to it! Why would they?

John F Mar 2, 2008 7:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago2020 (Post 3387882)
Cubs fans will not allow it.

Fans can only do so much. For comparison, look at the outrage expressed over Americans (Malcom Glazer and family) getting sole interest in Manchester United. they were burned in effigy but you haven't heard of ManU being outright ignored by the fans or the media because of thsi sacrilegious act.

Yes, Americans aren't soccer nuts, but the fact that both ManU and the Chicago Cubs are legendary professional sports franchises and endeared to their fanbases is the point I am trying to make... The fans can only do so much. it's still a business.

I certainly am not advocating for Zell -- but it's a cold hard fact that even legendary venues and teams need to be profitable. It's part of the reason they planned to replace Fenway park (since scuttled), it's why they are replacing Yankee Stadium, it's why naming rights were sold for Comisky Park, why Boston Garden got replaced, etc

Chicago3rd Mar 4, 2008 2:33 PM

Can't they somehow fix the outside of the building? It is horrific!!! 23 layers of enamel will not cover all the issues.

SOMEONE STOP them from using those cheap ass paver stones as sidewalk!!!!!!

Who ever did the Sheffield and Waveland corner....they have the right idea.....let them fix it up.

Keep the seating area like is and do what you want with it.

NEVER TOUCH THE SCORE BOARD!!!!

I am confused. They make a killing off of it now. So why do they need all the city breaks? If they improve it they will make even more money off of it. Chicago does NOT need to give the rich like Zell welfare money or anyone else who wants to own the place. And shouldn't the city be paid for all the inconveniences the extra crowds will bring...more public toliets...staff the police, CTA, with way more money...then give them something.

BVictor1 Mar 4, 2008 6:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago2020 (Post 3387882)
Cubs fans will not allow it.

Cubs fans don't own the park.

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 3388131)
^ Even Daley recognizes the iconic importance of Wrigley Field to Chicago, Sox fan or not

Too bad he didn't have the balls to say anything when they changed Comiskey to U.S Cellular... But I guess I should be used to the southside being dumped on.

cbotnyse Mar 4, 2008 6:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BVictor1 (Post 3394205)
Too bad he didn't have the balls to say anything when they changed Comiskey to U.S Cellular... But I guess I should be used to the southside being dumped on.

what was he gonna do? pass a law to protect the name? Its all about money and US Cellular paid a lot of it.

Wrigley Field is a nice icon, but again, money rules here. If Zell sells it, the Cubs will just have to look for a new place to lose for another 100 years.

Dr. Taco Mar 4, 2008 6:51 PM

^ ok, first of all, the cubs will NEVER leave wrigley field. Wrigley is a huge part of what makes the cubs the cubs.

second, the name isn't going to change. People will always call it wrigley. I still call the sox place comiskey (even though "the cell" is somewhat catchy)

its true zell owns the stadium (and the cubs) and lots of other things. He can do what he wants. but you'd kind of wish he wasn't an asshole, i guess...

cbotnyse Mar 4, 2008 7:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jstush04 (Post 3394251)
^ ok, first of all, the cubs will NEVER leave wrigley field. Wrigley is a huge part of what makes the cubs the cubs.

second, the name isn't going to change. People will always call it wrigley. I still call the sox place comiskey (even though "the cell" is somewhat catchy)

its true zell owns the stadium (and the cubs) and lots of other things. He can do what he wants. but you'd kind of wish he wasn't an asshole, i guess...

what does this mean? The Cubs are a baseball team. It shouldnt matter where they play. They should be more concerned about winning a title, then what field they play on. I guess this mentality explains why every game at Wrigley is half filled with tourists and trixies who could care less whats actually happening on the field.

I'd like to see Wrigley stay and my guess is it will, but the name means nothing and people should get over it. I still call the Cell, Comiskey and I would still call it Wrigley too.

CenIL_LA Mar 4, 2008 8:17 PM

I think anyone attempting to put there name on this stadium wont want to mask what the name means. It is actually more flattering to a corporate brand to place it along with the stadium name, the brand will draw more from that aspect. It could be something simple like *company name* at Wrigley Field or *company name*'s Wrigley Field. It may sound horrible but we would get used to it and the stadium is still aloud to keep its history. People are concerned but it doesnt mean we have a loss, we just have to prevent the wrong things from happening. Even with this method the score boards would easily stay.

DHamp Mar 4, 2008 8:49 PM

You know, the Wrigley company could buy the naming rights to the stadium and nothing would have to change. I don't think that's an outlandish idea. I know a lot of us don't even think of the chewing gum company when we think of the field, but the Wrigley company still exists and they are getting a free ride at the expense of the Tribune Company. So instead of griping about Zell (who's just trying to get the Trib company out of a budget whole, unlike the state and the county, and the nation for that matter) how about you Cub fans petition Wrigley Co. to buy their namesake stadium, hmm?

But then again, I'm a south-sider, a Sox fan, and my wife works for the Tribune company so I'd rather see a name change than see a lot of people lose their jobs.

Via Chicago Mar 7, 2008 2:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DHamp (Post 3394502)
You know, the Wrigley company could buy the naming rights to the stadium and nothing would have to change. I don't think that's an outlandish idea. I know a lot of us don't even think of the chewing gum company when we think of the field, but the Wrigley company still exists and they are getting a free ride at the expense of the Tribune Company. So instead of griping about Zell (who's just trying to get the Trib company out of a budget whole, unlike the state and the county, and the nation for that matter) how about you Cub fans petition Wrigley Co. to buy their namesake stadium, hmm?

But then again, I'm a south-sider, a Sox fan, and my wife works for the Tribune company so I'd rather see a name change than see a lot of people lose their jobs.

It is an outlandish idea, because the Wrigley Company has expressed zero interest in obtaining any sort of naming rights.

As you said, no one thinks of the chewing gum company when the parks name is mentioned. So why would they pay tens of millions of dollars for an "official" naming right that will have zero effect on increasing their bottom line?

Saddle Man Mar 7, 2008 4:06 PM

I never knew it was named after the chewing gum company. I always thought it was just named for some long dead Chicago big wig.

BVictor1 Mar 8, 2008 6:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jstush04 (Post 3394251)
^ ok, first of all, the cubs will NEVER leave wrigley field. Wrigley is a huge part of what makes the cubs the cubs.

second, the name isn't going to change. People will always call it wrigley. I still call the sox place comiskey (even though "the cell" is somewhat catchy)

its true zell owns the stadium (and the cubs) and lots of other things. He can do what he wants. but you'd kind of wish he wasn't an asshole, i guess...

If the Yankee's can plan in a house other than what Ruth built, don't think that it couldn't happen here.

Besides, it's not like the name of the stadium hasn't been changed once before.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kingkirbythegreat (Post 3401004)
I never knew it was named after the chewing gum company. I always thought it was just named for some long dead Chicago big wig.

A long dead Chicago big wig who founded that chewing gum company.

nomarandlee Mar 8, 2008 7:29 PM

Quote:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports...,5084542.story
Cubs may share 'Cell' with White Sox
Wrigley rehab would force team into temporary home


.........Kenney said the Wrigley marquee could be changed, despite the landmark provisions.

"We believe the First Amendment protects what letters we write on the marquee," he said. "[But] if we said, 'Let's take the marquee off and do something different,' if we were that foolish, we couldn't do that. The structure of the marquee is landmarked. But throughout the ballpark, we've always maintained that with the city, with our advertising, nobody can tell us what our advertising can say or won't say.

"Thankfully, we have the First Amendment that protects us. ... We're just changing the letters. If we wanted to call it [a different name], the marquee would look the same. It would just say [a corporate name rather than Wrigley Field over 'Home of Chicago Cubs]. We've modified the lettering."
Part of what most gets me is the childish arrogance that Kenney and Zell in particular have addressed these issues. The "we can do what we want and we don't care" is not really a good PR job. Just tell the reasons why it is necessarily at least somewhat truthfully (the Tribune and/or Zell what the money in their revenue streams) and shut up. There really trying to run an end around against the landmark provisions. :rolleyes:

The article also mentions HOK as the stadium architects, I know that is there specialty but this gives me the idea that we are going to see something completely lame and unoriginal. I mean if you are going to desecrate the place why not doing something very innovative with it? Instead I feel we will get some cheap historical imitation ball park. :hell:

JV_325i Mar 8, 2008 9:09 PM

^Reading bullshit like that does nothing but raise my blood pressure far beyond healthy levels. It sucks that wanting to preserve the name is the completely irrational thing to do (economically speaking). If only there was some sort of statistical regression they could run on the economics of corporate re-branding to discover that the historical name of the institution was the variable with the greatest contributing factor to ticket sales and therefore not something to be fucked with.

nomarandlee Mar 13, 2008 5:48 PM

A squeeze at Wrigley
 
Quote:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports...,6296342.story

ANALYSIS

A squeeze at Wrigley
The ballpark's key features are safe, but law allows some room for change
By Blair Kamin | TRIBUNE CRITIC
March 13, 2008

As the Cubs and a state-backed sports agency negotiate a possible deal that could lead to a major overhaul of 94-year-old Wrigley Field, at least two big hurdles stand in their path: The city law that confers Chicago landmark status on Wrigley, and Mayor Richard Daley, who balked last week at the prospect of relaxing the law..............
..

LaSalle.St.Station Mar 15, 2008 5:20 AM

A Ball Park so Iconic they named a neighborhood after it.....

Zell...... Weird that the guy wants to sell the team to reduce debt on his Trib play, and yet is getting all intertwined with all these long term deals....

OhioGuy Mar 15, 2008 9:02 PM

People can argue for Zell all they want with regards to the financial issues, but I'll feel no sadness if during his final days it's a very long & painfully drawn out end. He has so much money and seems only interested in getting more at whatever cost. It's a big "f*ck you" to Chicago, the Wrigleyville neighborhood, and Cubs fans/baseball fans.

(bracing for a backlash from certain posters)

LucasS6 Mar 17, 2008 1:12 PM

Yeah...you just wished a guy a painful death for talking about changing Wrigley Field. Time for you to step back and take a deep breath. Put that in perspective a bit and come back later.

Anyway, Wrigley Field won't be "lost" if they change the name. And they're not going to tear it down or renovate it TOO much because it IS the Cubs. If the Cubs played in Hoffman Estates or something people would slowly stop caring. The Yankees are about a tradition- of winning, Yankee Stadium has always been in the background, especially after the changes in the 70s. The Red Sox are about a tradition of being very competitive and almost (until recently) winning and a historic ballpark.

The Cubs are about the nightlife of the area, the ivy, the afternoon games in a gorgeous place. They're about watching games at Bernie's when you can't get tickets and partying with the crowd afterwards. They're about walking through the neighborhood around it drunk in a beautiful urban Chicago enviroment on a warm summer day.

The Cubs aren't about the team winning. That's beside the point. That's not why you go to a Cubs game. It's nice if they win. If they don't, that's cool too. Just like it's nice if Journey plays a great set, but the concert is still gonna be great for the atmosphere.

The Cubs know this. They know they rake in gate sales because it's more about the 81 concerts a year than it is about baseball. They're not going to move the Cubs or change Wrigley too much. So it's hardly "lost".

nomarandlee Mar 17, 2008 8:55 PM

Quote:

http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/...doubts-wr.html

Daley doubts Wrigley sale to state will happenPosted by Gary Washburn at 2:58 p.m.

Mayor Richard Daley on Monday voiced doubt once again that the General Assembly will agree to a state purchase of Wrigley Field.

"You talk to anybody dealing with schools, you talk to anyone dealing with the problem of gun violence in society," Daley said. "These are priorities. And I don’t think (a Wrigley sale) is one of the priorities in Springfield."................
.....

VivaLFuego Mar 17, 2008 9:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cbotnyse (Post 3394279)
what does this mean? The Cubs are a baseball team. It shouldnt matter where they play. They should be more concerned about winning a title, then what field they play on. I guess this mentality explains why every game at Wrigley is half filled with tourists and trixies who could care less whats actually happening on the field.

I disagree. The Cubs are popular because of the whole Cubs experience, which is heavily dependent both on the ballpark and on the neighborhood (Wrigleyville). Any sports fan knows that this isn't a Cubs town because of the stellar product they put on the field year in year out. The Cubs sell an experience, not just a sports game, which is why teams playing in soulless stadiums surrounded by acres of parking (Blackhawks, ahem) get miserable attendance when they suck. Why bother going if the experience sucks and the game sucks? I still go to Cubs games occasionally (CWS fan, personally) but it ain't for the baseball.

VivaLFuego Mar 17, 2008 9:10 PM

^

....amen to Lucas

Dalton Mar 17, 2008 9:51 PM

Someone should start a grass roots funding campaign to raise enough money to rename the stadium with something objectionable - just to see if there's a limit to the greed.

I suggest "Massengill Disposable Douche Field".

urbanlife Mar 17, 2008 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3422163)
I disagree. The Cubs are popular because of the whole Cubs experience, which is heavily dependent both on the ballpark and on the neighborhood (Wrigleyville). Any sports fan knows that this isn't a Cubs town because of the stellar product they put on the field year in year out. The Cubs sell an experience, not just a sports game, which is why teams playing in soulless stadiums surrounded by acres of parking (Blackhawks, ahem) get miserable attendance when they suck. Why bother going if the experience sucks and the game sucks? I still go to Cubs games occasionally (CWS fan, personally) but it ain't for the baseball.

It was something I was happy to do last summer in my trip to Chicago. Having the whole Cubs experience was amazing. We sat way the hell out in outfield and it still felt like we were apart of the game. Even if the Cubs lost bad. You cant have Wrigleyville without Wrigley Ballpark.

cbotnyse Mar 17, 2008 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LucasS6 (Post 3421240)
The Cubs aren't about the team winning. That's beside the point. That's not why you go to a Cubs game. It's nice if they win. If they don't, that's cool too. Just like it's nice if Journey plays a great set, but the concert is still gonna be great for the atmosphere.

:haha: Sorry but this sounds delusional or an excuse for not winning a title for 100 years. Baseball is a business of winning, not who plays in the coolest park. If you ask true Cub, or should I say baseball fan, they'd gladly take a few World Series titles even if it meant playing somewhere else.. And if they win, revenues will not suffer from playing somewhere else, or under a different name.


I hope Wrigley stays. I think its a great historical landmark to the game of baseball. But lets not lose sight of what the Cubs goals are, which is winning, first and foremost.

cbotnyse Mar 17, 2008 11:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LucasS6 (Post 3421240)
The Yankees are about a tradition- of winning, Yankee Stadium has always been in the background, especially after the changes in the 70s.

Exactly. winning. Yankee Stadium is being replaced. Will they lose their fan base? Not if they keep dominating, or at least competing, every year.

So you're saying Cub fans would rather have a cool stadium then actually win anything? Am I misunderstanding you?

ardecila Mar 17, 2008 11:28 PM

Wow - I can't believe a off-hand mention about a stadium name change, a misguided debate over a ballpark sale to the state, and discussion of structural rehabilitation for the ballpark can inspire this much argument.

Nobody's remotely mentioned tearing down the ballpark, and certainly not moving the Cubs to anyplace else.

Just take a chill pill. No corporation is fool enough to totally change the name of Wrigley Field, a sale to the state is a horrible use of bond-issuing (and therefore unlikely for the foreseeable future), and structural rehabilitation will help Wrigley to stay around for ANOTHER century - so why are you all acting like the place is about to be demolished?

I personally welcome some sort of cosmetic upgrades to Wrigley. The place has looked like shit ever since the team mounted those concrete panels on the facade - stop acting like Wrigley has remained in stasis since it was built. It's the home of a baseball team, and the demands of the team and of fans evolve over time. Trying to keep Wrigley forever unchanged is a losing battle - either the stadium must adapt to changing usage through renovation, or it becomes obsolete and must be totally replaced. I believe that renovations and additions can be made in a tasteful and respectful manner, and the recent bleacher expansion has only demonstrated this.

LucasS6 Mar 17, 2008 11:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cbotnyse (Post 3422407)
:haha: Sorry but this sounds delusional or an excuse for not winning a title for 100 years.

It doesn't really matter what it sounds like to you; it's the truth.

Quote:

Baseball is a business of winning, not who plays in the coolest park.
Baseball is a business of filling seats. Usually that's done through winning. It's not done that way for the Cubs. The team has went to the playoffs what 5 times in the last 30 years? That 5 times remains consistent if you go back seventy years.

Quote:

If you ask true Cub, or should I say baseball fan, they'd gladly take a few World Series titles even if it meant playing somewhere else.. And if they win, revenues will not suffer from playing somewhere else, or under a different name.
A 'true' Cub fan might tell you exactly what you said. But those aren't what fills up a 40 thousand seat building 81 times a summer.

It's like you're arguing what they should be (all about the winning) and not accepting what they ARE (an experience).


Quote:

I hope Wrigley stays. I think its a great historical landmark to the game of baseball. But lets not lose sight of what the Cubs goals are, which is winning, first and foremost.
That's not the goal for them. It's a perk.

LucasS6 Mar 17, 2008 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cbotnyse (Post 3422417)
Exactly. winning. Yankee Stadium is being replaced. Will they lose their fan base? Not if they keep dominating, or at least competing, every year.

The Yankees aren't the Cubs. Or vice versa.

Quote:

So you're saying Cub fans would rather have a cool stadium then actually win anything? Am I misunderstanding you?
I think the majority of the people who go to Cubs games- who only loosely can be refered to as fans- would rather go to Wrigley and watch an 80 win team than they would go to Schaumburg and watch a 90 win team. "Cubs fans" do not necessarily equal "all the people that go to Cubs games". Half of them still think Grace is on first. Doesn't make the atmosphere any less fun at all.

cbotnyse Mar 17, 2008 11:34 PM

^ I'm sorry that is so ridiculous. You are simply wrong. These are professional baseball players, and they want to win. If you ask every individual in the Cubs organization, from top to bottom, they will tell you winning a title is the ultimate goal.

LucasS6 Mar 17, 2008 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cbotnyse (Post 3422439)
^ I'm sorry that is so ridiculous. You are simply wrong. These are professional baseball players, and they want to win. If you ask every individual in the Cubs organization, from top to bottom, they will tell you winning a title is the ultimate goal.


And if you think that the Cubs would still be at 35,000+ in another stadium somewhere else, you're wrong.

Now which bottom line do you think owners are looking at?

cbotnyse Mar 17, 2008 11:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LucasS6 (Post 3422441)
And if you think that the Cubs would still be at 35,000+ in another stadium somewhere else, you're wrong.

Now which bottom line do you think owners are looking at?

If they win, absolutely they will be. Winning teams in any sport have proved that, probably throughout history. I think you are insulting a lot of Cub fans. The true fans care about winning. Go over to a Cubs forum and ask that question. See whats more important, a title or wheere (or under what name) they play.

GregBear24 Mar 18, 2008 12:17 AM

Wrigley Field will not be torn down. Wrigley Field's name won't change, and I don't care what any article says or what rumors start. Renovation is estimated around 250 mil. New yankee stadium will cost 1 bil. If other teams can afford to pay for new stadiums more than double or triple the cost of Wrigley's renovation, then the renovation will most certainly happen. A company putting its name on Wrigley is a PR disaster- companies weren't interested in paying anywhere near the amount it would've been worth it to the Red Sox to take that PR risk. Everyone does need to chill, and wait to see what happens. Chances are there will be some very creative branding involving parts of Wrigley Field and perhaps parts of Wrigleyville itself. I am a die hard fan, and in no way would I support a World Series winning Cubs organization if they sacrificed all that is left of historical sports tradition in this town. I take the red line to games and drink at the bars- there is nothing I'd rather do in life than enjoy a day at the ballpark and neighborhood, and even people like Zell know how important this is to a lot of others who share my views. I'm totally on the same page as you, VivaLFuego, about the experience being worth more than people sometimes perceive. I expect a lot of little things to eventually change about Wrigley perhaps, but not the name or the basic design of the ballpark once renovated. They will try to keep the gritty feel as much as possible.

zaphod Mar 18, 2008 1:00 AM

I always thought sports stadiums were all about experience...otherwise everyone would just watch it on tv, right?

cbotnyse Mar 18, 2008 1:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GregBear24 (Post 3422531)
I am a die hard fan, and in no way would I support a World Series winning Cubs organization if they sacrificed all that is left of historical sports tradition in this town.

how about a tradition of winning? not as important? :???:
Quote:

I take the red line to games and drink at the bars- there is nothing I'd rather do in life than enjoy a day at the ballpark and neighborhood, and even people like Zell know how important this is to a lot of others who share my views.
You go ahead and enjoy that, while I take the red line south and enjoy a day at the ballpark, and a World Series winning team.

LucasS6 Mar 18, 2008 1:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cbotnyse (Post 3422455)
The true fans care about winning. Go over to a Cubs forum and ask that question. See whats more important, a title or wheere (or under what name) they play.


You show me a forum with 40,000 members that can attend 81 games and I'll concede. Until then, you need to understand that alot of people go to Wrigley for the ambience. Without that, it's just Comiskey. And the Sox don't do well when they're not good. Hell, they were playing great in the early to mid 90s and they still weren't drawing well.

I have no doubt the majority of diehard Cubs fans would appreciate a World Series in Berwyn over a few playoff appearances in Wrigleyville. But AGAIN diehard Cub fans and the people that continue to fill Wrigley almost to capacity all summer long are not necessarily the same people.

I remember multitudes of times going to Wrigley as something to do, with only a few of us actually following the team, with like 8 girls and 4 guys who didn't know Tuffy Rhodes from Turk Wendell. We were going for the atmosphere, for a party. And we certainly weren't alone. And wouldn't be today if we went with the same mindset.

You can take the Red Line to 35th and go to a Sox game. Or you can do what a great deal of Sox fans do and not bother with it and just watch it on TV. Going to Comiskey is going to an amusement park solely to ride the rollercoasters: It might be the main draw, but you kinda wanna do more while you're there, too. Wrigley is like Disneyland: You can ride your rollercoaster (watch the game) but it's got a whole lot more as far as enviroment to it as well. Shit, I grew up on 33rd and Lowe and know Bridgeport doesn't come close to offering the same quality Wrigleyville does.

That can bother you all night if you want, you can argue that isn't how it should be and maybe you're right. But if winning is the only thing that matters, why is it the Cubs have consistently outdrawn the Sox for the last 20 years? Serious Cubs fans might want them to win over everything, but all those people that frequent Wrigley are there for alot more than just the game on the field.

nomarandlee Mar 18, 2008 2:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GregBear24 (Post 3422531)
Wrigley Field will not be torn down. Wrigley Field's name won't change, and I don't care what any article says or what rumors start. Renovation is estimated around 250 mil. New yankee stadium will cost 1 bil. If other teams can afford to pay for new stadiums more than double or triple the cost of Wrigley's renovation, then the renovation will most certainly happen. A company putting its name on Wrigley is a PR disaster- companies weren't interested in paying anywhere near the amount it would've been worth it to the Red Sox to take that PR risk. Everyone does need to chill, and wait to see what happens. Chances are there will be some very creative branding involving parts of Wrigley Field and perhaps parts of Wrigleyville itself. I am a die hard fan, and in no way would I support a World Series winning Cubs organization if they sacrificed all that is left of historical sports tradition in this town. I take the red line to games and drink at the bars- there is nothing I'd rather do in life than enjoy a day at the ballpark and neighborhood, and even people like Zell know how important this is to a lot of others who share my views. I'm totally on the same page as you, VivaLFuego, about the experience being worth more than people sometimes perceive. I expect a lot of little things to eventually change about Wrigley perhaps, but not the name or the basic design of the ballpark once renovated. They will try to keep the gritty feel as much as possible.

I think you underestimate Tribune arrogance. Its because they think the Tribune charisma is so thick and build in that they feel like they could give naming rights and add lucrative skyboxes and still fill the place up based on "nostalgia" even if it radically changes.

I think the whole grandstand would be as good as gone. If the plan is to do a tacky retro or something modern who knows, I am betting on retro (unfortunately). I would hope for something like the PNC grandstand something very low hung tiers and with inconspicuous skyboxes but I also think that is likely naive.

One would also hope that a firm or the Trib wouldn't want a PR disaster but the Trib is not going to really care much longer as they likely see significant short term economic gains which would be very appealing considering the state of the media empire and their is always a company dumb enough to think they can persuade the public to warm up to them.

nomarandlee Apr 2, 2008 9:51 AM

Quote:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,3748615.story

Getting to Wrigley sale may take lots of pitching
By Ray Long | Tribune reporter
10:05 PM CDT, April 1, 2008


The state's stadium authority has swapped proposals with Tribune Co. over the potential sale of Wrigley Field, but former Gov. James R. Thompson, the state's top negotiator, said the price tag for costly renovations and the way to pay for them are unsettled.

Even if a deal were reached, it remains a "tough sell" politically, Thompson said, given that City Hall has been lukewarm at best to the idea and a gridlocked General Assembly would need to sign off on any sale.

The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority made a formal bid to buy Wrigley from Tribune Co. late last month that the company rejected but countered, said Thompson, who expects to come back with another proposal........
........

nomarandlee Apr 30, 2008 6:55 AM

The ISFA isn't going away on this
 
Quote:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...,5382365.story

New Wrigley Field proposal on deck
Thompson says plan uses no tax dollars
By Kathy Bergen | Tribune reporter
April 30, 2008

The leader of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority said Tuesday that the agency has solved a seemingly intractable puzzle: How to purchase and renovate Wrigley Field without using any state or local tax dollars.

"We are working on a proposal to present to Tribune Co. that will allow ISFA to acquire and fully restore Wrigley Field, as well as add parking and neighborhood improvements, without using any public tax money, either state or local," said former Gov. James Thompson, chairman of the agency.

The bid will be delivered "shortly," Thompson said.

............Team lease payments and the sale of partial naming rights would cover the cost of purchasing the park, Thompson said

Thompson said. But he declined to disclose what revenue stream would pay for the renovation, estimated to cost about $400 million, saying he didn't want to negotiate that in the media. He ruled out the sale of personal seat licenses...............
..

nomarandlee May 2, 2008 10:22 AM

Quote:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/9...050108.article

Cubs know Thompson's Wrigley secret
LETTER SENT |
Ex-gov sees no taxpayer risk in equity seat licenses, won't say if that's plan

May 2, 2008Recommend (2)

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

Illinois taxpayers would not be left “holding the bag” if fans default on equity seat licenses sold to finance the $400 million renovation of Wrigley Field, former Gov. Jim Thompson said Thursday.

Thompson sent a letter to the Cubs outlining the parameters of his secret plan to acquire and renovate Wrigley with “no taxes of any kind.” He refused to say whether it includes equity seating, the stadium financing scheme pioneered by former Democratic fund-raiser Lou Weisbach.............
....

bnk May 4, 2008 9:01 PM

Here is a sickening article from business week.

Quote:

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/...052_071405.htm

Chicago May 2, 2008, 7:00AM EST

Wrigley: Another Great One Soon Gone

With the takeover by Mars, Wrigley is about to follow Amoco and Ameritech into Chicago's ash bin


by Bob Reed

Shut down the headquarters of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. (WWY). Convert the landmark Wrigley Building into condos. Tear the Wrigley name off the Chicago Cubs' ballpark. Close the corporate wallet to local nonprofits. Fire a whole lot of people. This is the future many Chicagoans saw on learning that after 117 years here, the Wrigley family's company had been sold to Mars for $23 billion, to create the world's biggest candy producer. Holy Cow.

Don't worry, Bill Wrigley assured one and all. ...

. Right now, it looks as if everybody—from the mayor to the media—wants to believe him.

Big Premium, Big Cuts

It's a sweet sentiment. But I'll wager a king-size Milky Way bar that in a few years, Chicago won't recognize the old Wrigley as it is downgraded into just another regional office of a giant corporation based someplace else. Why the skepticism? For one, the deal itself will force this outcome. For another, previous takeovers of age-old companies by out-of-towners have all ended this way.

Big premiums mean big cuts, and Mars is clearly paying a big premium. Its $80-a-share price is 34% higher than Wrigley's three-month average price before the deal was announced on Apr. 28. That's a great payout for Wrigley stockholders, including Bill Wrigley, who'll pocket an estimated $1.3 billion. ...

Berkshire Chief Executive Warren Buffett is the epitome of a patient investor, even at age 77. Still, that money will have to be paid back with interest, and Mars won't be able to do it just by selling packs of M&M's and Orbit. Instead, it'll require selling superfluous assets, consolidating redundant operations, and cutting costs, including labor.

Unloading the Wedding Cake?

The chewing-gum company is sitting on one quick source of cash—its North Michigan Avenue headquarters. The 1920s-era building is beautiful but expensive to maintain. In 2005, Wrigley explored the notion of turning the terra-cotta "wedding cake" into luxury condos but tabled the idea. The Mars family would have no emotional ties about unloading it.

Despite Bill Wrigley's soothing commentary, it's also hard to see him—or his right-hand man, CEO Bill Perez—staying on. Once the takeover is complete, both become wealthy hired hands with no ownership. Relegated to a subsidiary, they would report to Mars Global President Paul Michaels and the secretive and demanding Mars family. I wouldn't expect a former chairman and member of a company's founding family to play second fiddle for very long, especially after he has cashed out. As for Perez, he clearly has ambitions. Why would someone who ran Wrigley, with $5.4 billion in annual sales—and before that, Nike (NKE)—want to move down the pecking order after working so hard to get to the top?

The sad thing is we've heard assurances like these too many times before in Chicago. Amoco, Ameritech, and First Chicago are among homegrown institutions that have been bought by outsiders. At first, the acquirers swore that nothing would change. But before long, each was subsumed into the parent, greatly diminishing local management and operations, along with philanthropic and civic giving. Thousands of jobs were lost. Bill Wrigley insists that this acquisition will defy history. But when Mars wraps up the deal, the company will lose control of its fate. All else is sound and fury.

cbotnyse May 5, 2008 1:18 PM

^^ the article is way off. The headquarters are staying in Chicago, they might even be adding jobs, and there has been no talk of Mars selling Wrigley Field's naming rights. Another doom and gloom bullshit example of journalism.

nomarandlee May 5, 2008 1:46 PM

:previous: Unless Mars also bought the Tribune from Zell it doesn't even have control of the naming rights to Wrigley Field so they couldn't possible sell what they don't own. Even if ownership hadn't changed to Mars Wrigley Co. wasn't likely to start paying the Tribune or ISFA to keep naming rights.

........With Mars now owning the lot of the Lakeshore Athletic club though it will be interesting to know what in the heck Mars intends to do with it (but that is another subject).

cbotnyse May 5, 2008 2:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 3531056)
:previous: Unless Mars also bought the Tribune from Zell it doesn't even have control of the naming rights to Wrigley Field so they couldn't possible sell what they don't own. Even if ownership hadn't changed to Mars Wrigley Co. wasn't likely to start paying the Tribune or ISFA to keep naming rights.

........With Mars now owning the lot of the Lakeshore Athletic club though it will be interesting to know what in the heck Mars intends to do with it (but that is another subject).

exactly.

and yes, that LAC is the biggest eyesore and waste of prime land in all of River North/Steeterville. It is an enormous piece of land. I hope high hopes for that spot.

nomarandlee May 8, 2008 4:21 AM

Quote:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...0,249773.story

Wrigley Field's name would stay in state deal
Ex-Gov. James Thompson, Illinois Sports Facilities Authority chairman, says ballpark would remain Wrigley

By Kathy Bergen | Tribune staff reporter
7:03 PM CDT, May 7, 2008

Chicago Cubs fans who love Wrigley Field's name and historic character will find their passions protected by the state if it swings a deal to buy the North Side ballpark from Tribune Co., former Gov. James Thompson said Wednesday.

"We certainly would want the name to stay Wrigley," said Thompson, who is chairman of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, the state/city agency that is in negotiations to purchase the park.

Asked whether the authority would sell partial naming rights so that the Wrigley Field name would be linked to another corporate moniker, he said, "I presume there are people out there who think so highly of Wrigley Field that they would want to be associated with it and therefore would be willing to pay for that privilege.

........and he said the renovation would not disturb the park's historic integrity.

"Our objective is to respect the landmark ordinance and to keep the iconic nature and historic nature of Wrigley Field," he said. "So when we're all said and done, I would expect the preservation community to be in favor of our plans and to strongly support them."............
They have to aleady have someone coming up with detailed plans and ideas for a renovations. I am very curious on what they look like. I have hard time thinking they could put many of the new amenties and overhaul they claim are needed while also keeping intact the "historic nature" of the park. If that is the case I am not sure if they should ever try and I sure as hope they don't put a mediocre retro-touch found in so many ballparks. Whatever has to come down put a very modern forward face (especially on the outside) in its place. I have a bad feeling we are going to get an ugly marriage of something between Lucien Lagrange and HOK attempting to pay a lame homage of some sort..


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