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LucasS6 Mar 18, 2008 1:31 AM


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


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


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

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


Cubs know Thompson's Wrigley secret
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.


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


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).


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


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..

nomarandlee May 13, 2008 10:00 AM

Zell no to state bid for Wrigley

Zell no to state bid for Wrigley
Trib chief not sold on maverick financing deal

May 13, 2008


Tribune Co. Chairman Sam Zell has rejected former Gov. James Thompson's secret plan to acquire and renovate Wrigley Field for at least $400 million without raising taxes and now plans to package the Cubs and their landmark stadium in a private transaction, sources said Monday.

Together, the Cubs and their real estate could command $1 billion, based on recent sales of professional teams. Zell opened talks with Thompson, chairman of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, in hopes that selling Wrigley to the state would make the team more valuable.

GregBear24 May 17, 2008 4:04 PM

These newspapers should be ashamed of themselves. Mars has no rights to change wrigley field's name. Wrigley Field is named for William Wrigley, not the Wrigley gum co. At the time the stadium was built, most ballparks were named for their owners. Secondly, the partial naming rights thing is about doing what the yankess are doing with their new ballpark, naming sections and gate entrances to the park. It will always be wrigley field, but we may have to sacrifice some historic integrity to keep it that way. As a diehard myself, I am willing to do that in order to renovate the park and ensure that it remains for another 94 years for my grandchildren and great grandchildren to see. The only negative will be that F'n stupid parking garage and promenade. That thing is atrocious, but I guess in this day and age we have no choice. All the fans from the suburbs should take the metra down and the red line to the ballpark, but that would make going to a game an all-day event. Oh no!

nomarandlee Jun 11, 2008 5:35 AM

Well since the deal with the state has died and it doesn't the condition of Wrigley doesn't seem dire I am guessing any plans to revamp Wrigley will not be seen for a number of years at least......


Cubs documents: Wrigley condition not dire
By Phil Rosenthal | Tribune media columnist
10:14 PM CDT, June 10, 2008

Despite earlier indications that Wrigley Field needed urgent costly repairs, documents received Tuesday by some of the prospective buyers of the Chicago Cubs offer a less dire portrait of the aging park's condition, sources with knowledge of the so-called books said Tuesday.

Two separate books are in circulation. One, at around 125 pages, is said to cover financial information and other data for the team, Wrigley Field, and Comcast SportsNet Chicago, a regional cable network in which the ballclub owns a stake. The second, at 75 pages or so, went only to potential bidders for Wrigley and covers only that property.

Sources indicated the books make no specific representation as to the condition of Wrigley Field and the work that needs to be done, even though the urgency of major capital expenditures on repairs and improvements was front and center as owner Tribune Co. sought to transfer ownership of the ballpark to the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority. Those negotiations broke down Monday...............

nomarandlee Jul 17, 2008 8:14 PM

Inland makes bid for Wrigley Field

Inland makes bid for Wrigley Field

July 17, 2008Recommend (10)


A leading Chicago-area real estate firm has submitted an offer to buy Wrigley Field, betting that lease payments from the Chicago Cubs and eventual improvements to the ballpark will make it a decent investment.

Sources said Thursday that Inland Real Estate Group of Companies Inc., based in Oak Brook, has turned in the offer to Cubs owner Tribune Co. The amount of the offer couldn’t be learned, but it is believed to be close to $300 million, the sum Tribune Chairman Sam Zell wants out of Wrigley if he sells the team and the property separately.

......One source close to the Cubs sale process said the team has received 20 offers for the park and 10 for the team or the combination of the team and the stadium. Financial experts have said that the Cubs-Wrigley combination could command more than $1 billion.

........Cosenza added that bidders should not figure on money from selling the name. “Whoever ends up with that ballpark wouldn’t want to be in Chicago if they change the name,” he said............

nomarandlee Aug 7, 2008 10:42 AM


Cubs may be bleacher bums on Wrigley parking garage

August 7, 2008Recommend

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

It looks like the Cubs may never build the 400-space parking garage adjacent to Wrigley Field promised to area residents in exchange for a 1,791-seat bleacher expansion.

Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney said the building planned for a triangular parcel adjacent to the stadium has been "completely re-designed" by Tribune Co. CEO Sam Zell's real estate team to include more retail and office space at the expense of parking.

The new garage would shrink to 250 spaces to accommodate players, team officials, sponsors and media whose late departure from Cubs games would not exacerbate post-game congestion. To make up for the loss of parking, a smaller garage could be built on less valuable land away from Wrigley, sources said.

And instead of topping off the triangle building with a quaint rooftop garden, the top floor would include a revenue-generating stadium club. "It'll be a first-class opportunity for business fans and those who entertain at the ballpark to do so" in style, Kenney said.

The revamped design includes an upscale restaurant, retail stores specializing in Cubs merchandise and team offices. Below ground, there would be batting cages, pitching mounds and workout facilities for Cubs players. More concessions and washrooms are also planned.
Sun-Times render in article.....

the urban politician Aug 7, 2008 2:14 PM

^ A big improvement from the crapola planned before.

the urban politician Aug 7, 2008 2:48 PM

Of course, the surest way to tell if a project has improved is whether NIMBY's oppose it, which they clearly will. Crains has posted an article about it right now; let the NIMBY bitching begin.

As of 2008 people still actually believe that providing more parking leads to reduced traffic congestion. And Barack Obama is a muslim

Tom Servo Aug 7, 2008 9:21 PM


Originally Posted by nomarandlee (Post 3719698)

:uhh: hmmm... i'm extremely skeptical of this being a good thing for wrigley...

Alliance Aug 7, 2008 9:47 PM

Least there is less parking. *shrugs*

aaron38 Aug 7, 2008 9:49 PM


To make up for the loss of parking, a smaller garage could be built on less valuable land away from Wrigley, sources said.
Like at Cumberland and Howard? Who drives to Wrigley? And more importantly, why are you still sober enough to drive home?

The design is standard boring stadium architecture, but at least it's built to the lot line and forms a streetwall. Maybe we can get rid of the McDonalds drive thru next?

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