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  #401  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 7:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Neuman View Post
How many World Series have they won? Exactly, that's failure in baseball.

They failed to buy any of the property surrounding the stadium that is worth a fortune now.. Failure.

They let the stadium become a financial drain on the business, so much so that the new owners need to drop $300 million on saving the structure while trying to return it to a building that actually comes somewhat near competing with other teams stadiums financially. Failure.

Leaving money on the table in business is bad business and a failure. End of story, see Tribune bankruptcy for more evidence.
Where you're wrong is that the team makes a profit and has so for many years (even with general the improvements you're talking about). They'll be adding tens of millions more in the coming years due to expiring t.v. contracts (they don't even pay taxes on their profits).

I think there would be a nice share of teams that would pay $300m to buy the allure of Wrigley coupled with the healthy neighborhood that hugs it. That kind of thing is priceless.
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  #402  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 7:50 PM
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Successful architecture is not just about aesthetics. That's where you and I will disagree on to the death.
I don't think I ever said that architecture is purely aesthetic. Perhaps utilitarian was the wrong word to use on my part. Things were added without concern for anything but getting more people into seats.

Anyway, Wrigley, even from a non-aesthetic view of architecture, doesn't really work. The concourses are too narrow, there are obstructed views, and the services are poor. Have you ever been there during a rain delay? Hanging out down in the concourse is pretty miserable.

Where Wrigley works best is seating proximity to the field and interaction with the neighborhood. My season tickets are third row of the upper deck on the infield. They are great seats. I would say that there are very few other parks where any seat in the upper deck is as good as those at Wrigley (even all the way in the last row of the 500s). However, somebody who we split the tickets with has bad knees and maybe will have to stop coming to games because the stairs are too steep coming down to the seats. I wouldn't really call that successful architecture (in the modern age). These are the little things that can be remedied by a renovation/restoration or whatever they are calling it now.
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  #403  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 7:57 PM
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While I agree with you Tom that I want this project tastefully done. If Wrigley Field doesn't achieve its primary funtion, which is to maximize revenues for the baseball team, it as a building has no use and gets torn down. And then where will your history be...
How do you figure Wrigley would get torn down? Tom and the team have absolutely no legal grounds to do this.

If you're creative about the ballpark's adaptive reuse without baseball (say the team sells the ballpark back to the city), you quickly discover that you can actually create a pretty exciting experience that mixes open space uses with other revenue generating streams (i.e. football games, concerts...). Could become one of the more interesting public spaces in the continent if done well.
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  #404  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 8:01 PM
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^ The Ricketts have loans to pay off, salaries, expenses, and taxes to pay. They probably have marketing expenses. No offense, but you sound so naive in the above statement calling others 'simple-minded' when your whole approach to this is just that.
Actually, they don't have taxes to pay. They have a tax abatement for the next 15 years or so. They have the potential to save up to $105million in that time frame depending on how successful the team does in regards to profit.
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  #405  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 8:10 PM
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I think, ultimately, this is a Solomon's baby which neither side will give to the other.

It's my opinion that Ricketts will move the team to Rosemont. There's easy access from all directions (including the West, once the Elgin-O'Hare expansion is completed down the road), more than enough of hotel rooms, the nation's second busiest airport down the road, proximity to a convention center, casino, entertainment etc. How much could the Cubs make off of outdoor advertising in that location, nevermind inside the park itself? If Ricketts built an updated replica of Wrigley ("Waveland and Sheffield" pedestrian mall included), they'd have no problem filling that park year 'round. Gimmicky? Maybe, but no more gimmicky then what Wrigley has become. Better yet, he'll never have to worry about rooftop owners, city ordinances, aldermen, or how to expand the park down the road. If he put up half, it would be a no-brainer for Rosemont to float bonds for the rest. Hell, he's got more than enough Wall Street connections. He could probably bring in more than enough private equity investors to fund the balance.

Just my opinion, but I think the 6000 sq. foot JumboTron as big as it is -- is designed to provoke a lawsuit from the Rooftop coalition. The advertising sign proposed for right field will be detrimental as well. Once a lawsuit is filed, no improvements can go forward. No improvements = rationale to move out of Wrigley. If I were Ricketts, I'd get out of there as quickly as possible and let Rahm/Tunney pick up the pieces.
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  #406  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 8:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ehilton44 View Post
I don't think I ever said that architecture is purely aesthetic. Perhaps utilitarian was the wrong word to use on my part. Things were added without concern for anything but getting more people into seats.

Anyway, Wrigley, even from a non-aesthetic view of architecture, doesn't really work. The concourses are too narrow, there are obstructed views, and the services are poor. Have you ever been there during a rain delay? Hanging out down in the concourse is pretty miserable.

Where Wrigley works best is seating proximity to the field and interaction with the neighborhood. My season tickets are third row of the upper deck on the infield. They are great seats. I would say that there are very few other parks where any seat in the upper deck is as good as those at Wrigley (even all the way in the last row of the 500s). However, somebody who we split the tickets with has bad knees and maybe will have to stop coming to games because the stairs are too steep coming down to the seats. I wouldn't really call that successful architecture (in the modern age). These are the little things that can be remedied by a renovation/restoration or whatever they are calling it now.
But it does work. That's why one of the worst teams in baseball can outdraw, out-price and out-revenue just about every team in the league regardless of record or futility.
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  #407  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 9:22 PM
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But it does work. That's why one of the worst teams in baseball can outdraw, out-price and out-revenue just about every team in the league regardless of record or futility.
I guess that depends on how you define "working." Like I said, I'm a season ticket holder, and I've been part of a season ticket group for the last 13 years. I've spent a good amount of time at Wrigley, not to mention my youth growing up there (as I'm writing this I'm throwing my headphones down in disgust at Sin Soo Choo scoring in the top of the eighth to make it 6-2 Reds over Cubs). I love Wrigley for all the reasons that have been stated here. That doesn't mean that there aren't major places for improvement. I've listed a number of reasons here why I think Wrigley Field has ceased to work as a modern stadium in the last few years. I will re-state them in summary:
  • Poor player facilities including the locker room, weight training, and batting facilities
  • Narrow concourses limiting both fan and amenity circulation
  • Cramped quarters for Cubs staff (some have moved to a building north of Waveland on Clark but some are still in Wrigley Field itself)
  • Certain obstructed views
  • A small, obsolete press box

Additionally it doesn't outdraw most teams now. The disparity between "paid attendance" and actual attendance is crazy (shout out to www.bleedcubbieblue.com here for his analysis after every home stand). The building itself isn't the reason so many tourists want to come, it is the attitude, the atmosphere, and the neighborhood. Wrigley Field is more than the building itself and I don't think what the plans show will destroy that.

One of the best parts of the building itself is its footprint that allows for such proximity to the game (think about how close you are at Wrigley versus Comiskey), which the new plans will not destroy. They can't, there's no way to grow it any more (without a total tear down and a re positioning of the field, which if they are committed to doing the work in the offseason, can't be done).

Last edited by ehilton44; May 3, 2013 at 9:22 PM. Reason: Spelling/Formatting
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  #408  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 9:24 PM
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Originally Posted by alex1 View Post
But it does work. That's why one of the worst teams in baseball can outdraw, out-price and out-revenue just about every team in the league regardless of record or futility.
Exactly my point!


Quote:
However, somebody who we split the tickets with has bad knees and maybe will have to stop coming to games because the stairs are too steep coming down to the seats. I wouldn't really call that successful architecture (in the modern age). These are the little things that can be remedied by a renovation/restoration or whatever they are calling it now.
Am I wrong, or are seating renovations NOT in this current plan? I believe that was part of the previous renovation and will not be included in this proposed one.

And I hesitate to partially agree with you, but I will reluctantly say that I partially agree with how you feel about the concourse. Whereas part of me likes the crappy nature of it, the other part of me realizes how easy it and tastefully it could be updated.

That said, my issue has never been with renovation per se. My foremost issue has always been with the jumbo-tron, second with the over-addition of ad space, and third with further alteration to the bleachers. Aside from that, I say, do what you have to do! And I'll reiterate as well: I like the Captain Morgans corner addition... a lot, actually. I like the plaza, the clock tower, and hotel wrigley too. I do have some concerns... like the bridge seems unnecessary, the plaza should must be brick... idk, the Hotel Wrigley also LOOKS pretty ugly, but I really don't care. My number one issue it the alteration of the Wrigley experience. And that starts with the jumbo-tron.

I don't know if I read it here or on ESPN, but someone made the comment "all I care about is if they win" and how if one doesn't care about winning first, they are not a "real" fan... I don't know why, but that fucking comment has been nagging at me... okay, that's called being a fair weather fan! Fuck. Number one and two one B in my heart are the Bears and Hawks respectively. Do I care if they win? Hell yes! But that's not WHY I am a fan. Instead, I am a fan because of what they represent. For the same reason, I am a Cubs fan. These teams are about Chicago, not about Championships. I will be a Bears fan no matter anger I get with Cutler or how many times they blow a season... because the Bears represent the factors and mills of our city's past, the iron workers or our towers, etc... without being too long winded, I see the Cubs in a similar light. The Cubs represent aspects of this city, much greater than any trophy can capture. And to me, Cub fandom starts with one's experience in that ballpark the way it is. So if Joe Blow from Naperville wants parking, a jumbo-tron, modern amenities, and ad revenue so that Ricketts can buy a championship, then he can go fuck himself.

Last edited by Tom Servo; May 3, 2013 at 9:37 PM.
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  #409  
Old Posted May 3, 2013, 9:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ehilton44 View Post
  • Poor player facilities including the locker room, weight training, and batting facilities
  • Narrow concourses limiting both fan and amenity circulation
  • Cramped quarters for Cubs staff (some have moved to a building north of Waveland on Clark but some are still in Wrigley Field itself)
  • Certain obstructed views
  • A small, obsolete press box
I agree with the first on your list... though I stated my opinion above about the concourse: if done tastefully and in a way that respects and or compliments the current aesthetic of the park, I'm totally on board. As for the rest, yeah, go for it... though is eliminating obstructed views part of the current plan?
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  #410  
Old Posted May 4, 2013, 5:18 AM
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What burns me is the Sox and Bears are allowed to access ISFA downtown hotel tax to fund their stadium capital projects but no such equal treatment for all Chicago's professional teams. The only answer is political, the sox and bear interest ' got theirs' but will fight (politically) to protect their exclusive tax stream.

Sox and Cubs both play in neighborhoods, but one is restricted on game scheduling the other is not. Where is the equal protection under the law ?
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  #411  
Old Posted May 4, 2013, 5:51 AM
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The Sox do not play in a neighborhood. They play in a stadium isolated from residential areas by acres of parking lots, a superhighway, and a railroad viaduct. It's shitty urban planning but they bought the right to night games by literally bulldozing anyone who might object. The Cubs will always have more restrictions, by virtue of their close engagement with the city around them, unless and until they buy out and bulldoze Wrigleyville.
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  #412  
Old Posted May 4, 2013, 6:35 AM
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Wrigley generates more out of town hotel visits than the sox and bears combined but yet the cubs can't access the ISFA tax to help restore Wrigley.

Last edited by LaSalle.St.Station; May 4, 2013 at 7:16 AM.
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  #413  
Old Posted May 4, 2013, 6:59 AM
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The Sox do not play in a neighborhood. They play in a stadium isolated from residential areas by acres of parking lots, a superhighway, and a railroad viaduct. It's shitty urban planning but they bought the right to night games by literally bulldozing anyone who might object. The Cubs will always have more restrictions, by virtue of their close engagement with the city around them, unless and until they buy out and bulldoze Wrigleyville.

I guess 31st and Union isn't a neighborhood, I stand corrected.
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  #414  
Old Posted May 4, 2013, 2:19 PM
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I guess 31st and Union isn't a neighborhood, I stand corrected.
I'm not sure what you are saying here... 31st and Union is approximately 1 mile from home plate at US Cellular Field... The nearest dwelling units to US Cellular Field are 1,000' away. Meanwhile Wrigley is about 30'-40' away from the nearest dwelling units.
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  #415  
Old Posted May 4, 2013, 2:38 PM
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^If by 30'-40' you mean 80 feet.
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  #416  
Old Posted May 4, 2013, 9:37 PM
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Originally Posted by LaSalle.St.Station View Post
Sox and Cubs both play in neighborhoods, but one is restricted on game scheduling the other is not. Where is the equal protection under the law ?
Its because one had the city bulldoze half their neighborhood, then bulldozed the other half themselves...whereas the other was fortunate enough to operate within a thriving community.
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  #417  
Old Posted May 4, 2013, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by LaSalle.St.Station View Post
Wrigley generates more out of town hotel visits than the sox and bears combined but yet the cubs can't access the ISFA tax to help restore Wrigley.
Feel free to blame this on the great recession. Tax rolls have been decimated and public opinion against spending has increased quite a lot.
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  #418  
Old Posted May 5, 2013, 2:20 AM
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Where you're wrong is that the team makes a profit and has so for many years (even with general the improvements you're talking about). They'll be adding tens of millions more in the coming years due to expiring t.v. contracts (they don't even pay taxes on their profits).

I think there would be a nice share of teams that would pay $300m to buy the allure of Wrigley coupled with the healthy neighborhood that hugs it. That kind of thing is priceless.
Compared to every other stadium in Baseball Wrigley Field is a drag on this baseball franchises revenues. The only reason they gross the revenues they do is because of the extremely high cost of tickets. If the team was on par with other teams in regards to stadium advertising, naming rights, modern amenities like stadium clubs and sky boxes and the not the strained attempt at Wrigley the Cubs would have the financial resource available that only a few teams in professional sports have. Bleacher seats alone have increased over 400% on average over the last decade. This is a direct result of the team lacking other revenue streams that this renovation would provide. They have been footing the bill of this team on the paying public when a large portion of it is typically paid by corporate entities in every other market. Cable television contracts are great but that is still 6 years away. The NBC Sport Channel agreement doesn't expire until 2019 and they won't be getting a huge windfall from WGN next year, maybe an additional $10 million per season if they even stay with Tribune Broadcasting. The simple fact is a stadium in a large market should give that team an economic advantage. Wrigley Field does not except in the area of fairly consistent ticket sales.
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  #419  
Old Posted May 5, 2013, 2:29 AM
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How do you figure Wrigley would get torn down? Tom and the team have absolutely no legal grounds to do this.

If you're creative about the ballpark's adaptive reuse without baseball (say the team sells the ballpark back to the city), you quickly discover that you can actually create a pretty exciting experience that mixes open space uses with other revenue generating streams (i.e. football games, concerts...). Could become one of the more interesting public spaces in the continent if done well.
Yeah, the piss poor city of Chicago is going to pay several hundreds of millions to buy yet another white elephant (Soldier Field, U.S Cellular) so that they can then reinvest several more hundreds of millions into a structure that is 100 years old so that we can host high school baseball games and a handfull of concerts.

If the Cubs leave the stadium it will be torn down whether or not it is landmarked. Do you think an abandoned stadium will remain in the middle of Lakeview as it slowly falls further into disrepair?
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  #420  
Old Posted May 5, 2013, 2:40 AM
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Exactly my point!


Am I wrong, or are seating renovations NOT in this current plan? I believe that was part of the previous renovation and will not be included in this proposed one.
The entire upper deck and roof are being replaced. The wood roof is going away and metal will replace it and all the concrete will be knocked down. The only thing that will remain is the structural steel supports of the upper deck. The original constuction of the upper deck was done over three year and done as 3 segments. Furthermore the entire lower seating bowl is being replaced with new concrete. From what I've read it will be altered very little in regards to sightlines.

And Tom, true fans root for their team to win above all else. People who go to games for the experience I consider tourists. Nothing wrong with it but many feel this way.
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