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Cubs submit Wrigley Field renovation plans to city

Wrigley Field renovations

Despite Tom Ricketts’ unexpected threat last week to move the Cubs, the process for renovating Wrigley Field proceeds, as the team has submitted its plan to the Chicago Plan Commission.

The Plan Commission is one of several bodies that must approve the renovation plans. The plan, filed on May 1 by DLA Piper, is a fairly straightforward 63-page document from several Cubs-related holding companies related to the Wrigley Field upgrades, a $300-million plan that requires no city or county money. (You can read the full plan here.) There’s nothing in the plan that’s very surprising; the Cubs have already detailed plans for the ballpark, so you’ve probably ran across most of this in the past. Some highlights of the proposal:

  • The much-debated videoboard in left field would be no larger than 6,000 square feet, while a secondary script sign in right field would be 1,000 square feet. The exact location still needs to determined. There are several signs the Cubs have planned for the area, including a smaller (875 square feet) sign on the so-called triangle building and 1,500 square feet of signs on “mobile trolley/train reproduction cars” on the plaza next to the triangle building.
  • A three-story addition at the corner of Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue would contain a new visitors’ clubhouse, restrooms, concessions/food & beverage and potentially an upper-level deck. The building would be aligned with the existing Concourse, Mezzanine and Bowl Levels of the ballpark. The deck would be one of two proposed for the ballpark.
  • The Sheffield Grill at the southeast corner of the ballpark would be expanded to 1,000 square feet, with a second story. The exterior design would match the rest of the Wrigley Field exterior.
  • Sheffield Avenue would be closed three hours before game time for events between Memorial Day and Labor Day, allowing for fan to mingle before the actual opening of the Wrigley Field gates. The Red Sox do this with great success at Fenway Park, when Yawkey Way is closed off to traffic before games.
  • Renovations would be done in a green fashion, meeting L.E.E.D. guidelines.

On one level, Ricketts’ frustration with the renovation becomes clearer when you see all the steps needed to make the changes real: besides the Plan Commission, the City of Chicago Committee on Zoning and the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, offices like the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities will have a chance to review and approve the plans as well. (H/T Crain’s Chicago Business.)

Rendering courtesy of the Chicago Cubs.

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