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Cubs kick off renovation work at groundbreaking

Wrigley Field upgrades

The Chicago Cubs officially kicked off the ballpark renovation work at Wrigley Field with a Saturday groundbreaking, featuring MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, Milt Pappas and Kerry Wood.

Pappas and Wood, of course, are former Cubs pitchers.

The Wrigley Field renovation project now has a name: The 1060 Project. More than 350 people joined the team for the event, which included a ceremonial dig with shovels in the ground and a backdrop of construction already underway in the outfield.

“After years of working on a solution to save and improve Wrigley Field, we are thrilled to break ground on The 1060 Project,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. “This day marks a significant milestone in our quest to provide our players and fans with the best facilities in baseball.”

Wrigley Field

The four-year plan — which includes structural updates; improved player facilities; new signage, including video boards in left and right field; expanded concessions; new and improved restroom facilities and much more — will be rolled out in four separate phases, beginning in the 2014 offseason. The privately funded $575-million project will create approximately 2,100 jobs and generate $1.2 billion in net new revenue to the local economy over the next 30 years.

“This restoration project is a significant private investment that will create thousands of jobs, ensure Wrigley Field can be enjoyed by Chicagoans for generations to come, and help the Cubs toward their goal of giving their fans a long-awaited World Series Championship. And with this project, the Cubs are investing in more than just their historic stadium. They will continue to be a good neighbor by investing in the surrounding area for traffic flow, security and public parks. This is a great step for the Cubs and for all of Chicago,” said Mayor Emanuel.

Selig waxed poetic about Wrigley Field and his youth:

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig also took the podium, which was set up in the middle of the infield.

“Today’s groundbreaking is certainly an extraordinary occasion because I saw my first major-league game here in May of 1944, when I was two months shy of my 10th birthday,” said Selig, who has been a big backer of the Cubs’ plans to move forward on the 100-year-old ballpark.

“Wrigley Field took hold of a special place in my heart right then and there. Frankly, it has held that spot for the past 70 years.”

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