With the Commission on Chicago Landmarks declining to review a proposed $375-million Wrigley Field renovation, the Chicago Cubs are once again stalled in their attempts to upgrade the 100-year-old ballpark.
The latest proposal from the Cubs increased the spending by $75 million and added to the project greatly expanded clubhouses (the home one would be second-largest in Major League Baseball), four additional 650-square-foot LED signs, 300 bleacher seats, a new restaurant behind the home dugout, a 2,400-square-foot videoboard in right field; new outfield lights; and relocated bullpens.
It’s the relocation of bullpens that caught the attention of city regulators and Mayor Rahm Emanuel: moving the bullpens under the bleachers (as shown below) would require the removal of some Wrigley Field bricks and ivy to provide a view of the game, as shown below:
The controversy began two weeks ago when the Cubs announced a revised renovation plan that proposed to double the width of two large doors in left and right fields – known as the Under Armour doors because of the ads on them – from 12 to 24 feet.
Both areas currently are being used as batting cages, and the idea was to give the relievers a view of the field during games. The Cubs already had gained city approval for the widening of three smaller doors from 5 to 10 feet….
Though the removal of some ivy and bricks was not stated specifically in the new plan, the Cubs couldn’t expand the doors without taking both out, which landmark provisions protect. Once the media highlighted the significant removal of ivy and bricks, Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the Cubs a new plan would need to be reviewed, prompting their decision to eliminate enlarging any of the doors.
With the Commission on Chicago Landmarks declining to hear the Cubs’ proposal in June, the team won’t be able to present the plan until July at the earliest.
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