Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CBS Chicago: Wrigley Renovation deal possible by opening day

Jay Levine of CBS Chicago is reporting that progress has been made in the Wrigley Field renovation negotiations....enough progress that an announcement of a deal could be made by opening day or shortly after.

We all know the primary issues involved boards...night games...concerts...street festivals...parking.

The report from indicated that the Cubs intend to construct a parking structure near the ballpark, which I can assume is on the large Grace St. lot which they own and already use for parking. (I've suggested in the past that they should consider putting a parking garage on that site.  That lot has been under utilized for years.)

The other aspects of the agreement will probably not leak out until an official announcement is made, but we can assume that more advertising, night games and a new video board are all in Wrigley's near future.

I do expect that the Cubs will get pretty much everything they have been asking for here, and the news of a potential parking structure on Grace St. is a big plus that could create another revenue stream for the team bringing in, I would estimate, $2 to $3 million a year.

I also expect that the Cubs might look to nix the current rooftop deal where the building owners give the Cubs 17% of their revenue.  The revenue is not enough to really make much of a deference for the team.  This would be compensation for potential obstructions that a video board and advertising will create as well as keeping the rooftops from having any actual agreement with the team that could limit what they could do to the ballpark in the future.

While I'm much more in favor of the team building a new ballpark altogether, having the status-quo linger on for another 1 or 2 years is much worse, so this is good news.